Tuesday, December 25, 2012
candy bar cookies.
I don't know about you but I live in terrible temperate weather. 24/7. Practically all year round. If you are grabbing an ice cream to-go, you better lick fast or it will start dripping onto your hand and down your wrists. If you have to soften butter, 30 minutes at room temperature is enough to bring it from brick-hard to soft and pliable (which is actually a good thing). If you buy chocolates, they absolutely must be stored in the fridge, lest they become an unrecognizable mound of half-melted chocolate. Because chocolates are best enjoyed at room temperature, you have to wait for it to come up to temperature before you bite into it (which is a bad thing).
That is why all my candy bars are stored at 10 degrees to ensure that they remain cold and with their original shape intact. The downside is that candy bars with caramel, and let's face it- a lot of candy bars have caramel, are less than appetizing straight from the fridge. The caramel portion is often too chewy- I bet you can actually burn calories from that jaw workout. Even worse are candy bars with nuts, like Snickers. You practically have to forcefully yank a portion of the candy bar out with your teeth! I mean, I could always leave such candy bars out at room temperature to warm up a bit but caramel is awfully resilient. By the time is loosens up into a state that requires less barbaric behavior, the chocolate coating on the outside would have become mushy. In summary, I have never had a caramel-filled candy bar at room temperature before.
And that brings me to these candy bar cookies. I could wrap the cookie dough around any candy bar so I deliberately chose Snickers and Mars. You see the significance? They both contain caramel! When they are baked, the caramel would loosen up and I could finally have my first warm-ish candy bar. I didn't dare to touch them too soon for the fear that the too-hot sugar would burn my tongue. Patience, patience.
After all that waiting, I bite into a Snickers-filled one. The cookie on the outside was crisp, as if replacing the texture lost from the now-melted chocolate coating. The caramel inside was definitely easy to chew, but it wasn't as awesome as I expected it to be. It's consistency didn't become as loose as I thought it would be. Perhaps it's because of the peanuts that held it in place. The Mars ones were like a caramel volcano though. The cookies that contained Mars bars became misshapen due to the caramel that flowed a little uncontrollably.
Instead of using fun-sized candy bars chopped into half like the recipe instructed, I bought normal-sized candy bars and chopped them into bite-sized pieces because it was simply more economical. I should have chopped them into smaller pieces though. There was barely enough dough to wrap around a candy bar piece! No wonder the Mars-filled ones went out of shape.
In the original recipe, you're supposed to dip the tops of the cookies in melted chocolate. Double dipping them again in white chocolate is also an option! And then the cookies get showered with a flourish of sprinkles! I wanted to do that but because I was giving some of the cookies away as gifts and have to pack them into boxes, I was afraid of the chocolate melting and dirtying the box so I did away with that. Sad, huh?
Oh and by the way, Merry Christmas!
Candy Bar Cookies
adapted from Baked Elements
I modified the instructions a bit. At first you are supposed to chill the cookie dough, roll it out and cut circles out that you would then wrap around a candy bar chunk. I skipped past all that and used the dough right after mixing. You just have to try to press an even layer of dough around the candy bar all around. It's like a cheat's way of getting the pie crust into the pan.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks butter
1 egg yolk
40 candy bar chunks
milk or dark chocolate, melted
white chocolate, melted
sprinkles or chopped nuts
Stir the flour, cocoa powder, sugar and salt together in a bowl.
Cream the butter until smooth. Add the egg yolk and mix until incorporated. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. The dough will be crumbly. Knead it a bit until it holds together then divide into 40 equal portions. Wrap each portion of dough around a candy bar chunk and refrigerate the dough balls for at least an hour for the dough to firm up.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350F. Bake the cookies for 12 to 15 minutes, until the cookies have browned slightly. Remove from the oven and let them cool for at least 5 minutes before eating. If dipping in chocolate, cool completely before proceeding.
If going by the chocolate-dipping route, you can dip the cookies in one kind of chocolate or even two (heck, why not three?) for colour contrast. After dipping, let the chocolate set for a while then top with sprinkles or chopped nuts if desired. You can use different chocolates and toppings to differentiate the candy bar hiding inside. Or perhaps don't and leave everything up to chance so that even you, the baker, can be surprised!