Sweet Treats

Recipe—Butter Pecan Thumbprint Cookies with a White Chocolate Carmel Center

We are on Day 2 of 5 of my Christmas Cookie Week! That’s right, this week I will be posting 5 of my favorite Christmas Cookie recipes!

Butter Pecan Thumbprint Cookies with a White Chocolate Carmel Center

This is probably my most requested holiday cookies and definitely one of my faves. If this cookie is in my house, I will eat it. All self control goes out the window. This is a little more advanced than some of my other cookie recipes just because of the number of steps, but they are so worth it! The primary cookie part is not overly sweet, it has a delicious buttery roasted pecan flavor and where the real sweetness comes in is that creamy white chocolate caramel center. These cookies are a total show stopper. They look so pretty and are perfect for the holiday season!

Note: For this recipe I recommend you put the white chocolate caramel sauce into the center of the cookies using a piping bag or Ziploc. I usually just use a quart size Ziploc and cut the corner of the bag off once I have the sauce in it. I find this to be easiest for me and then I can just toss the sticky bag when I am done. However, you can also use a spoon to fill the cookies with the sauce if that is easier for you. The sauce will be very hot on your hands when it comes off the stove which is why I let mine sit to cool for a few minutes before transferring it to the bag. The sauce will harden up as it cools.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/4 c butter, softened
1 1/2 c pecans, chopped
2/3 c powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 c flour
3/4 c caramel sauce (the kind you would put on ice cream sundaes)
1 1/2 c white chocolate chips

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • Stir together the chopped pecans and 1/4 cup of the butter.
  • Spread the nut and butter mixture evenly on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the pecans for 10–15 minutes making sure to stir them around half way through.
  • Remove the roasted pecans from the oven and allow them to cool.
  • While the pecans are cooling, using an electric mixer, beat together the remaining 1 cup of butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until nice and smooth.
  • Mix together the flour and roasted butter pecans.
  • Gradually add the flour and pecan mixture to the butter and sugar mixture until well combined.
  • Roll the dough into 1 1/2″ balls and place about 2” apart on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  • Bake the cookies for 10 minutes and remove from oven.
  • Using your thumb, or something of a similar size (I use the end of a cocktail muddler but the back of a teaspoon would work too) make a deep indentation into the center of the cookie.
  • Place the cookies back into the oven to continue baking for another 6­–8 minutes.
  • Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and allow to cool.
  • In a small sauce pan, heat the caramel sauce over medium low heat.
  • Gradually add the white chocolate chips while stirring with a small whisk or fork allowing them to fully melt. Make sure you do not burn the sauce!
  • Once the chips are fully melted and your sauce is a nice smooth consistency, remove the pan from the heat.
  • Allow the sauce to cool for 5-8 minutes and transfer to a piping bag or Ziploc bag. (If using a Ziplock bag, you will want to cut a small tip off one corner.)
  • Pipe the white chocolate caramel sauce into the center of each cookie making sure not to overfill them.
  • Allow the cookies to rest for an hour so that the filling will fully set.
Sweet Treats

Recipe—Snickers Cake

This cake should be called the Devil’s cake. Because that is exactly what it is. It will suck you in and you won’t be able to resist it’s evil chocolately goodness! My husband loves his sweets but isn’t much of a cake guy. (How did I ever marry him?!?!) Just kidding, I love my husband, so much so that I was on the hunt for the PERFECT birthday cake for him. One of his favorite candy bars is a Snickers so I knew if I could make a cake that even remotely resembled a Snickers bar, he would probably like it. I think I gained 10 pounds just making this cake because I was indulging myself while putting it together. That is part of being a good cook right? Taste everything you serve. Well I did. I tasted the cake batter, the caramel sauce, the chocolate chips, the chopped snickers, the whipped cream, etc. I was so bad, and it was soooo good! Every layer of it! If you are or have a Snickers lover in your family bake them this cake. They will love you forever, unless they are on a diet. This is a fabulous cake, not a diet cake.

Note: This cake can be made a day ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

INGREDIENTS
16.5 oz box of Duncan Hines Devil’s Food cake mix
1 c water
1/3 c vegetable oil
3 eggs
14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
12 oz jar Smucker’s Hot Caramel ice cream topping sauce
1 c chocolate chips
1 pt heavy whipping cream
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 Snickers candy bars, chopped
1/2 c peanuts, coarsely chopped
caramel sauce
chocolate sauce

STEPS

  • Preheat oven to 350º.
  • In a large mixing bowl beat together the cake mix, water, oil, and eggs at medium speed for 2 1/2 minutes.
  • Pour the cake batter into a greased 9” x 13” Pyrex.
  • Bake the cake for 25–30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle.
  • While the cake is baking mix together the condensed milk and jar of caramel sauce until thoroughly blended.
  • When the cake is done cooking, but still hot, poke 20–30 holes in the cake using a straw.
  • Pour the caramel sauce over the entire cake.
  • Allow the cake to finish cooling completely.
  • Sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top of the cake.
  • In a medium mixing bowl beat together the whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla at high speed until it is nice and thick, about 3–5 minutes.
  • Fold the chopped Snickers into the whipped topping.
  • Spread the whipped topping over the top of the cake.
  • Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the top and drizzle with caramel and chocolate sauce.
  • Place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Recipe adapted from Plain Chicken.