For my very first post, I thought it would be fitting to make something in tribute to my first home: Red Deer, Alberta. Not really the type of place that inspires confectionary creativity; our official cookie was chosen in a mid-nineties attempt to contrive some kind of "Red Deerian" culture. New Yorkers have their black-and-white cookies, Paris has its macarons... and we have the Caramel Surprise. I know. It needs a new name.
I'm not really sure how they represent Red Deer, but they're delicious (which is all that really matters, right?): a soft, chewy chocolate cookie filled with caramel and topped with chopped pecans. Yum.
Red Deer CookiesAdapted from Darlene Blair's original recipe
Makes about 40
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla essence or extract
½ cup chopped pecans
About 40 Rolos, Caramilk pieces, or other caramel filled candy
In a small bowl combine:
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
Start by preheating the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. Gradually add the flour mixture until combined. Fold in chopped pecans. The dough should be pretty stiff - you may need to chill it in the fridge for 10-20 minutes in order to work with it.
Using about 1 tablespoon of the dough, form it around a caramel, making sure it's completely covered and rolling into a ball shape.
|If you wanted to make these really Red Deerian you could use some kind of liqueur-infused caramel. We have a lot of liquor stores in RD. Like... close to 1 per square mile.|
Bake the little guys for about 10 minutes. Their tops will be slightly cracked when they're ready. Let them cool a bit on a wire rack. Enjoy them while they're warm (not hot!)
Caramel Surprise, I re-christen thee "Red Deer Sugar Rush"! Go forth and tell the world of our fair city!