Salted Caramel Sandwich Cookies 20.000

Dixie D. Vereen for The Washington Post

Holiday Cookies 2016 Dec 1, 2016

The buttercream filling is so well balanced, you may want to undo this sandwich cookie, a la Oreo-eating style, to get to it. You could cut this recipe's amount of salted caramel buttercream in half, but we think you'll find lots of uses for it during the holidays.

You'll need a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter (with a plain or fluted edge).

Make Ahead: The cookie dough needs to be refrigerated twice: first for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day; then, after it's cut out, for at least 30 minutes. You’ll have plenty of leftover filling, which can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks. The sandwich cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.


Servings:
20 - 25 filled cookies

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 20-25 filled cookies

Ingredients
  • For the cookies
  • 2 cups (240 grams) flour, plus more for the work surface
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks; 226 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (113 grams) confectioners' sugar, plus more for optional dusting
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the filling
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick; 113 grams), plus 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks; 170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 to 3 1/2 cups (454 to 567 grams) confectioners' sugar

Directions

For the cookies: Whisk together the flour and salt in a bowl.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until fluffy. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the confectioners' sugar; beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes, until pale and fluffy. Stop to scrape down the bowl, then add the vanilla extract and beat just until incorporated.

Add the flour mixture; beat on low speed, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed until the dry ingredients are just incorporated and dough stays together when pinched between your fingers. Divide the dough in half, forming into two disks; wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until firm.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Combine the brown sugar, 8 tablespoons of the butter and the corn syrup in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Once the mixture starts to bubble, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 3 to 4 minutes or until it starts to thicken (no need to stir). Carefully whisk in the cream, vanilla extract and salt. Increase the heat to medium so the mixture returns to a bubbling state; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring as needed, to form a smooth caramel. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Combine the remaining 12 tablespoons of butter and 3 cups of the confectioners' sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon-whisk attachment (or use a handheld electric mixer). Beat on low speed, then medium, until smooth. Stop to scrape down the bowl.

Add the cooled salted caramel and beat on medium speed until creamy and thick. If the filling seems a bit loose, add some or all of the remaining 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, beating on low speed. The yield is about 4 cups; you'll need 1/2 to 3/4 cup for these cookies, and the rest can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.

Lightly flour a work surface and your cookie cutter. Working with one disk of dough at a time, roll it out to a thickness of 1/4 inch. Cut out 20 to 25 shapes with the cookie cutter and place them on the baking sheets, re-rolling the scraps as needed and spacing the cutouts at least 1 1/2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Bake one sheet at a time (middle rack) until firm and golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining dough. It's best to end up with an even number of cookies (pairs to create cookie sandwiches), but if you don't, save the odd one as a snack for yourself.

To assemble the sandwich cookies, turn half of them upside down. Spread or pipe the filling onto the upturned sides of those cookies. Top with the remaining cookies, then dust the tops with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Mel Meadows, chef at Hollin Hall Pastry Shop in Alexandria.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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