Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Caramel Filled Chocolate Cookies

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Who wouldn't want to bite into a super chocolatey cookie, only to find a caramely surprise in the middle? Even though these cookies were a lot more time consuming and messy than usual drop cookies, it was totally worth the reactions I got once everyone bit into the centre. I had these bookmarked ever since I saw them over at Rebecca's blog, indecisive baker.

I opted for caramilk instead of rolos because I think they just taste better.
Cadbury >> Hershey's in my opinion.
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The only thing I was worried about was the caramel hardening after the cookies cooled because that would kind of defeat the purpose of putting a chocolate covered caramel in the centre in the first place. To retain the gooeyness of the caramel, I broke chocolate into squares and then froze them before wrapping in dough. By the way, I'm not sure if I just totally made that up, but I figured that if the caramel stayed cooler longer, it would cook less and therefore, not harden as much later. The frozen chocolate also helped with shaping the cookie because the dough stayed cooler longer and was less sticky. I would definitely recommend chilling the dough first before shaping.

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If only it wasn't that obvious that there was something in the middle...
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Since I love Ina's chocolate white chocolate chunk cookie recipe, I used hers minus the white chocolate instead. You can also use Rebecca's recipe

Chocolate White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Ina Garten
Makes 40 to 48 cookies

1/2 pound (1 cup/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed (I used dark brown)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature (I used large eggs)
2/3 cup good unsweetened cocoa
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 pounds good white chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used white chocolate chips)
40-48 caramilk squares/rolos

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. (I baked at 335 F)
Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Dissolve espresso powder in vanilla extract. Add dissolved mixture, then the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt and add to the butter mixture with the mixer on low speed until just combined.

Cover and place bowl into the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours. (you need to chill or else it's too sticky)

Use a small cookie scoop (I use the Oxo brand, 2 tsp capacity) and unscoop it onto your hand. Flatten into a circle and place chocolate in the middle. Add another 1/2 a scoop to cover the top and seal the cracks.

Bake for 12 minutes (the cookies will seem underdone). Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Samoas Bars

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Have you ever had a samoas? I haven't, until now because the only girl guide cookies in Canada are vanilla, chocolate and thin mints. This is something that everyone must try, even coconut haters because they are that good! To make it easier, I made the bar version from Baking Bites. I was seriously addicted to these and they even contain coconut and shortbread, both of which I'm not a fan of.


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I'm posting the recipe showing the proportions of ingredients I used for an 8 x 8 square. For my bars, I made the crust thinner and topping thicker than it would have been had I followed the recipe for a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Homemade Samoas Bars from Baking Bites

Cookie Base:
1/4 cup sugar
6 tbsps unsalted butter, softened
1/2 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt

First, make the crust.
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 8x8-inch baking pan, or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture is crumbly, like wet sand. The dough does not need to come together. Pour crumbly dough into prepapred pan and press into an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until base is set and edges are lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before topping.

1.5 cups shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened) I used unsweetened
8-oz good-quality chewy caramels
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 tbsp milk
1 oz. dark or semisweet chocolate (chocolate chips are ok) - I only drizzled

Preheat oven to 300. Spread coconut evenly on a parchment-lined baking sheet (preferably one with sides) and toast 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, until coconut is golden. Cool on baking sheet, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Unwrap the caramels and place in a large microwave-safe bowl with milk and salt. Cook on high for 3-4 minutes, stopping to stir a few times to help the caramel melt. When smooth, fold in toasted coconut with a spatula. (I melted caramels over a double boiler)
Put dollops of the topping all over the shortbread base. Using the spatula, spread topping into an even layer. Let topping set until cooled.
When cooled, cut into 30 bars with a large knife or a pizza cutter (it’s easy to get it through the topping).
Once bars are cut, melt chocolate in a small bowl. Heat on high in the microwave in 45 second intervals, stirring thoroughly to prevent scorching. Dip the base of each bar into the chocolate and place on a clean piece of parchment or wax paper. Transfer all remaining chocolate (or melt a bit of additional chocolate, if necessary) into a piping bag or a ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and drizzle bars with chocolate to finish.
Let chocolate set completely before storing in an airtight container.

Makes 30 bar cookies.

Note: You can simply drizzle chocolate on top of the bars before slicing them up if you’re looking for yet an easier way to finish these off. You won’t need quite as much chocolate as noted above, and you won’t quite get the Samoas look, but the results will still be tasty.


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