~ "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; Through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures." ~ "Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing" ~ "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy." ~ "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."~

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Gluten-Free Beet Brownies

Gluten-Free Beetroot Brownies... I am always intrigued with different sorts of recipes... recipes that have something out of the ordinary included... such as an ingredient or a technique that's not usually expected. So when I picked up the mail the other day, I noticed our local natural food store flyer advertising the weekly sales... inside the flyer, there were also a couple of recipes. 

As you can guess, one of the recipes in the flyer was for beet brownies. I just had to make it. Why, the recipe was gluten-free as well... requiring minimal ingredients... not to mention that it looked super simple to make. Oh, and I love beets:). Just never used them in a dessert.

These brownies are real chocolaty... and while they are called brownies, they have more of a cake-like texture... but still maintaining a very moist and fudgy interior  I can easily see them doubling up as cupcakes, frosted with a natural whipped coconut frosting.  However, I think my husband wouldn't mind them with a scoop or 2 of ice cream. But since we have no ice cream in the house, he has been enjoying them straight out of the freezer:). Hope you enjoy...

Note: While the pictures show 2 beets, recipe uses only 1 beet... I was boiling another to make a savory beet salad :) ... therefore, the 2 beets in the pictures. However, you can easily double the recipe and bake in a 13x9 pan.

Tip: Feel free to top brownies with additional chunks of chocolate, chopped nuts... or adding other flavors to the batter, coffee, orange peel, etc. 

You will need: adapted from Natural Grocers

1 medium beet, cooked till soft, (about 1 cup pureed)
1⁄2 cup honey
2 TBS coconut oil
1 TBS vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 cup almond flour
1⁄2 cup cacao powder ( I used Hersheys' dark)
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of sea salt

Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Line an 8x8 inch pan with parchment paper- can lightly grease paper.
1. Boil beet until easily pierced with a fork. ( I pressured cooked mine  for about 25 minutes or so).
2. Allow beet to cool before roughly chopping it and transferring it to a blender.
3. To the chopped beet, add the honey, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Blend well until mixture is pureed finely... about a minute or so.
4. Stop blender and add the eggs and blend again until smooth... another 30 seconds or so.
5. In a large bowl, sift together the almond flour, cacao powder, baking powder and salt. 
6. Pour the beet mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well. 
7. Pour batter in prepared into 8x8 pan and level it out.
8. Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out free of crumbs. Mine baked for 35 minutes.
9. Let cool completely before cutting. I especially like to cut and serve them after they have chilled in the fridge... somehow the flavors get better in the chilling process.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Pollo Relleno... Poblano Chile Stuffed Chicken with a Cornmeal Crust



Pollo Relleno... Poblano Chile Stuffed Chicken with Pepper Jack Cheese and a Cornmeal Crust. I felt the need to add a savory dish amongst all the sweets I've been posting lately. Maybe it's not been so "lately"... but rather more like last year:).  In any case, I hope you have all been doing well and enjoying the new year. 

I thought to stop by for a bit to share a savory dish... to give us all a little break from all the sugar in the previous posts:).

So recently I ran across a written recipe I had stashed away in a drawer, in one of my notebooks. There I keep bits and pieces of paper with all sorts of written recipes... recipes that I have kept over the years. So while looking through the papers, I found a recipe that sounded so delicious and different, that I instantly knew I was going to make it. Kept wondering why I 'd never made it before... and it didn't take long before I did make it. And then, I made it again:)...

I went ahead and changed some things with the original recipe... like roasting my own chiles and adding my own seasonings rather than using canned chiles or using prepared taco seasoning . But if you are in a hurry, or if you want to simplify the recipe, opt to use canned whole chiles and add about 2-3 teaspoons taco seasoning to the cornmeal.  

You know, we loved this variation to the usual stuffed chicken breasts. Just loved it! I'll admit, I wasn't exactly sure how the cornmeal crust would play out in the final taste, but it pleasantly surprised me. Sort of reminded me of the southern fried okra, or cornmeal battered catfish. I don't know what it was, but we loved the flavor of the pollo relleno...  the overall flavor was mild enough and not overpowering in any herb or spice. Oh, and it's baked and not fried. Always, always a plus:).

What I really liked about this dish, is that you can make as many or as few chicken rolls as you need. You can even slice the roll and use it as an appetizer. It works wonderfully well with a red chile sauce or salsa of sorts. I love paring it  with a simple oil and vinegar seasoned cabbage salad.... but you can serve it with other side dishes... macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes or spanish rice. All work well. Just click on the links above if you are interested in the cabbage salad or red chile sauce ... it will take you to the recipe directly without having to search through the recipe index:). 

