Thursday, February 7, 2008

Caramel Almond Tiger Cookies


Here's my second cookie that I made out of Tish Boyle's The Good Cookie. I made this before going back to school, and chose it partly because I knew it might be finicky and would require a lot of time. On a morning that I had all to myself, I put these cookies together.


For me these weren't as tasty as the chocolate marble chunk cookies that I made from the same cookbook, but I think that's more my fault than anything. I don't have a lot of experience making caramel, and I let it go for just a few seconds too long. The colour turned dark so quickly! And my caramel tasted kind of burnt, or you could say it tasted like "creme brulee" to put a positive spin on it. I think I put too much caramel in between the cookies because the tops kept slowly sliding off. I, of course, kept trying to push them back into place - a futile effort. These were seriously gooey cookies!


The cookie is like an almond shortbread, and I thought it tasted okay but not awesome. Actually I thought it had kind of a weird taste, maybe due to the ground up almonds, or maybe it was just in my head. I found the dough difficult to roll out, but then I need a lot more practice rolling out all kinds of dough so maybe it's just me. Rolling out shortbread-like dough just seems like you're asking for stress and crumbles! I was happy that I challenged myself to make a different and more complicated cookie, but if I were to make it again I would use a different shortbread recipe, and definitely watch my caramel very closely!


Other cookies I've made:
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (the ones that convinced me to like oatmeal cookies)
Snickerdoodles
Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies
Earl Grey Tea Shortbread




Caramel Almond Tiger Cookies
Adapted from The Good Cookie

Makes about 20 sandwich cookies

Almond Cookies
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 all cups all-purpose flour, divided into 1/4 cup + 1 1/4 cups
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Caramel Filling
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
1/3 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter

1. Place the almonds and 1/4 cup of the flour in the bowl of a food processor and process until the almonds are finely ground, about 45 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and stir in the remaining 1 1/4 cups flour, the cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars at medium-high speed until light in texture, about 2 minutes. Beat in the almond extract. At low speed, gradually add the flour mixture, mixing just until combined. Scrape the dough onto a work surface and shape it into a disk. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, until firm enough to handle (or up to 2 days).***

3. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F.

4. On a lightly floured work surface, using a rolling pin, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/8 inch, sprinkling it lightly with flour as needed to prevent sticking. Using a 1 1/2 inch fluted round cookie cutter, cut out as many cookies as possible from the dough. Using a 3/4 inch round cookie cutter, or the tip of a 3/4 inch plain pastry tip, cut out the center of half of the cookies (these cookies will be the tops). Reroll the scraps, chilling the dough for 10 minutes if necessary, and cut out more cookies. Cut out the centers of half of these. Transfer the cookies to ungreased baking sheets, spacing them 1/2 inch apart. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until just barely beginning to color at the edges. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

5. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the sugar and water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and cook, without stirring and occasionally brushing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush, until the syrup caramelizes and turns a golden amber color, about 4 minutes. Watch closely as you don't want burnt caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully add the heavy cream (the mixture will bubble up), stirring until smooth. Stir in the butter and salt until the butter is melted. Let the caramel filling cool for 20 minutes, or until it has thickened enough to spread.

6. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or waxed paper. Spread a scant teaspoon of the caramel filling over the bottom of each whole cookie. Top each with a cut-out cookie, and place the filled cookies on the lined sheet. Place the saucepan of caramel over low heat and heat, stirring constantly, until it is thin enough to drizzle. Using a spoon, lightly drizzle the tops of the cookies with parallel lines of caramel.

***I found it easier to let the dough warm a bit before I started to roll it. But then I'm not really awesome at rolling out dough so maybe you shouldn't listen to me!

35 comments:

Patricia Scarpin said...

These are scrumptious!!! I love anything gooey and these cookies really fit the bill.

Kelly said...

Well, they certainly look pretty! Too bad the almond shortbread didn't turn out so well - sounds tasty.

Mallow said...

I have issues with rolling out dough too - I like to blame it on my lack of counter space, but I think the truth is I'm just bad at it!

jennifer said...

