I was thrilled to have the opportunity for this month's SRC to do double duty and help out a future orphan. To my surprise and absolute joy, it turned out to be Katrina from Baking and Boys. Katrina is as sweet as the treats on her blog, which is really saying something. And, if you're a chocoholic, you'll find yourself a kindred spirit in her. She even has her own little army of men to cook/bake for - four sons and a husband. I can just imagine how wonderful her house must smell. Not to mention any lucky neighbors who live close enough to be the recipients of those treats (shucks, I'm too far).
Like I said, Katrina loves chocolate. Even if a recipe doesn't initially contain chocolate, she'll find a way to add it in some way, shape, or form. In fact, she has so many chocolatey recipes on her blog that I just couldn't choose one. So, I did what any sensible person would do. I made two recipes. The first, was her Homemade Fudge Rounds. She said that they're her husband's fave and I can certainly see why. These chocolatey cookies are nicely crunchy on the outside and soft and cakey within. This makes them perfect for filling since the harder exterior keeps them from falling apart and the softer part makes them easy to bite into.
Since I had used up my cocoa powder to make these cookies, I opted to fill them instead with a whipped chocolate ganache. I also had some caramel leftover from the other recipe I made, so I used that as well. The finished product was oh so good. Katrina said that these are based off of the Little Debbies, but who needs storebought when you can have these?
Like I said, I couldn't choose just one recipe. Especially not when I saw her Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies. That's quite a mouthful of a title, and a yummy mouthful at that. What I loved best about these cookies is that they held their shape in my oven and did not go flat. If you didn't know, my oven flattens any and all chocolate chip cookies, not any other type of cookies, just the ccc's. I've tried everything - chilling the dough, mounding it higher, more flour, but nothing seems to work, till now.
These cookies were everything I'd dreamed of - puffy, thick, chewy. It was the best combo of textures too - crispy on the outside and chewy throughout. Also, since they weren't too sweet on their own, they worked really well with the caramel drizzle. The only change I made was to use my own recipe for the caramel drizzle. These cookies were awesome! They get an "A" in my book.
Thanks Katrina for two yummy recipes!
Caramel Fudge Rounds (adapted from Baking and Boys)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (150 grams)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour (150 grams)
6 tablespoons cocoa powder (30 grams)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
whipped chocolate ganache (for filling)
caramel (for filling)
Cream the butter and sugar. Add the cocoa powder and mix well. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Mix in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Chill the dough for one hour.
Form into small balls and bake on a parchment lined baking sheet at 350F for 10-12 min. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
When cooled, fill with your choice of filling.
Caramel Cheesecake Chocolate Chip Cookies (adapted slightly from Baking and Boys)
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used the 1/3 less fat kind)
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
12 ounces (2 cups) semi sweet chocolate chips
Caramel Drizzle (Sweet as Sugar Cookies)
1/2 c. sugar
3 Tbsp. salted butter, cubed
1/4 c. heavy cream, at room temperature
Cream the butter and cream cheese till smooth. Beat in the sugars. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Mix in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt till well combined. Add in the chocolate chips. Chill the dough for one hour.
Form into balls on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350F for 12-15 min. Let cool completely on a wire rack. When cooled, drizzle with caramel.
For the caramel, cook the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking as it melts. When it turns a deep amber color, add the butter and stir until it is melted. Add the heavy cream and whisk until the caramel is smooth. Remove from heat and let it cool.