The nice part is that the rolls are gluten-free, so if you are looking for a dinner-party-sort-of dish to make for the gluten-intolerant guest, these chicken rolls work wonderfully well. And if you are on a search, looking for different ways to cook chicken breast, well, you may want to try this recipe. Different and definitely not boring:). 

I must mention that the cornmeal should be of a fine grind, not coarse...don't want to have it taste too gritty:). The finer the cornmeal the better texture in the overall product. Also, of you really don't like the green poblano pepper taste, I don't see why you couldn't substitute it with a red roasted bell pepper. And if you don't like to use corn, opt for using some ground up almonds as an alternative. Of course, all theses changes  would taste a bit different, but the idea is to make something you like:). 

So here is another variation to the ever-so-popular chicken cordon bleu recipe I posted a few years back. Hope you enjoy...

Note: Can assemble rolls ahead a few hours... say, in the AM and bake later for dinner. Also, roasted chiles freeze well, so make extra for another day.

Tip: While rolling the chicken and battering it up in the egg and cornmeal can be a bit messy, the overall product sort of falls into place as it bakes. 
Feel free to use a toothpick to hold the chicken roll in place before dipping in egg and cornmeal. Allowing the dipped rolls to rest in the fridge for an hour or so will firm up the chicken and minimize the cheese from oozing out too much.
Also, feel free to use a stick of cheese rather than a slice of cheese for easier rolling... but I personally like the cheese to be spread out a bit.

Tip 2: I have made these also with the addition of a  thin slice of smoked turkey as well... along with the green chile and cheese. Went rather well...

You will need:

2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, (cut in 4 equal pieces)
salt and pepper to taste

Cornmeal crust seasoning:
1/3 cup cornmeal, fine grind
1 tsp ground onion powder
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp chipotle powder, can use smoked/regular paprika if needed
couple of pinches of kosher salt, or to taste

Egg wash:
1 egg

Roasted Poblano Chile:
2 whole poblano chiles, roasted, skinned, seeded and cut in half lengthwise (or you can use canned whole green chili peppers)
salt and pepper to taste
drizzle of olive oil

Cheese Filling:
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese

Directions

Roast Poblano Chile:
1. Wash poblano chiles and dry. 
2. Place chiles in a broiler pan and broil until skin is blackened and blistered. 
3. Turn over and do the same to the second side of the chile. I usually do this in my toaster oven for about 10-15 minutes on each side. Time is approximate, just check to see when poblanos are blistering and getting that dark skin. 
4. Allow roasted poblanos to cool, then peel  and take out seeds along with the core. Season lightly with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Cut in half lengthwise and set aside.  

5. Cut each chicken breast half in 2 equal pieces lengthwise...you should have a total of 4 thin chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Place each thin chicken breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Or you can place chicken breast inside a large ziploc bag.
7. Pound chicken lightly into a rough rectangle about 1/8 inch thick.... being careful not to pound too hard so as too tear the chicken. Remove plastic wrap.
8. In a bowl combine cornmeal and seasonings. Mix to combine. If your cornmeal is  a bit coarse, opt to run it through a blender to make it finer.... what I ended up doing.

9. Place egg in another bowl; beat lightly.
10. Assemble chicken rolls: Place a chili pepper half on  pounded chicken piece. Place a slice of cheese atop chili pepper. You can also use a cheese stick if you prefer and place it near an edge. Fold in sides and roll up jelly-roll style....and secure with toothpicks as needed. Now, I didn't fold my sides and therefore had a bit of the cheese ooze out. This is normal.
11. Dip rolls into egg and coat with cornmeal mixture. 
12. Place rolls, seam sides down, on a baking sheet pan.... I like to place them in the fridge to firm up before baking... for an hour or so. 
13. Bake, uncovered, in a 375 degree F oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  I love baking the rolls in my toaster oven. Some of the cheese will ooze out, but I like to allow the cheese to firm up a bit as the rolls cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet... I then stuff the cheese back in the sides:). You can use a cheese that doesn't melt so easily... a hard cheddar.
Note: Now, I like to make these rolls in advance and place them in the fridge to firm up before baking... baking time might increase a bit. But I rather like the ability to prepare them in advance.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Lemon Crinkle Cookies

Lemon Crinkle Cookies... Moving on with posting more cookies in the cookie series. These lemon crinkle cookies were an absolute favorite. Such a unique and lemony cookie. Chewy and soft... and totally worth having the recipe in my recipe index. 

