Friday, September 2, 2011

Why do I do what I do?

What motivates me to wake up and put my walking shoes on every morning?  
This is one thing: 

This is the other thing:

For those of you who are not familiar with my beloved dog - her name is Mia.  She's a 4 year old Weimaraner that abounds with energy.   She wakes us up at 6:00 every morning, ready to eat her breakfast and then go for her walk.  She makes me feel so guilty when we don't walk, that I don't often skip it.   Our walk helps Mia get rid of some of her energy but it also helps me wake up my muscles and my lungs.  We walk with a friend who keeps us moving at a good pace so there is no slacking on the walk either.

The other reason that I like to workout is so that I can indulge in a treat every once in a while without feeling guilty.  It may not be the most inspirational reason for exercising but I am motivated by dessert, what can I say?  As I was sweating through my Insanity workout this morning, I was dreaming of eating a Chocolate Caramel Thumbprint cookie.  (I'm pretty sure this is not how the program is intended to work but it works for me.)

Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints
½ cup butter                               Filling
2/3 cup sugar                             12-14 caramels
1 egg                                             3 Tablespoons whipping cream
2 Tablespoons milk                   ½ cups chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla              
1 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped hazelnuts, toasted

Cream butter and sugar.  Beat in egg yolk, milk and vanilla.  Combine flour, cocoa and salt.  Add to creamed mixture.  Refrigerate dough 1 hour.  Roll into 1” balls.  Beat egg whites.  Dip balls in egg whites and coat with nuts.  Place 2” apart on baking sheets.  Bake 10-12 minutes at 350.  As soon as they come out of the oven, make an indentation in the center of each cookie.  Cool on wire racks.
In saucepan, melt caramels and cream.  Stir until smooth.  Fill each cookie with ½ teaspoon caramel.  In microwave, melt chocolate and drizzle over cookies.

These deep dark chocolate cookies melt in your mouth.  The caramel filling and chocolate drizzle makes them even more decadent.  It had been a couple of years since I had made these cookies and I had forgotten just how good they were.

I packed some of these cookies to take on a trip and I was disappointed that they didn't travel as well as I thought they would.  I put them in a Tupperware container and stacked them with layers of waxed paper in between.  After a 3 hour car ride, they were already sticky and looking squished.  Don't let that discourage you from making them however.  I recommend making them when you have guests at your house. 

Bon Appetit!

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