Coconut Thumbprint Cookies with Salted Caramel
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
12 ounces sweetened flaked coconut
44 small soft caramel candies (12 ounces), such as Kraft
6 tbls heavy cream
Large, flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Preheat oven to 350F. Beat together butter and sugar, then beat in vanilla. Gradually add flour and 1/2 tsp table salt, and beat to combine. Press dough together in plastic wrap, then roll into 1 1/4 inch balls. Dip each ball in beaten egg, and roll in coconut. Place balls on baking sheets, and press an indentation into each ball with your thumb. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove sheets from oven, and re-press indentations. Bake cookies until golden, 9 to 10 minutes more. Let cool.
Place caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, 4 to 6 minutes. Spoon into indentations in cookies, and spinkle with sea salt. Rewarm caramel if it hardens before all cookies are filled. (Store in airtight containers for up to 2 days.) Freezes well.