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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cashew Caramel Cookies

 My Dad loves cashews.  Whereas my Mom had chocolate stashes all over the house, my Dad usually had an enormous can of cashews somewhere in the couch/TV vicinity.  Unfortunately, I inherited both their loves.  A happy Christmas was when I got my OWN can of cashews in my stocking.  Then I'd stop sneaking Dad's for a week or two. 

As I got older, my nut interests moved on, to peanuts, then pistachios, and most recently smoked almonds.  But biting into these sweet & nutty cookies from Dessert Club member C.D. hurtled me back to Christmases of my childhood, when a little candy and my own cashews were all it took to feel the joy of the season.
Didn't hurt that she also served them with a huge bowl of extra caramel sauce, for dipping.  You should have seen me, I had caramel all over the place.  Luckily, we don't take pictures of faces at Dessert Club.  What happens at Dessert Club usually stays at Dessert Club.

Cashew Caramel Cookies (print recipe)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups roasted salted cashews
2 T plus 1 tsp canola oil
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
24 cubes soft caramel candy (7 ounces)
1/4 cup heavy cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and salt together. Coarsely chop 1 cup cashews; set aside. Process remaining 1 1/2 cups cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Pour in oil. Process until mixture is creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Put cashew mixture, butter, and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually add flour mixture. Mix in reserved chopped cashews.
  3. Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls; space 2 inches apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 6 minutes; gently flatten with a spatula. Bake until bottoms are just golden, 6 to 7 minutes more. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks.
  4. Melt caramels with cream in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring. Let cool. Using a spoon, drizzle caramel over cookies; let set. Store airtight in single layers.  Serve with extra caramel sauce, if there is any.
Recipe from Martha Stewart

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