Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Table salt
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 12 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
- 44 small soft caramel candies (12 ounces), such as Kraft
- 6 tablespoons heavy cream
- Large, flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat together butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low, gradually add flour and 1/2 teaspoon table salt, and beat to combine. Press dough together in plastic wrap, then roll into 1 1/4-inch balls. Dip each ball in beaten egg, and roll in coconut. Place balls on parchment-lined baking sheets, and press an indentation into each with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove sheets from oven, and re-press indentations. Bake cookies until golden, 9 to 10 minutes more. Let cool on wire racks. Repeat with remaining dough.
Place caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Spoon into indentations in cookies, and sprinkle with sea salt. Rewarm caramel if it hardens before all cookies are filled.