Caramel-Filled Maple-Pecan Cookies

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      Caramel-Filled Maple-Pecan Cookies
      8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
      1 cup butter, softened
      1/2 cup sugar
      2 tsp maple extract
      2-1/2 cups flour
      24 caramels
      4 tsp half-and-half
      1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
      Heat oven to 350°.
      Beat cream cheese and butter in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add sugar and extract. Mix well. Gradually add flour, beating well after each addition.
      Microwave caramels and half-and-half in small microwaveable bowl on high 1-1/2 min or until caramels are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 1 min. Cool 5 min. Meanwhile, shape dough into 48 (1-inch) balls. Roll in nuts until evenly coated. Place, 2 inches apart, on parchment-covered baking sheets. Indent centers.
      Pour caramel sauce into resealable plastic bag. Cut small piece off one bottom corner of bag. Use to squeeze caramel sauce into indentations in dough.
      Bake 12 to 14 min or until edges are lightly browned. Cool on baking sheets 5 min. Remove to wire racks. Cool completely. Makes 48
      2lbkos0 smilie

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