Monday, July 4, 2011

Sailing on the Salty Caramel Sea

I spent the past week having an unusual craving of the very American acquired taste of Dark Chocolate with Salted Caramel... an unusual flavour I must say, but one I have definitely grown fond of.   So after a week of craving it, I caved and baked up a batch... clearly not enough however because I gifted 2 lots of 9 cookies and my Dad hoovered most of the remaining cookies within 24 hours!!  I managed to indulge in a mere 2!
The recipe I adapted was from the wonderful and it is a prize winner!

Salted Caramel & Chocolate Cookies

1 ¼ cup of Plain Flour
¼ tsp Bicarb Soda (Baking Soda)
¼ tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsweetened good quality Cocoa (I used Dutch Organic)
2/3 cup Castor Sugar
1/3 cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
5 Tbsp (or ½ cup) unsalted Butter
1/3 cup Sour Cream
1 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
1 cup roughly chopped Dark Cooking Chocolate (do not use milk chocolate)
25-30 Caramels (I used Pascals Columbines)
Fleur De Sel for sprinkling (I used Flaked Sea Salt, but you can find Fleur de Sel in speciality shops)

Commence by preheating you oven at 180. Line 2 baking trays with grease proof paper. Now get a medium bowl and measure in the flour, bicarb soda and salt, stir it well with a whisk and set aside.

Next get a small bowl and pour in combining the cocoa and both sugars.

Then in a medium saucepan, melt the butter, once melted turn off the heat and stir in the cocoa mixture and whisk well until smooth, next whisk in the sour cream and vanilla.

Pour the chocolate mixture over the flour mix and stir until just combined, careful not to over beat, and then finally fold in the chocolate, some should start to melt but not all of it, you will see alot of the larger chips of chocolate.

Now for the fun squishy part.  Unwrap your caramels. Take about a tablespoon size of dough and make it into a disc shape, place the caramel in the centre, fold the dough around and then roll in your palm til the caramel is completely engulfed.  Place on the tray in rows.  Once you have completed the tray of chocolate balls, use the palm of your hand below your thumb, tilt and press down on each ball so it gives a ‘thumbprint’ appearance.  Sprinkle each cookie with a reasonable pinch of salt (Fleur De Sel) and bake for 12-15 minutes. You will smell them baking and you will think you are in heaven! Be careful not to eat them straight from the oven as the caramel centre will surely scald your mouth!  But hide some as they will disappear before your eyes.
Should make 25-30 depending on size.

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