As much as my husband doesn't care for lemony desserts, this lemon crinkle cookie managed to be one of his very favorites... actually, it was on top of the list from all the cookies I made. So I'm excited to share the recipe... especially for all you lemony dessert fans. I think you'll enjoy this cookie... or at least I hope so:)

While the normal crinkle cookie will have you dip the cookie dough in icing sugar before baking, I felt the icing sugar could easily be omitted... it's just a thought I had as the icing sugar sort of disappears as it bakes and there's little of it left on the surface, so I think next time I'll just skip that step. Or maybe the cookie needs the dunk in the powdered sugar... I don't know:). I'll leave that up to to you.

However, what I thought went really well... was a drizzle of lemony icing sugar glaze I topped the cookies with after they had cooled. I'm sorry I didn't have the chance to photograph them with the glaze, but hopefully mentioning the glaze will be enough to give you the main idea... The thing was that the cookies not only looked pretty with the drizzle, but the glaze added yet another dimension of lemony goodness. Sort of pumped up the lemon flavor one extra notch.

The original recipe has you add some yellow food coloring as an option. If you don't mind adding food coloring  to your baked goods, then feel free to add a few drops as it will help the cookies to have that lemony look. I was tempted to add a touch of turmeric for color, but backed out of the idea as the cookies were going to be given away. Maybe next time I'll try the turmeric idea:). So here's another cookie recipe that's considered a winner. Hope you enjoy...

Wishing you all a most blessed Christmas... 
Remembering Christ's birth was for a reason... 
That we might have eternal life. 

" But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that He by the grace of God should taste death for every man. " Hebrews 2:9

You will need: adapted from Cooking Classy

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
10 TBS unsalted butter, softened
1 cup + 2 TBS granulated sugar
1 TBS lemon zest
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 TBS fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp lemon extract ( I used 1 tsp)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar (optional)
lemon icing glaze optional, not pictured  (icing sugar+lemon juice to drizzling consistency)

Directions
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper
1. Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, whip together butter, sugar and lemon zest until pale and fluffy ... scraping bowl occasionally.
3. Mix in egg then blend in egg yolk.
4. Add lemon juice, lemon extract and vanilla extract; mix until combined.
5. On low speed, slowly add in dry ingredients and mix just until combined.
6. Pour powdered sugar into a small bowl.
7. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoon of dough and shape into a ball.
8 Drop ball in powdered sugar and roll to evenly coat.
9. Transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough making sure to space cookies 2-inches apart.
10 Bake in preheated oven for about 10 - 13 minutes. Cool on baking sheet several minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Note: If desired, opt to make a lemon icing sugar glaze to drizzle cookies by mixing lemon juice with icing sugar till drizzling consistency. Drizzle over cookies and allow icing to set.

Store cookies in an airtight container or freeze.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Strawberry-Pecan Rugelach

Strawberry-Pecan Rugelach... Ok, so we've probably all heard about rugelach cookies... they've been around for a long time. Originally dating back to Jewish origin, the rugelach is a crescent type of cookie that's filled with a myriad of fillings. Rugelach cookies may be known in different countries by different names... and in Romania, rugelach are simply known as "cornulte". Romanians like to fill them with bits of Turkish delights and cover them in plenty of powdered sugar. 

The rugelach dough is a tender type of dough... normally made with plenty of butter (or lard/shortening) along with the addition of either sour cream or cream cheese. The dough usually doesn't have any type of leavening, however, there are older recipes that do use yeast to make the cookies super light and tender. The non-leavening version is a bit less complicated and has more of a crumbly texture...

What I really like about making rugelach is that you can use up those jams you may have sitting in the fridge, or those  small amounts of nuts or dried fruits you may have hanging in the freezer. And if you don't have any nuts or fruits on hand, you can simply use  a bit of jam... any flavor you prefer. In all honesty, even if you don't have any jam on hand, you can get away with a generous dusting of cinnamon-sugar filling. That's what's nice about the rugelach, you can make as many different filling variations as you like. You can even go a bit fancy and use chocolate, marzipan, or even a poppy seed filling. Lots of variations...

Because I had some strawberry jam on hand... and some pecans, my variation was simply a strawberry-pecan rugelach:). But you can make the rugelach your own. Be creative and use ingredients you have on hand. Hope you enjoy....

Tip: Dough needs to be chilled for a couple of hours or more... so plan ahead.

Ingredients: adapted from Family Baking Book (ATK)... makes about 32 cookies, recipe can easily be doubled.

