Caramelized White Chocolate Cookies

20130415-154047.jpg Have you ever heard of caramelized white chocolate? I was bewildered when I came across it on thelittleloaf! Since I love all things caramelized and I adore white chocolate, this was a must try! Before I get any further, I know it sounds ridiculous. I mean, wouldn’t it seize up? Well yes it does, but you just have to stir it and it smoothes out again. What I did with the finished product was pour it onto some parchment, let it set, broke it into chunks and added it to one of the most amazing cookie doughs I’ve ever had.

20130417-115309.jpg The dough is made from my favorite quick chocolate chip cookie doughs from cooks illustrated that bakes up thick, chewy and professional looking. I made these with all brown sugar for extra caramel flavor, and browned the butter to make it more nutty and add depth of flavor. And because it’s browned butter 🙂 After adding the chunks of caramelized white chocolate it. was. ah-mazing!! Once I baked them (using a method of stacking the dough to make them thicker) they blew my mind. Have you ever had an oatmeal scotchie? You know, those cookies with the oats and butterscotch chips. These are like a more refined version. The caramelized white chocolate adds toastiness and the cookie dough is very caramely and soft.
I know that these look like a lot of work, and they are, but don’t let that deter you! They’re easy peasy if you make the chocolate the day before. You need this experience in your life!

Caramelized White Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from cooks illustrated

Ingredients:

2 cups plus 2 tbsp (10 5/8 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 cups packed (10 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
11 oz white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chips)

Directions:

To caramelize the white chocolate, place it in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Stir constantly. When chocolate seizes, take off heat, stir until smooth, and return skillet to burner. Continue this process for about 45 minutes, stirring all the while, until it’s a medium caramel color:

20130417-122800.jpg Pour onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Let set and break into chunks.

Preheat oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

In a small saucepan or skillet, heat butter on medium to high heat (depending on how fast you want your butter to brown). After butter begins to foam, stir until it is a golden brown color and smells nutty and wonderful. Take off heat and set aside.

Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat sugar and browned butter (make sure to add the brown bits) until smooth. Add egg, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until combined. On low, add the flour mixture until just combined. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chunks (you will have some left over).

Using a muffin scoop or a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop dough and roll into balls. Tear balls in half, turn ragged edges to face top and bottom and press together:

20130417-124425.jpg Space cookies 2 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet and bake for 12-18 minutes, rotating halfway through baking time, until light golden brown and puffy. Cookies will not appear to be done, but they will continue to bake on cookie sheet. Cool cookies on sheet; remove cookies to counter. Repeat with remaining cookie dough.

Yield: 12-18 cookies

Note: To give them a more professional look, halfway through baking time press
the extra chocolate chunks on top of cookies.

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