This is my favorite recipe for bake sales and bazaars. Each delightfully sweet chocolate cookie has a fun caramel surprise in the middle, thanks to Rolo candy. Dipped in pecans before baking, they look so nice that they sell in a hurry.
Baking mix makes these soft, moist cookies a snap to stir-up, yet they're pretty enough for parties. "I'm often asked to bring them to wedding and baby showers, and they're popular around the holiday's, too. I sometimes mix the dough the day before and chill it until I have to bake the cookies."
My mom has always known that homemade cookies have a special appeal that can't be duplicated by the store-brought variety. Even today, she keeps us grownup kids well stocked with fresh-from-the-oven treats such as this tender shortbread.
"This combination of buttery shortbread and sweet chocolate is wonderful," promises Valarie Wheeler of DeWitt, Michigan. "Whenever I make it, there are nothing but crumbs left," she adds. Be sure to cut these into small squares because they're very rich.
We have several acres of hazelnut trees here in the Willamette Valley, where the climate is perfect for this crop. Harvesttime is a big family event with everyone pitching in to help. I try to incorporate this wonderful flavorful nut into our recipes, and this cookie is always a hit.
-Karen Morrell, Canby, Oregon
This specialty cookie takes a little extra effort, but the delectable results are well worth it. I bake the tender jam-filled hearts when I need something fancy to serve for Valentine's Day or other special occasions.