For the dough:
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5 ounces) flour
1/8 tsp rum extract, optional
couple drops of almond extract, optional
1 tsp freshly grated orange peel

For the Filling:
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) of sugar
1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon, or to taste
1/2 cup strawberry jam, can use jam of choice
1 cup (four ounces) pecans, chopped fine, can use walnuts even mini-chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried fruit of choice, cranberries, apricots golden raisins, can be omitted
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Topping, optional
icing sugar

Directions:
Make Dough:
1. Beat the butter, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla,  rum and almond extracts(if using), orange peel and salt together until light and fluffy.... about 3-6 minutes. 
2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. 
3. Reduce speed and add flour. Mix until just combined.... about 30 seconds or so.
4. Remove dough from mixer bowl and place onto a floured counter.
5. Divide dough into two equal pieces. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours or so. I left mine overnight in the fridge, and then took it out  to soften a bit on the counter before rolling.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 375 F
  • Line two large baking sheets with parchment.
Assemble Cookies:
1. Roll each piece of dough into an 11 inch circle, about 1/4 inch thick. I ended up using a large dinner plate to cut a nice circle, but it isn't needed.
2. Spread about 1/4 cup of the jam on top of each round. 
3. Sprinkle each with 1/2 cup of pecans. 1/4 cup dried fruit of choice, if using and 1 tablespoon of the cinnamon sugar. You could use less of the cinnamon sugar, if you like.... I did.
4. Using a pizza cutter(or knife), cut each dough round evenly into 16 wedges. 
5. Roll up each wedge(starting at the wide end) into a crescent. Place the cookies on the prepared baking sheets, with the pointed end underneath. 
6. With the pointed end of cookie on the bottom, place each cookie about two inches apart unto the prepared cookie sheet.
7. Brush the melted butter over the cookies and sprinkle with a tiny amount of the remaining cinnamon sugar.  If you use too much sugar it will eventually burn as it bakes... so use minimal amount and place it only on top of the cookie... use about a pinch.
8. Bake cookies until pale gold and slightly puffy, about 20 min. 
9. Immediately transfer the hot cookies to a wire rack... removing any burnt sugar/filling that may have leaked out around the cookie... and cool completely before serving. Don't allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet as it will be hard to remove the baked on sugary filling around the cookies.... and they won't look pretty.
10. Dust with icing sugar if desired.


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Oatmeal Cream Pies... and Homemade Marshmallow Fluff(no corn syrup).

Oatmeal Cream Pies... and Homemade Marshmallow Fluff(no corn syrup). Ok, so this was one of those recipes I made for the youth group this year that needed the step-by-step photos. So I've included them... and therefore the long post:).

I made the cookies totally from scratch... even the marshmallow fluff:)! And since I was going to make my own marshmallow filling, I opted to skip the corn syrup and used honey instead. If you want to use corn syrup, feel free to do so. Or if you are in a real hurry, you can just buy the marshmallow fluff. 

The nice part about this recipe is that you can skip the filling completely.... and you'll still have some wonderful cookies! The cookies are quite soft and yet chewy... and loaded with flavor. They're a treat! 

I'll admit, they aren't the healthiest of cookies when you include the filling... they 're actually a bit sweet... but ... once in a while... they are worth it:). Interestingly, I ended up cutting the cookies in half... felt better about it:). 

A fun little project that makes some delicious cookies. Hope you enjoy...

"What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits toward me?
I will offer to Thee the sacrifice of Thanksgiving, 
And will call upon the name of the Lord." 
Psalm 116: 12,17

Wishing all my readers a most blessed Thanksgiving!

You will need: adapted from Cooking Classy

Tip: I found it easier to freeze the cookies before filling. The cookies are quite soft and can break easily, so if they are frozen it makes it easy to spread the filling without having the cookies crack. 

1 3/4 cups + 2 TBS all-purpose flour
1 cup quick oats, slightly ground in a food processor to about half their size
2 tsps cocoa powder
2 tsps cornstarch
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup coconut oil, not melted
1 cup + 1TBS granulated sugar
2 1/2 TBS molasses
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

Marshmallow Fluff/Creme: adapted from CHOW

¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup honey 
¼ cup water
Pinch of salt
2 egg whites, at room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract, or use vanilla beans from 1/2 vanilla pod

Marshmallow Buttercream Filling: adapted from Cooking Classy
1/2 cup butter,  at room temperature, maybe a little bit colder
1- 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar (I used only 1 cup)
1/2 vanilla bean pod, seeds only (or use extract to taste)
8 oz. marshmallow fluff/creme(homemade or bought)

DIRECTIONS:

Make Marshmallow Fluff/Creme 
Note:You can also whip the eggs ahead to soft peaks and then make the syrup... this way you don't have 2 things going on at the same time.

