Hello readers! Long time no speak! It’s been a pretty hectic few months, so I apologize for my lack of posts. Not to fear though, I have a few great recipes to end the year with (it is chocolate month after all)!
This morning I woke up to snow falling out my window and and some great news; we were to have a snow day! Our school district is usually pretty reluctant to declare these, so it was quite a nice surprise. My family made pancakes to celebrate, and my brother and I later went outside and had a snowball fight (no, I’m not too old for that!).
So see the photo of these cookies with the leaves in the background above? Yeah, that wasn’t taken today, or there would have been massive amounts of white powder outshining these magnificent cookies. I actually made this recipe a while ago (see! I didn’t forget about you all!) and was saving it for chocolate month!
You have two options when making this cookie: use rolos or another chocolate-caramel candy for the soft caramel inside, or make the caramel yourself! I suggest the latter. This was actually my first time making caramel sauce myself (I had heard horror stories of getting burnt) and it was much easier than I expected. That being said, you can see above that this caramel sauce didn’t exactly turn out as smooth and luscious as I might have hoped, as the sugar crystals are still visible.
But how come? Let’s chat for a moment about caramelization (attention: science lesson ahead). Making caramel is one type of chemical reaction, in fact, it’s the oxidation of sugar. Sugar, or sucrose, is a disaccharide molecule composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen atoms (C12H22O11). When heated, this molecule breaks down into the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, both C6H12O6, and melts. The process of caramelization is not well understood by food scientists, but what they do know is that the brown color found in caramel comes from the reaction, known as the Maillard reaction, between the sugar and the protein in the cream or butter that you add, specifically between the aldehyde group of the sugar and the nitrogen amino group of the protein. The added fats also serve to prevent the sucrose from re-crystallizing. Different types of sugar will melt at different temperatures (white sugar 320°F/160°C).
Anyway, making your own caramel is both interesting and delicious! You do have to be a little careful, as the steam that rises when you add the fats it quick and unexpected. The process takes a lot less time than I realized though, and the taste truly outweighs any hardships. Here is a great link for tips on making caramel.
These cookies were absolutely delicious and decadent, and I completely would recommend making them. The chocolate cookies themselves took barely any time to make, and you only have to clean one saucepan!
Chocolate Cookies with Nutella and Caramel Sauce
From Lark and Linen
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 1/2 cup good quality cocoa powder
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp baking powder
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- flaky salt (fleur de sel or maldon), for sprinkling
- nutella (for stuffing)
- 16 caramel-filled chocolates (such as rolos) or homemade caramel sauce (recipe below, I made my own)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Line your baking sheet with a silpat or parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Remove from heat and stir in sugar & eggs.
- Add the cocoa, salt and baking powder and stir until combined.
- Add the flour and stir well until combined (you should not be able to see any flour at this point).
- Using your hands, form 2″ balls of dough.
- Make a hole in the centre of each and stuff a rolo within the hole.
- Spoon approximately 1/2 a teaspoon of nutella into the hole, and seal everything within.
- Sprinkle with the flaky sea salt and bake for 8-10 minutes.
Serving: These cookies taste best served warm with a glass of milk.
From Smitten Kitchen
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) salted butter, the better you can get, the better it will taste
- 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons heavy cream, at room temperature
- Melt the sugar over medium to moderately high heat in a larger pot than you think you’ll need–at least two or three quarts, whisking or stirring the sugar as it melts to ensure it heats evenly. Cook the liquefied sugar to a nice, dark copper color.
- Add the butter all at once and stir it in, before turning off the stove and pour in the heavy cream (The sauce will foam up quite a bit when you add it; this is why you want the larger pot.), whisking it until you get a smooth sauce.
- You use it right away or pour it into a jar and store it in the fridge for up to two weeks. When you take it out of the fridge, it will likely have thickened a bit but 60 seconds in the microwave brings it right back to pouring consistency.