Our Cookie Contest Winning Recipe You Have To Make This Holiday Season

One of the best parts of the holiday season? Cookies.

And in celebratory fashion to honor everyone’s favorite bite-sized dessert, we asked YOU to share your go-to cookie recipes for a chance to be featured right here on our blog, Morsel! Congrats to Shelly who submitted her recipe for these Shortbread Thumbprint Cookies with Cardamom-Orange Caramel. No lie—we’ve already made them twice in the Test Kitchen.

They were the perfect mix of a “not too sweet” cookie with an unexpected flavor mashup of cardamom-orange caramel. And did you know we also offer desserts on our upcoming menus? Enjoy!

1.25 cup unsalted butter
.66 cup granulated sugar
.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
.25 cup turbinado sugar
.33 cup dark brown brown sugar
.5 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 orange
Optional: coarse sea salt for finishing


Prepare ingredients
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cut 1 cup butter into .25-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Reserve remaining butter for caramel. Zest enough orange to yield .5 teaspoon. Place turbinado sugar in a small bowl and set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Make cookie dough
Whisk granulated sugar into bowl with cubed butter. Once fully combined and fluffy, whisk in vanilla extract. Gently stir in flour and .25 teaspoon salt until just combined.

Prepare thumbprint cookies
Using a spoon, scoop heaping tablespoons of dough and roll between hands to smooth, then place in turbinado sugar to coat the cookie dough. Place coated cookie dough on prepared baking sheet, spacing 1-inch apart. Using your thumb, make a deep indentation in the center of each cookie, making sure not to break through the bottom. Using your hands, gently reshape cookies into a circular shape as needed.

Bake thumbprint cookies
Transfer cooks to oven and bake until lightly golden on edges, and puffed up in center, about 14-15 minutes.

Make caramel
While cookies bake, combine dark brown sugar and remaining butter in a small pot. Place pan over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until mixture begins to boil, about 4-5 minutes. Once bubbling, continue to cook mixture for 1 minute, whisking regularly. Remove pot from heat and quickly whisk in heavy cream, cardamom, and orange zest. Scrape up any hardened caramel from bottom of pan. Set aside to cool.

Fill thumbprint cookies
Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool slightly, 2-3 minutes. Then, using your thumb, gently reinforce indentation in the center of each cookie. Spoon caramel sauce into indents of cookies and sprinkle with coarse salt, if desired. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating.

Did you know Plated also offers dessert? Try it today!

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