Today was one of those days where I was strangely productive, despite sleeping until nearly noon. I corrected some data issues and finished the redesign for my startup, learned two new fiddle tunes (mad Breton gavottes), practised two more to death, and baked! A friend linked to a blog post about Salted Caramel Brown Butter Cookie Cups on Facebook, and they looked delicious (I mean, who doesn’t love salted caramel? Really now.). So obviously I had to try my hand at them. In the process, I made some that looked like edible mushroom clouds (but they still tasted good!), and I learned that yes, Virginia, there is such a thing as too much salted caramel. I say this because I was eating spoonfuls of the stuff as I was filling the cookies, and by the third batch, I was definitely regretting this decision (but oddly did not stop).
The blog post that inspired me called for caramel candies to be used for the filling, but it warned that they would solidify once the cookies cooled, so I thought to myself, “Well, I can just make some dulce de leche and use that, and it will remain molten and delicious forever.” Also, I had sweetened condensed milk on hand because it is amazing for things like coffee and dulce de leche, and I didn’t have any caramel candies, nor did I feel like getting dressed to go to the shop to obtain them. Making dulce de leche is just about the easiest thing imaginable (if you have some sweetened condensed milk on hand), and it is extremely useful as a dip for apples or bananas or on ice cream or in some alfajores or…well, you get the idea. Without further ado…
Salted Caramel Brown Butter Cookies
makes about 30
1 small can sweetened condensed milk
sea salt (I prefer Maldon)
170g unsalted butter
200 g/1 c light brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
250 g/2 c plain flour
2 tsp cornflour/cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
chocolate chips as you see fit
1. Start by making the dulce de leche. Place the can of condensed milk unopened into a sauce pan and cover with water. Cover the saucepan, bring to a boil, and simmer for awhile (I usually aim for about 2 hours). Remove from the water wtih tongs or something to prevent your fingers from burning and let cool (submerging in cold water can assist with this process). Finally, pour into a bowl and whisk until smooth.
2. Preheat the oven to 160C fan/180C/350F. Place the butter into a small saucepan and melt over medium heat. Whisk continuously until the butter has turned golden brown and pour into a large bowl. Whisk in the brown sugar, followed by the egg and vanilla.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornflour, baking soda, and salt. Stir this into the butter mixture (it gets quite thick thanks to the cornflour, so you may actually have to knead it a bit). Once the dough as cooled a bit, stir in the chocolate chips and divide the dough in half (half for the bottom of the cookie, and half for the top).
4. Line a mini-muffin tin with cupcake liners (unless it’s silicone). Place a bit of dough in each well to cover the bottom and make an indentation in the middle. Fill the indentation with caramel, and cover with another bit of dough (I flattened this bit between my hands). Sprinkle with sea salt and bake for 7-8 minutes. Let cool for at least 10-15 minutes before attempting to remove or they will fall apart (you’ve beeen warned!).