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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Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

20121121-183513.jpg First of all, I am so sorry that it took me so long to write a new post! Secondly, forgive me for not being a good blogger and posting an easy, healthy recipe after all of that food on Thursday. But I assure you, once you make these, you will see the reason why I needed to post these. The cookies themselves are moist and slightly crisp on the outside, while the flavor is warm and slightly spicy, with that fabulous pumpkin flavor.

20121125-162933.jpgThen you make the icing. And I mean, THE icing. Like, the only icing I should have ever made in my life. Like, this stuff will convert you into a brown butter lover like nothing else will. Seriously, good stuff. Anyways, it’s rich, nutty, and it melts in your mouth. That’s all I can say.

20121215-232142.jpgAnd then, you combine the two, and wow. It’s almost literally the icing on the cake. The Romeo to Juliet. The peanut butter to jelly. Ok I’ll stop, but you get the picture. The textures, the flavors, they meld perfectly into one amazing cookie. Aaaand, as if that weren’t enough, they’re pretty quick and easy! Just mix, scoop, bake, and spread! Hello holiday baking! I can’t stop using exclamation points!

Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing

Adapted From Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

For Cookies:
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 tsp ground ginger
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs,
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin purée
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tsp vanilla extract

For Icing:

4 cups powdered sugar
10 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp half-and-half
2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

To make cookies:
Heat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In medium bowl, whisk together first 8 ingredients; set aside.

In bowl of mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs until combined. Reduce speed to low; add the pumpkin, half-and-half and vanilla. Beat until well blended, about 2 min. Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Scoop 2 tbsp of the batter onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the tops of the cookies spring back when lightly pressed. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool for 5 min. Remove cookies to rack and cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.

To make icing:
Add powdered sugar to medium bowl. Melt butter in small saucepan over high heat. Continue cooking, swirling pan occasionally, until the butter becomes golden brown and smells nutty (watch carefully). Remove from heat and add to powdered sugar. Add half-and-half and vanilla, stir until smooth. Spread icing on cookies (Stir icing to restore fluidity).

Yield: 24 cookies

Pumpkin Scones

20120929-212553.jpgToday’s recipe is one of my favorite foods; pumpkin scones. With two glazes. You get to double dip! Now I have tried the kind at Starbucks and lets just say I wasn’t impressed. But when I made these, it’s like the texture of a moist doughnut with the flavor of warm pumpkin spices was made into a scone, and then mercilessly topped with nutty browned butter glaze.

20120929-213119.jpg I really can’t describe how good these are. It’s like the world of scones was taken to greater heights! I have truly been thinking of this thing all year, and waiting until fall to make them again. Which is saying a lot, as I don’t normally make the same recipe twice. Now, go make these, and enjoy the warm flavors of fall.

Pumpkin Scones with Brown Butter Glaze

For the Scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour
7 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground ginger
6 tbsp cold butter
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
3 tbsp half and half
1 large egg

For the Brown Butter Glaze:

1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground ginger
1 pinch ground cloves

Preheat oven to 425F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger in a large bowl. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients until mixture is crumbly and no chunks of butter are obvious; set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, half-and-half and egg. Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients, and form the dough into a ball. Pat out dough onto a lightly floured surface and form it into a 1-inch thick rectangle about 3 times as long as wide. Slice the dough twice through the width, making three equal portions. Cut each of the portions in an X pattern (four pieces) so you end up with 12 triangular slices of dough. Place on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 14-16 minutes, or until light brown. Place on wire rack to cool.

To make the brown butter glaze, melt butter over high heat. When butter starts to foam up, stir until light brown. Take off heat, pour into bowl and cool. Combine butter with powdered sugar. Dip scones into glaze; let set. Dip a second time. Whisk spices into remaining glaze. Pour into plastic bag, snip off end and pipe glaze in zig-zag pattern over scones.

Yield: 12 scones

Adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker