Pastries in Paradise

Welcome to another hump day, which on a happy note, happens to be the last one in the month of May for the year 2012. I have been a busy bee lately. Work has consumed me as of late and when not working I will admit I am just too darn tired to do anything else. I do have some side projects currently in the works which have also consumed much of my free time. Keep your fingers all crossed that those do work out. But for today I will be sharing with you some delicious cookies inspired by one of my favorite sundaes I used to eat as a kid from the fast food chain… Culver’s (a chain located in the Midwest). In fact they also do resemble another childhood favorite of mine, the thumbprint cookie with the jelly/jam filled center. I used to make them in my Easy Bake Oven and speaking of Easy Bake Ovens I just realized how old I’m getting lol. Definite 80’s born baby here. So basically these cookies are a mishmash of Turtle Sundae meets jelly filled thumbprint cookie and let me tell you I love the duo. These got devoured so fast I forgot I had made them and hence why I have yet to post on the blog for such time. Even my boyfriend who isn’t the biggest fan of sweets managed to polish off more than the usual one try taste test. Great thing is they are also rather simple. If you are not a big fan of pecans you can of course skip them but I prefer them as it makes the cookie look a bit more exotic and hides any flaws of cracked cookie underneath… even though you know my cookies are just perfectly smooth under that layer of pecans I’m just giving you the heads up. Our little secret ;)

Just a few technical notes before I send you off to the land of baking. The caramel filling is easily prepared by melting caramel candies however you can prepare homemade if you are that ambitious. I chose not to as the shortcut method tasted just as good and saved so much time and pulled hair. I like to keep every strand of hair I can and caramel isn’t one to spare me much luck. Also, I preferred to use a decorator’s squeeze bottle to portion just the right amount of caramel into the cookies. It made for easy dispensing, less sticky mess and a more clean cookie. However if you are not quite sure how much caramel to place in the center and are afraid you may run out before you reach the end, then use a ½ tsp. measure and fill the indentations with that amount of caramel. If you have any leftover caramel you can look over your cookies and see if any centers need a bit more or be like me and eat the rest. How can you resist fresh caramel… I sure can’t :) Happy Baking!!!

Chocolate Turtle Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/3 cup Cocoa Powder
  • ¼ tsp. Salt
  • 8 tbsp. (1 stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg, separated
  • 1 Egg White
  • 2 tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup Pecans, chopped fine
  • 14 soft Caramel Candies
  • 3 tbsp. Heavy Cream

Formula:

  1. Combine the flour, cocoa, and salt in a bowl. With mixer on medium-high, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg yolk, milk, and vanilla, mixing until incorporated. Reduce speed to low and add the flour mixture until just combined. Refrigerate dough until firm, at least one hour.
  2. Adjust oven racks to the upper-middle and lower-middle positions. Heat the oven to 350°. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk egg whites in a small bowl until frothy. Place pecans in another small bowl. One at a time, roll the dough into 1 in. balls. Dip each ball into the egg whites and then roll in the pecans. Place the balls 2 in. apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using a tsp. measure, make an indentation in the center of each ball. Bake until set, 10 to 12 minutes. Be sure to rotate the pans halfway through the baking time.
  3. While the cookies bake, place the caramel candies and heavy cream in a bowl. Microwave the candies until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes, and making sure to stir occasionally. Once the cookies are removed from the oven, use the tsp. to gently press into the existing indentations. Fill each indentation with about ½ tsp. of caramel. Cool 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. 

Special Thanks To:


Robin Evans

Peter Mendoros – Photography


All remaining content © Honeybee’s Patisserie 2012

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