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Friday, January 25, 2013

Pareve Chocolate Caramel Cookies for Shabbos

BONUS COOKING TIP OF THE DAY – scroll to the bottom of this post!

DSC04675Mmm… my favourite way to unwind on Friday afternoon, when there’s time, is to sample the yummies for Shabbos and blog about them!

This week, it’s these scrummy chocolate cookies that start out really good but transform into utter decadence with the help of a caramel filling and chocolate coating.  They’re not TOO patckedik, either.

(read on for how it’s done…)

The actual chocolate cookies came from this recipe from Frugal Ima’s blog (I reduced the vanilla quite a bit), and IMG_5493I baked them last night, because I have had enough bad experiences of baked goods that were not sufficiently cool to ice.  This is Frugal Ima’s picture, because I forgot to take one myself.   The trick here is pressing down the middle of the cookies RIGHT AWAY when they come out of the oven.  Like her, I used the lid of the vanilla bottle to make the indentation.

This recipe made a LOT of cookies.

Then, this morning, I made this yummy coconut-milk dulce de leche that I fell in love with a few weeks ago.  Dulce de leche is basically caramel sauce, and this one features only 3 simple ingredients and a touch of neglect.  Perfect for around here!  I should have cooked it down a little longer, because mine came out too thin and runny.  A little thicker is probably better, though it will probably firm up after a while.

When the dulce de leche had cooled a bit, I spooned it into the cavities of the cookies.  So that’s why those cavities were there!!!  (the dulce de leche looks opaque because it’s frozen in this picture; it’s translucent and very caramelly-looking at room temperature, I promise)

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The next step is to place the cookies in the freezer for a while to help the caramel set.  This step is necessary, I think, even with thicker caramel because you’ll be turning the cookies upside down to coat them and you want everything to stay put.

Now for the chocolate coating.  Easy peasy:  Coconut oil and chocolate chips (and a bit of sea salt)!  I used the proportions I found in this Instructable, but found it was too thin, so I had to add more chocolate and it was still too runny.  I might use something closer to these proportions in future.  HOWEVER, the way I make my life easy when chocolate coating is usually the same… melt the coconut oil FIRST, then add the chocolate and turn OFF the heat.  I find that if I avoid having chocolate on the heat at all it behaves wayyyy better.

Let the chocolate coating cool for a bit, then retrieve the (frozenish) cookies.

Dip one by one; I double dipped for good measure.

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I noticed that after a few seconds, my caramel sauce was “bubbling up” through the chocolate coating.  Here is my desperate attempt to drip chocolate over the little craters that marred the pristine chocolate surface.  Just a dot of chocolate on a clean fingertip – drip!  Down it goes.  Still unsightly, but in a different way.

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And then back in the freezer to set.  When cool, these will probably be fine in the fridge.  If I did everything (both caramel & chocolate) PERFECTLY, they’d probably stay solid at room temperature during the winter.  But I don’t trust the chocolate coating, so I plan to leave them in the fridge.  As with anything chocolatey, I wouldn’t leave them out at all during any season when coconut oil is liquid at room temperature.

Naturally, I had to sample one of these before I could blog them.  Rest assured that, minor flaws aside, they are a most delightful cookie that will probably wow your Shabbos table attendees, should they be the kind that will overlook minor aesthetic flaws in favour of a cookie that tastes rather mind-blowingly good.  (or should you be that rare home baker who can achieve both aesthetically perfect and flawlessly flavoured desserts!)

Enjoy!!!

Oh, you’re still here?  Waiting for your free bonus tip of the day?  Well, thanks for either reading all the way through or scrolling so assiduously.  Here you go:

TIP O’ THE DAY: Freeze any leftover chocolate mixture in a sandwich baggie. Label well so you don’t stand in front of the freezer saying, “is this pareve?” and “when is this from?” Thaw it by floating the baggie in warm water and then snip the tip of the baggie to drizzle chocolate attractively wherever you want it.

OR

BONUS TIP: If you don’t want to go to that trouble, call your kids into the kitchen and have them assemble dessert “shish ka bobs” out of mini-marshmallows and banana slices. Drizzle with leftover chocolate mixture and freeze until Shabbos.

Enjoy!!!

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