Chocolate Walnut Shortbread Sandwich Cookies with a Salted Caramel Filling

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Yes. You read that right. These cookies are outrageous. I’m gonna warn you up front – they just won “Most Addictive” in my office cookie competition…oh, I mean swap.

And there’s only a tiny amount of butter ;)

Hey, why not?! It’s Christmas! Let’s just go for it, shall we? You can skip out on something else later, but these cookies should not be passed up. They should also be the star of your Christmas cookie production line this coming week. I am a little biased though, because I happen to (correctly) believe that salted caramel is the stuff of gods – you could put it atop practically anything and it would sing with that heavenly sweet and salty river of flavor that rushes over your taste buds making your heart skip two beats and your knees weak.

…did I go too far? What can I say? It’s cookies like these that make me really really love running.

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Don’t stop now! Keep reading…

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I Dream in Macarons

Don’t be fooled…I left the extra “o” out of there on purpose. These are not the coconut cookies that so many people either hate or love. After a long time comin, dreaming in macarons, I finally stepped it up to create this delicate French treat. Macarons are those fabulous little cookie sandwiches that look like they’re dancing out of their pastry case…like these on Tartelette! They’re made with almond flour, powdered sugar, and egg whites. People make quite the fuss over them, so I was kind of nervous to make them – hence why it’s been almost a year since I set my sights on them :/

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, this happened…

I made a chocolate macaron cookie with three different combos: one with a salted caramel filling, one with a chocolate ganache filling, and finally a salted caramel filling dipped in chocolate ganache. Oh. My.

The inspiration all started with a surprise in the mail! I thought I had a small little something arriving from a friend, but NO! It was a HUGE box marked with perhaps four of the best words ever combined, “KITCHEN AID STAND MIXER.” AND IT’S YELLOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D Best surprise ever, Mom and Dad! So the inaugural recipe had to be epic. And epic it was, my friends, epic it was.

And then I meticulously went through the recipe in my fancy black and white apron :)

They were met with open arms, and divine praise. I think the salted caramel dipped in chocolate ganache was my fave.

**French phrase for fun!

Il s’avère que les macarons ne font pas peur, après tout.

It turns out that macarons aren’t scary after all.

I basically used the cookie recipe from the LA Times here: http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-macaronrecb-20100401,0,6389216.story

And I used the salted caramel recipe from Baking Equals Love here: http://www.bakingequalslove.com/2011/10/caramel-latte-macarons-coffee-macs-with.html

And a basic chocolate ganache like this one from David Lebovitz: http://www.davidlebovitz.com/2005/10/french-chocolat/