Since I am on vacation (sweet number one!) – and today is a planned day home, I decided to try another of the cookies in my new Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook (sweet number 2!). I found a bag of Cashew’s with Sea Salt at Aldi’s yesterday (and bought 2!) and knew it was meant to be. I was to make the Cashew Caramel Cookies. 175 cookie recipes in the book, only 173 more recipes to go!

Don’t you just love laundry in the breeze?(sweet number #3 – the beautiful sunshine and warm breeze!

Lately I have become enarmoured with the newest craze of grey sea salt and caramel (Haagen Dazs you got me hooked with the Fleur de Sel Caramel ice cream I won!) Well, these cashew’s weren’t salted with grey sea salts, but they were salted with sea salt….and yummy! The recipe tells you to use 2-1/2 cups of cashews and to make a cashew butter with 1-1/2 cups of them. I don’t have a food processor (hint hint to my family who reads and buys me gifts!) but I do have a mini food chopper that Grumpy got me one year. (He apparently thought it was too hard for me to chop an onion by hand!) Gotta love him. 🙂

It took me a little while to prep, but if got the cashew butter made and by then, the butter was soft enough. As I was mixing the sugars and cashew butter, an awesome aroma hit my senses. I just knew this was a good sign!

I didn’t have a cookie scoop anymore (my pampered chef one broke and hasn’t been replaced yet) so I used a tablespoon and rolled the dough into little balls. This worked quite well as there was enough oil in the cashew’s and butter to make it not messy at all. While these were baking it hit me – there was no baking powder or soda in these cookies – meaning they were going to be “shortbread” like. YUMMY.

After cooling and frosting, I allowed myself to eat just one. Yes, just ONE :-D. I have to save them for Grumpy and Chris to take in their lunch box this week – minus the few I will take to Justin tonight to try and the few I took to Aunt Marlene’s for the kids to have (she’s babysitting!).

Below is the recipe:

Cashew Caramel Cookies
from Martha Stewart’s Cookies cookbook:
I changed the recipe slightly to fit what I used at home. My changes to the recipe are in red.

1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2-1/2 cups roasted cashews salted with sea salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 oz kraft caramel bits
1 tablespoon half and half

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup and mix with salt in a bowl. Set aside.

Coarsely chop 1 cup of cashews. In food processor (or in mini food chopper) process remaining 1-1/2 cup cashews until finely chopped. Pour in canola oil and process until smooth.

Put cashew mixture, butter, and sugars in the bowl of electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low; gradually mix in flour mixture and reserved chopped cashews.

Using either a 1-1/2 inch ice cream scoop (or as I did, a tablespoon, and roll the dough in your hands into balls), place on parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake 6 minutes; gently flatten cookies. Bake until bottoms are golden, 6-7 minutes more. Let cool on sheets on wire racks.

Mix the caramel bits and half and half. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Drizzle over top of cooled cookies.

The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temp in single layers 3 days – or do as I will and store them in the fridge with parchment paper between to stop them from sticking to each other!

Before I go, I will leave you with a few more photos. It is such a beautiful day outside!

It smells so good outside my back door with the
fresh clean scent of laundry blowing in the breeze!

This is a perfect day to make sun tea!

McKenzie enjoying a cookie!

Mr. Andy Gump enjoying his cookie!
he was really placating me. Can you tell by the look in his eye? He was a great sport though!