Friday, March 29, 2013

brownie sandwich cookies with salted caramel and cream

I've been meaning to do a salted caramel photo tutorial for the longest time. It's the simplest thing but I think people are afraid of it because it involved melting sugar and the likes. Candy making isn't even my thing but still, you've got this. The only problem is I can't figure out how to get good pictures at my stove. They're dark and grainy and gross and I don't wanna give that to ya'll. I don't have a singular burner either though so I can't bring it out on the porch where I normally take pictures. #foodbloggerdelimmas. I got those.
Once I figure that out, the tutorial will be automatic since I make caramel nearly weekly.. sometimes more if I make something like these and feel the need to dollop incessant amounts of caramel all over everything.
Don't blame me, I'm not in my right mind. I've been sick all week with some sort of something in the cold variety. I got to craving chocolate yesterday and I couldn't stop myself. I was so nervous about cooking sick though so I'm pretty sure I looked like a crazy person. I'd just showered and every couple seconds I was scrubbing up and down my arms with soap gettin' in between my fingers. If I felt like sneezing or God forbid coughing, I practically walked down the street to do it. Madness I tell you, madness. But in the end, these were delicious and they're all gone so perfect.
The chewy brownie cookies have been haunting me forever so I saw a version on bakers royale {who by the way I adore, especially when she smashes cakes} and so I decided to give it my own whirl.
I wasn't just going to make the cookies, I was going to make them, throw salty caramel all over them and fresh cream and smush it all together so that you have to eat it with a spoon. That's the best kinda dessert, I promise.  You can make the salted caramel first so it cools while you make the cookies. Then you can whip up the cream whenever you're ready to serve these.
The delicate salt of the caramel with the subtle bittersweet of the chocolate, the toffee chips complimenting the caramel, the fresh cream caressin' everything {why did I say that} and holding it all together. l o v e l y.

Salted Caramel Sauce makes a good cup or so.
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup plus 2 TBSP heavy cream
2 TBSP butter {salted or unsalted}
3/4 - 1 tsp favorite salt {make sure you actually like the salt because you will taste it, no table salt por favor}

Get out a bowl of cool water and a pastry brush {mine is silicon and  I love it} Also, measure your heavy cream and butter so they're sitting out, you're gonna want all of your things ready to go.
Combine the sugar and and water in a medium saucepan over low heat. Keep it on low until the mixture has become clear and is no longer grainy. To tell if it's grainy, get a bit on your fingers {don't burn yourself} and rub them together. If it still feels like sand then keep cooking. Once it's smooth, turn the heat to high. It will bubble furiously and that's good. Once you've made caramel a hundred times, that will be the most comforting sound ever. 
It'll take from 5-7 minutes for the color to start changing. During this time, watch the sides of the pan. If you see sugar crystallization on the sides or burning on the sides, use the pastry brush dipped in water to wash it off. It may bubble up in response so watch your hands. 
Watch carefully as it turns light brown and then amber. Once it becomes a medium dark amber color, quickly in one step: Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the heavy cream and butter. It's going to steam and puff and fight and bubble but just keep stirring. 
You may want to wear an oven mitt for this but you'll get used to it. 
It will clump up and be a big mess of sugar on the whisk but calm your tits, {my friends and i always use this and I DONT KNOW WHY. wuuuuut sorry.} you did it right. Return the pan to low and continue whisking until the mixture becomes smooth. 
Remove from the heat to let cool completely. While it's cooling, add the salt and taste. Add more to your liking. Once room temperature, place in a container and and refrigerate. It will thicken significantly as it cools. It'll go from liquid sauce to a really thick brownie batter kind of feel. yum yum.

Brownie Cookies makes 7 sandwiches. adapted from bakers royale.
6 oz bittersweet chocolate- chopped into chip sized pieces
2 TBSP butter
1 large egg {funny story about this egg and me while multitasking, i'll tell you later if you wanna know}
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 TBSP ap flour
1/8 tsp baking powder

Sift together the flour and baking powder. Set aside.
Melt 3.5 oz of the chocolate with your butter. Let cool.
Beat the egg, sugar & vanilla until whipped and creamy and nice. About 8 minutes or so. Mix in the melted chocolate until smooth. Stir in the flour mixture and the remaining chopped chocolate. Let the mixture sit for a good ten minutes or so. Preheat the oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Scoop tablespoons of the batter onto the parchment, 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until cracked on the top and with the edges just barely set. You want it gooey and brownie-like, not crunchy. Let cool.

Whipped Cream 
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 TBSP confectioners sugar

Whip the cream until soft peaks form. Add in the the sugar and continue beating until stiffer peaks form.

Stack brownie, caramel, cream, caramel and brownie in a bowl and devour.


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