Friday, September 7, 2012

Salted Caramel Success

I tend to go through phases with baking and cooking. For a few weeks all I want to do is bake and cook and then for a few weeks I'd rather eat popcorn, cereal, and yogurt than think about cooking or baking. 

Right now I'm on a cooking/baking kick. I think it's the (upcoming but not fast enough for me) change in seasons. And fall is my absolute favorite so I'm pumped for just about everything fall as to offer. 

I've also been a Pinterest-ing fool lately. I have found some stellar recipes (craft ideas, style ideas, party ideas, among lots of other things) on Pinterest. I love it. I stumbled upon a recipe for salted caramel brownie pies (I'l post the recipe below too with some commentary!). They seemed easy enough and holy catscans, yummy enough too! And, ever since I was introduced to salted caramel gelato back when I lived in Tucson, I've been a sucker for salted caramel anything (especially when paired with gianduia gelato or chocolate. Mmmmm....!). So, I decided to make them for my monthly dietitian meeting on Wednesday and for my weekly staffing meeting on Thursday. 

Let me tell you, these are DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEELICIOUS

The photo isn't my best but it was late and I was tired and I was a little annoyed with myself because buttercream frosting and I just haven't seen eye to eye yet. I had butter in the freezer so I took it out and let it thaw but it wasn't thawing fast enough so I put it in the microwave to soften it, got distracted, and 20 seconds later it was mostly melted. Dang it. But determined to make it work, I used the melted butter and just refrigerated it. It worked just fine but boy I was annoyed. One day buttercream frosting *shakes fist*, one day I will make you perfectly. 

Anyway, the dietitians loved them so I was happy. And naturally I taste tested them, and by them I mean the batter (several times), the frosting (several times), and one completed pie. I was pleased. Then I brought them in for staffing and for the love of sweets, I've never had the staff eat all of the treats I brought it. These puppies were gone in record time. Ever Dr. W, who refrains from partaking of my treats as he is currently losing weight, was tempted. It was highly amusing. The nurse sitting next to him was eating one and at one point I saw him out of the corner of my eye shift his weight away from her and so I looked over and he said, "I can smell the chocolate." Muahahahaahah!

So. In 2 weeks the hospital is having its annual bake off and my manager suggested I enter something because she knows I like to bake. I think I'll enter these. They are nice balance of rich, salty, sweet. Luxurious. Melt-in-your-mouth. Plus they are pretty easy to make. AND. GET THIS. We, as the dietitians, get to taste test everything. Well, darn (YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! YESSSSSSSS!) Naturally, I'm really excited.

I have today off and I ran 7 miles this morning at a (pleasantly surprising) 9 min/mile pace. This pleases me. I originally planned on 5 miles but once I started running, and I'm not much of a work-out-in-the-morning girl, I knew I could do 7.  Then, I was going to go to kick boxing at noon but after running 7 miles, no thanks. I am going to yoga later and I'm excited for that. Tomorrow I might do zumba. I still haven't gone. Busy week. Then I'm going to 3 hours of free yoga with some friends tomorrow. Hooray! 

Off to Pinterest to see what I can find! Here's the recipe adopted from Camille Styles:

Ingredients
Brownie Cookie

  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (Ghiradelli, always Ghiradelli)
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
Salted Caramel Creme Filling
  • 1 cup butter
  • 2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup caramel (didn't have caramel so I used caramel syrup, like the kind you drizzle on ice cream. It worked fine for me!)
Directions
For the brownie cookies:
  1. Place 7oz. of the chocolate and the butter in a saucepan over low heat and gently stir until melted and smooth. Set aside.
  2. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat for 15 minutes or until pale and creamy. Add in flour, baking powder, melted chocolate mixture, remaining 5 oz. of chocolate and mix to combine. Set aside to to stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Spoon 2 tablespoonful (I did 1 TBSP to make smaller cookies and to yield more so I got about 28-30 cookies aka 14-16 pies) of the mixture, onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 8–10 minutes or until puffed and cracked. Allow to cool completely on trays.
For the caramel creme filling*:
  1. Place butter in a bowl and beat until creamed. Add in confectioner sugar and salt and beat until light colored and combined. Add in caramel and beat until combined.
  2. Spread a teaspoon and a half (I eye-balled) of caramel creme on underside of one brownie cookie (here I sprinkled a little kosher sea salt and added a drop of caramel syrup for fun) and place a second brownie cookie bottom side down on top frosting.
*The filling refrigerates very well. I actually make the cookies and the filling at night, put the cookies in the freezer and the filling in the fridge and assembled in the morning. This worked very well. 

Final step: INDULGE. 

1 comment:

Erinn Meyer said...

Oh dear....these look somewhat similar to my favorite dessert, only way more jacked up....will be doing these soon. :)