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)
Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies
Earl Grey Tea Shortbread
Caramel Almond Tiger Cookies
Adapted from The Good Cookie
Makes about 20 sandwich 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
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!