1 large egg
1/2 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
16 vanilla caramels
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1 1/4 cups finely chopped pecans
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1 teaspoon vegetable shortening
Separate egg; Cover and refrigerate egg white until needed.
In a large mixing bowl, cream butter using an electric mixer for 30 seconds. Add sugar and continue beating until dissolved. Add in egg yolk, milk, and vanilla; beat until well incorporated.
In another bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until well combined. Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours or until easy to handle.
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease a cookie sheet.
In a small saucepan, heat caramels and whipping cream over low heat. Stir constantly until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside.
Slightly beat reserved egg white. Shape the dough into 1-inch balls. Roll the balls in egg white, then in chopped pecans to coat. Place balls 1 inch apart on prepared cookie sheet. Using your thumb, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.
Bake cookies for 10 minutes or until edges are firm. If cookie centers puff during baking, repress with your thumb. Spoon melted caramel mixture into indentations of cookies. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
In another saucepan melt chocolate pieces and shortening over low heat until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Using the tines of a fork or a piping bag, drizzle chocolate mixture over tops of cookies. Let stand until chocolate is set. Makes 36 cookies.