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sweet sandwiches

My technical issues have been resolved. My lovely webmasters have “increased my quota” – whatever that is. What it means to me is that I can get back to blogging and posting photos to go along with my recipes. Thank you, webmasters, you are the best!

I am going to be completely honest and straightforward with you about this recipe… it is NOT “easy-breezy”.  In fact, it’s a big pain in the backside.  Kinda makes you want to tackle it, doesn’t it?

No?!? Come on, a challenge is a good thing!  The cookie dough is the problem. Well not a problem exactly, it is just a tad soft and not exactly easy to work with. But, I think it’s worth it. These are tasty little treats and besides, all the pictures I am providing you with demonstrating the caramel-making process will make it all worth it! Now Keep Reading!

The cookie sandwiches were the dessert for the wedding shower cooking class I taught last weekend, and the same ingredients served as the makings for Valentine’s tart for my sweetheart.

To transform the cookie recipe into a tart; spray a tart pan with Pam, line it with the rolled-out cookie dough, refrigerate for 15 minutes, and then bake the crust for 10 minutes at 325 degrees. Let it cool, and fill it with the caramel. Make some ganache, top the tart with the warm ganache and refrigerate until firm. Finally, sprinkle the top with a little sea salt, just before serving.  The tart is a whole lot easier than rolling and cutting out all those cookies! But cookies are what I first made, so a cookie recipe is what I have for you today.

Chocolate and Salted Caramel Sandwich Cookies

3/4 cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Salted Caramel
1  1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon of coarse sea salt

Cookies:  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, using the paddle attachment, blend together the butter and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.

Mix in the flour-cocoa mixture. It will be dry and crumbly.

Mix in the egg and vanilla. It will all come together and become creamy again.

Divide dough between two sheets of plastic wrap. Use the plastic wrap to form two flattened disks. Chill the disks for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Working with one disk at a time, unfold plastic, leaving the disk on the wrap, then top with another sheet of plastic.

Don’t ask why the color is so off with this photo, I don’t know why and I could not figure out how to correct it…I’ve said it before, “I am not a photographer, I just take pictures as best as I a can.” 🙂

Use a rolling pin to roll out to a 1/4-inch thickness.  After each pass of the rolling pin, peel off the plastic wrap (to keep it from sticking) replace, and flip the entire thing over; peel off the wrap, replace, roll, flip, and repeat until you get to the correct thickness. Then peel off the wrap and replace it from both sides. Refrigerate the entire thing to firm up for at least 15 minutes.

Remove the top side of the plastic wrap. Using a  1  1/2-inch round cutter, cut out cookies and place them on a Silpat or parchment-lined baking sheet. When the cookie-cutter gets sticky (and it will!) dip it in powdered sugar. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator to re-firm for 15 minutes. Go directly from the refrigerator to the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes until cookies are just firm.

Allow to cool on baking sheets for 3 minutes before transferring to racks to cool completely.

Salted Caramel Filling: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, gently stir together sugar and water.  Cover over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves, do not stir.  Swirl the pan to combine the mixture.

Turn the heat up to high.

Bring to a boil and let the mixture cook until it is a medium-dark chestnut brown color, about 5 to 7 minutes.

The mixture should be thick and bubbly.  Remove from heat.

Add the cream – but take care – the mixture will bubble up!

The caramel will harden and seize up, return to heat and simmer over low heat stirring with a heat-resistant rubber spatula to combine until smooth and completely incorporated, about 2 minutes.

Stir in salt. Let the mixture cool until it is the right consistency for the cookie filling.

When the caramel is cooled and thickened, use a small spoon to place a dollop of caramel onto the “bad” side of one cookie. Top with another cookie, “good” side up to make a cookie sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies and salted caramel.

Makes about 24 cookies

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1 Marissa { 02.16.12 at 2:03 PM }

I feel like I don’t even need to read the recipe. I can just look at the pictures 🙂

2 Nancy { 02.16.12 at 4:34 PM }

This one is so over my head to do on a sailboat…but wow, the pictures are amazing! Good stuff, wish I had a half dozen now! xox

3 Linda Hopkins { 02.16.12 at 4:55 PM }

Thanks sweet Marissa and Nancy. And Nancy, how you manage to cook meals living on a sailboat is so over MY head, I can’t imagine it! xoox

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