These look super yum! I bet I could eat about a million of them. Also don't fret about the caramel. I'm finding that around these parts, burnt sugar and burnt caramel flavors are popping up all over the place and to be honest with you it's delicious.

Jennifer
www.oyecookie.com

Cakespy said...

I believe this is what some people would call "food porn"--they look ooey gooey delicious. I don't know, the shortbread looks pretty good to me.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

That's it. I'm buying that book. God, those look good.

Helene said...

Thanks for the review. I just ordered the book at the library. Can't wait to get it.

Allison said...

omg, I want!
hahaha that was the reaction that went through my head the moment I saw these cookies!
You can talk all you want about burnt caramel and funny shortbread, but at the end of the day I bet these cookies still brought smiles to the faces of anyone who ate them! I would certainly smile. And I happen to love caramel that's been cooked for a bit too long... =)

tytty said...

hehe, i like how your post had this honest negative tone from start to end

Lisa said...

Oh yum! I'm a huge caramel fan. What a beautiful cookie. I'm really glad I found your blog via Holler. I've added you to my blogroll!

MrsPresley said...

these are beautiful! LOL at the creme brulee ;) i love anything with caramel...but i don't have any cookie cutters :(

Holler said...

All I can say, is that they look great and I love creme brulee :)

VeggieGirl said...

well, those cookies certainly do LOOK like the most indulgent goodies ever - sorry that the shortbread didn't turn out exactly as you would have liked them to! just admire the impeccable photograph you look of those little gooey gems :0)

Brilynn said...

Caramel is so finicky, I never get it quite right.

Nina's Kitchen (Nina Timm) said...

My son will think he has died and gone straight to caramel heaven if I had to make these......and I will.

Thanks for the inspiration. Beautiful pics..

Sarah said...

These look really good! I think I've opened this page about 3 times now just to look at them. :)

Ann said...

Mmmmmm... I'm with Susan. Time to buy the book!

winedeb said...

Very handsome cookies Ashley! These would be wonderful with my morning tea!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

Well, they may not have tasted awesome - but they look fantastic!

Deborah said...

I need to challenge myself with cookies, as well. I seem to always choose the easy ones! These do look gorgeous, even if they didn't quite measure up!

bittersweetblog said...

It's a shame that they didn't quite live up to your expectations, but they sure do look incredible!

Kevin said...

Those almond and caramel cookies look so good! Great presentation!

Hearts and Crafts said...

Those look incredible! I am definitely trying those!

Evie said...

Nice Work!

Carla said...

I want to make these because they look so good, but based on your comments, I may have to think about it. The last time I made caramel sauce, some flew onto my finger and I had a nasty burn for a few weeks. That's when I learn hot sugar burns far worse than hot water because it's hotter than 212F and it sticks to you when you try to shake it off. Yea, I think I may invest in some latex gloves LOL

Archana said...

sinfully delicious. fairly simple recipe. Have made a note of this in my book to make it after 2 months (when we get out of the fast). My husband and I have said we wont eat sweets for the next two months and I am already drooling over these.

Homecooked said...

Wow...these look so good!!! Will definitely try it for Easter...when spring is officially here :)

michelle @ Us vs. Food said...

well, they look fantastic - the pictures make we want to eat a dozen of them. i saw them on tastespotting and had to see what they were.

and i think burnt caramel is kinda good. i would defintely eat these.

Jerri said...

Oh my! These cookies look almost too good!

naomi said...

A little tip from a professional. If you roll out the dough between a sheet of parchment or wax paper, and plastic wrap, it behaves much more nicely. I've found that with the addition of bench flour the dough can sometimes get too tough, and may crack and crumble.

eatme_delicious said...

naomi: Thanks for the tip. :)

Shelly said...

Wow, These cookies look stunning!

eatme_delicious said...

Thanks Shelly!

Dixiejet said...

I saw these on tastespotting too and HAD to see the recipe. Caramel is my favorite flavor so I think the burnt sugar part would just enhance these little morsels ! They look DIVINE !!

eatme_delicious said...

Dixiejet: Aw thanks! =)