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Salted Butterscotch Thumbprints

Time 1 hour 15 minutes, plus 30 minutes cooling
Yields Makes 3 1/2 dozen
Salted Butterscotch Thumbprints
(Leslie Grow / For The Times)
Dough
Filling
1

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the gold sparkling sugar in a medium bowl.

2

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, vanilla, salt and baking powder and beat with an electric mixer on medium-low speed until creamy, about 1 minute (see Baker’s Note). Add the egg and beat until smooth. Add the flour and beat on low speed until just combined.

3

Using a half-ounce ice cream scoop or 1 tablespoon, portion the dough and roll into balls then coat in the gold sugar. Arrange the balls 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon (half-inch diameter) or your index finger, press each dough ball straight down in the center to create a deep divot. Refrigerate the dough on the baking sheets for 30 minutes.

4

Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the chilled cookies, rotating the baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through, until light golden brown on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for 1 minute on the baking sheets, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

5

Make the filling: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the brown sugar and cream, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, until bubbly and thick, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the whiskey, vanilla and kosher salt.

6

While the filling is still hot, use a quarter-teaspoon to fill the divot in each cookie with the warm butterscotch sauce. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt and gold dragées, if you like, while warm, then let cool to set, at least 30 minutes.

Note:
When measuring flour or powdered sugar, spoon it into a dry measuring cup and level off the excess. Scooping compacts the ingredients, resulting in dry baked goods. And if using a stand mixer, use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the bowl and the paddle after beating the butter and sugar together and after the dough is mixed to ensure the ingredients are evenly mixed throughout.
Make Ahead:
The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Ben Mims is the cooking columnist for the Los Angeles Times. He has written three cookbooks and has worked as a food editor and recipe developer for several food media publications, such as Lucky Peach, Food & Wine, Saveur, Food Network and Buzzfeed/Tasty.
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