Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chocolate Caramel Sandwich Cookies

I really do not make sandwich cookies all that often.  I believe it is the time factor.  My attitude is that if you are going bake something that requires a lot of time, make sure that the results are well worth it. 

These proved to be a worthwhile endeavor.  You will not find this type of cookie sitting on the grocery shelf, which makes it unusual. The flavors and textures really compliment each other.  Between the crumbly rich chocolate of the cookie and the buttery chewy caramel, these bite size morsels really do hit the spot.

This recipe states that it makes 30 cookies, but for some reason I ended up with nearly double that amount.

Chocolate Caramel Sandwich Cookies
adapted from Bon Appetit/Nov 2010 issue

1/4 cup butter (cut into cubes)
2 1/4 cup of sugar
1 tbs light corn syrup
1/3 cup of honey
2 tbs vanilla extract or a lengthwise split vanilla bean
1 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1 cup plus 1 tbs sugar
2/3 cup natural cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups of flour
1 egg
3/4 cup or 1 1/2 sticks of butter
1/4 tsp salt

Prepare an 8X8 square cake pan by brushing oil on the interior of the pan.  Then line the bottom with parchment paper and brush the surface of the paper with oil as well.

To make the caramel, fill a medium size saucepan with the sugar, cream, honey and corn syrup.  If using vanilla bean, scrape the seeds into the mixture.  Place pan over medium heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.  Increase the heat and stop stirring.  Using a candy thermometer as a gauge, let the mixture come to a boil and cook until it registers about 250 degrees.  This should take about 8 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and add butter.  If using vanilla extract, add it at this time.  Stir until butter is completely melted and mixture is smooth.  Pour into prepared cake pan.  Let caramel cool completely.

While that is cooling, the cookies can be made.  Sift together flour, salt and cocoa powder in one bowl.  In another bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add the egg and beat for 15 seconds and then scrape down sides of bowl.  Beat for an additional 15 seconds.  Using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in the sifted ingredients.

Form the dough into a flat disc and cover with plastic wrap.  Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Once the dough has chilled, roll out to a 1/4 inch thickness and cut out rounds using a 1 1/2 inch  cookie cutter.  Place each round 1 inch apart on cookie sheet.  Bake cookies for about 12 minutes.  They should have a firm center when done.  Remove baked cookies from pan and place on rack to cool. Repeat the process until all the dough has been converted to cooled cookies.

Invert caramel filled pan onto smooth clean surface.  Peel off parchment paper.  Take a 1 inch round cutter and cut out caramel disks.  Place each disk on the bottom side of a cookie and top with an additional cookie, with bottom side facing caramel.  Press lightly and repeat process until all cookies are sandwiched together.
                           **Last Year: Maui Pine Cream Pie**