Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Chocolate-Caramel Sandwich Cookies...

I didn't know if I was ready to start the Weekly Wednesday Treat Day again, but I figured now would be the best time as it would be a nice diversion to help take my mind of these last few weeks. I wasn't looking for anything too ambitious, but after teasing my taste buds by simply reading through the recipe for these Chocolate-Caramel Sandwich Cookies, I knew the fate of my afternoon on Tuesday was set.

There are three parts that need to be done before these cookies are ready - a quick, homemade caramel sauce, the dough for the cookies and then the frosting used to create the sandwiches. Because the sauce needs to be completely cooled, we got that on the stove first. This sauce was made by heating sugar until all the granules not only liquefy, but turn a rich and toasty deep amber color. As soon as it reached that point, chilled cubes of butter, a hearty pinch of salt and vanilla were immediately whisked in to combine. Now, you are adding cold ingredients to a fiery hot mixture - it will bubble and splatter a bit, so just be aware and be careful. The sauce may look a little funky at first, but as soon as you whisk in the heavy cream, it will smooth out into the silky sauce one desires.

The cookies themselves are just an everyday chocolate dough, made a little more special by using Dutch-process cocoa powder and a touch of espresso powder. Because these are a bite-sized treat, we portioned the dough using a level teaspoon - you could, of course, make bigger cookies if you like, but just because these happen to be small, doesn't mean they lack a powerful punch! As soon as the cookies baked into beautiful cracked rounds, we set them aside to cool completely so I could begin the killer filling.

Using a scoop of the cooled caramel sauce as a base, we used a sturdy wooden spoon to beat in plenty of softened butter. After gradually adding enough confectioners' sugar to stiffen the mixture, the buttercream filling was ready to spread (or pipe) on the flat bottom of half the cookies. Topped with the remaining cookies to form a sandwich, there was no way I was going to wait to take a picture before snagging a couple myself to devour.
The cookies themselves were on the crisp, almost sandy side, with a notable chocolate bite, which was thankfully bumped up by the espresso powder (don't fret though, it doesn't come across as drenched in coffee). The filling was decadent and sweet with its burnt sugar notes, yet neither of us found it to be tooth-achingly sweet as we polished off enough of it alone that more than a couple of the sandwiches may have been a little short on their filling... oops!

If you take a look at the recipe for the sauce, you'll noticed we ended up with roughly 2 cups, yet the filling only requires a whopping quarter cup. This wasn't a problem for us, but you could try and scale down the ingredients for the sauce - however, why bother? It keeps in the refrigerator for a few weeks and is a dream served over vanilla bean ice cream (or your favorite flavor!).


  1. They look out of the World. On the 'to-try' list Joe :)

  2. They look wonderful and I love the craggly top to the cookies

  3. These look way too good. Gosh.

  4. OMG! These look wonderful!

  5. Those are gorgeous. I love homemade caramel sauce, the flavor really does make a difference.

  6. Helene - Definitely worth being on "the list"!

    Katie - Me too!

    Alexandra - Thanks!

    Patty - I appreciate it, thank you!

    Maria - Yeah!

    Kelly - Doesn't it though? I love it!

  7. Oh Wow!!!! Another lovely cookie recipe that will be a huge success here with my friends and family!!! Thanks Joe!! :)

  8. Pat - Enjoy!

    Sophie - We hope you like them!

  9. Yum!! I wish I had about a dozen right now!!

  10. I'm going to make these tonight (just printed out the recipe) for my family to taste test. I figure I'll make one batch for us to eat and freeze the rest for holiday gatherings/gift giving.

  11. Kathleen - Thanks!

    Jennifer - Sounds like a good plan!