Although I definitely consider myself passionate about food, there is a very short list of foods that I think about in a longing, needing, "gotta-have-it-right-now" sort of way. The majority of these food are ones that I am no longer allowed to eat: baklava, fry cakes, tex-mex egg rolls from Cheesecake Factory (I know, I know; don't judge me!) Add to this short list: caramel cashew cookies. And yes, they are flourless, meaning that they are naturally gluten-free!
Right before Christmas, a good friend of mine made a batch of flourless peanut butter cookies. They were chewy, moist, delicious. I was intrigued. When I was home over Christmas shopping at my beloved Wegman's, I found a jar of cashew butter which I just knew would be fantastic. I decided to tweak a recipe for peanut butter cookies and add a bit of caramel. These salty-sweet, super simple to make cookies are one's I'll be making often . . . but not too often-I'm incapable of eating just one!
Flourless Caramel Cashew Cookies
Yield: About 18 cookies
3/4 cup cashew butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped cashews
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a large baking sheet.
With an electric mixer, cream together cashew butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg, salt, and baking soda, and mix just until incorporated. Stir in cashews.
Roll dough into walnut-sized pieces and place at least one inch apart on prepared baking sheet. Push down on dough gently with the back of a spoon or the palm of your hand.
Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before removing from the baking sheet.
10 caramel squares, unwrapped
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
Place caramels, brown sugar, heavy cream, and butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and stir constantly until the mixture is completely combined and begins to simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes.
Use a small spoon to drizzle caramel over the top of each cookie. Sprinkle each cookie with a bit of sea salt, if desired.