For the Cookies:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Cream butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla. Stir the flour mixture into creamed mixture.
Let dough rest for 20-30 minutes–no need to refrigerate.
Place 1/4 cup of granulated sugar in small bowl. Using a tablespoon of dough, shape the dough in a ball. Roll balls of dough in granulated sugar.
Place sugar coated balls of dough 2 inches apart on parchment-lined cookie sheet, or ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until the tops have a ‘cracked’ appearance.
Remove cookies from oven and with a rounded measuring tablespoon or cookie scoop, immediately press an indentation in the top of each cookie. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 10-15 minutes then move to cooling rack.
For the Caramel Filling:
In a small saucepan, combine caramel bits and milk. Heat on low heat, stirring frequently, until the caramel bits are melted and mixture is smooth.
Carefully spoon caramel mixture in each indentation. Let caramel mixture cool.
For the White Chocolate Topping:
While caramel mixture is cooling, place white chocolate and shortening in a small microwave safe bowl. Place in microwave and heat on medium high for about 30 seconds to start with. Remove from the microwave and stir.
Repeat heating at shorter intervals, 15-20 seconds, stirring in between, until the white chocolate is completely melted and has a smooth consistency. Be careful so the white chocolate does not burn. Once the white chocolate is smooth, place a small dollop of white chocolate on top of each caramel spot, leaving the edges of the caramel showing.
While chocolate is still warm, garnish with some peanuts.
Let cookies set at room temperature to allow the white chocolate to harden. At this point, you can place them in the refrigerator to speed up this process if you like.