1. Combine the sugar, honey, water and salt in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

While the sugar mixture is boiling: 

2. Add  egg whites and cream of tartar to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. 
3. Whip on medium-high speed till  soft peaks. Turn off mixer. 
4. When the sugar mixture reaches 240 degrees F. remove from heat and turn the mixer speed to low .
5. With mixer running, slowly drizzle the syrup down the side of the mixer bowl. Once all of the syrup has been added, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form... and the mixture has cooled substantially. This should take about about 7- 9 minutes. 
6. During the last minute or two of beating, add vanilla extract or beans, if using
7. Use immediately, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


Make and Bake Oatmeal Cookies
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. 
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Set set aside.
2. Using a  paddle attachment of an electric mixer, whip together butter, coconut oil, sugar and molasses on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
3. Mix in eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 
4. Stir in vanilla extract. 
5. Slowly add in dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Refrigerate dough while you clean up. 
6. Using a 1 1/2 TBS ice cream scoop, form and shape dough into balls. You can slightly flatten balls a bit.
7. Bake in preheated oven 10 - 12 minutes ... I baked mine for exactly 10 minutes, you don't want to overbake cookies, as they should still be a bit soft. 
8. Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies are quite fragile so be careful when spreading filling. You might want to refrigerate or even freeze them for a  bit so that they don't break on you. 
9. Spread marshmallow buttercream filling along bottom side of one cookie and place another cookie to make a sandwich. 
10. Store cookies in an airtight container at room temperature. 

Note: I stored my unfilled cookies in the freezer... and then defrosted them slightly before filling them 

Make Marshmallow Buttercream Filling: You know, if you want, you can totally skip the butter and additional sugar and simply use the marshmallow fluff alone... it will be a bit softer but it works:) 

1. Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, whip butter on medium-high speed, until pale and fluffy, about 3 - 4 minutes. 
2. Add powdered sugar and blend on low speed until combined, then increase speed to medium-high and whip for an extra minute. 
3. Mix in marshmallow fluff and thoroughly combine.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Pecan Sandies... with chocolate and caramel topping

Pecan Sandies... with chocolate and caramel topping. Here's another cookie in the cookie series I've been posting lately.

This cookie was actually considered as a finalist in a Christmas Cookie recipe contest. Of course I had to make them:). I loved the look of the cookies... and knew I could not go wrong with chocolate, nuts and caramel. That combination is always a winner.

While you don't need to top the cookies with the pecan half, I chose to do so because I needed to pack them. I found the caramel stuck to everything(!)... so I needed to come up with something on the spur of the moment... therefore the pecan half:). But you can easily skip it if you are serving them on a platter and don't need to stack them.

So here's another idea for a cookie that's sure to please. Sorry about the blueish photos... some of them were taken at odd hours in the midst of the baking frenzy:). Hope you enjoy...

You will need: adapted from Cook's Country Dec/Jan 2012 issue

1 cup pecans, toasted
2 cups(10 oz) all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
12 TBS butter, softened
4 TBS coconut oil, not melted
2/3 cup(4 2/3 oz) light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
25 soft caramel candies
4 TBS heavy cream
1/2 cup(3 oz) bittersweet chocolate chips
extra half pecans for topping, if desired

Directions:

1. Process pecans in food processor until finely ground.
2. Combine flour, pecans, and salt. Sets aside.
3. Beat butter, coconut oil and sugar on med/high until pale and fluffy... about 2 min.
4. Add egg and vanilla and beat till combined.
5.  Add flour mixture and mix until just combined... scraping bowl as needed.
6. Refrigerate dough for for 1 hour... I left mine overnight and allowed dough to soften a bit.

  • Preheat oven to 350 deg F
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper
7. Roll heaping tablespoonfuls of dough into balls and place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
8. Using the back of a floured 1/2 measuring teaspoon, make indentation in center of each ball.
9. Bake cookies till edges are lightly browned...be careful not to burn... about 12-14 minutes.
10. Remove cookies from oven and reinforce indentation with teaspoon.
11. Let cookies cool for about 5 minutes before removing from baking sheets. Allow to cool completely. Can freeze cookies at this point and assemble later as needed.
12. Combine caramels and cream in a saucepan and cook on low stirring until smooth.
13. Melt chocolate(in double boiler or microwave).
14. Fill each cookie dimple with a bit of melted chocolate(about 1/2 tsp) and spread up the sides. I like to place in fridge and allow chocolate to set before adding caramel.
15. Top each chocolate covered cookie with about 1/2 tsp caramel. Allow to set completely. I place mine in the fridge to speed up the process. 
You can top caramel with a half piece of pecan, if desired.