I’ve never made “thumbprint” cookies before so this was a learning experience, most definitely. When I decided to make a macadamia butter cookie I wanted caramel to make an appearance somehow.  Thumbprints seemed to be the way to go, easy enough….so I thought.

Some things I learned:

1) I think Tinkerbell made the first thumbprint cookie….my thumbs are like a giant’s.

2) No matter how much you like caramel, refrain from filling the “print” to the brink of overflowing or you will have  mini volcanos erupting in your oven.

3) Macadamia butter is divine. You can skip the cookies and just grab a spoon….I won’t mind.

So, I’m still baffled as to why they are called thumbprints because if you actually use your thumb to make the well things will quickly escape in your hot oven. Instead, try using the end of a wooden spoon and be sure you don’t press too deep causing a hole in the bottom of your cookie.

These cookies turned out incredibly.  I’m a little glad the first batch looked like they were run over by a steam roller because I can keep them to myself and not feel even the tiniest bit guilty about it.

Macadamia Butter and Caramel Cookies

Macadamia Butter and Caramel Thumbprint Cookies

makes approximately 36 cookies

For the macadamia butter:

2 cups unsalted macadamia nuts

For the cookies:

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 cup macadamia butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 large egg at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 all purpose flour

1 cup finely chopped macadamia nuts

1/2 cup hot caramel sauce (ice cream topping, I used Smuckers)

Using a food processor, chop the nuts until a smooth butter forms. Appropriately 2-3 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix together the butter, macadamia butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and egg stirring to combine. Mix in the salt and gradually add the flour on low speed until a dough forms being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Cover and refrigerate for two hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough into 2 inch balls and then roll in the chopped nuts. Place on the baking sheet and, using the end of a wooden spoon, create a small well in the center of each ball. Fill each well with the caramel sauce.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove and let cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Leftover nut butter can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about a month.