Hi! Here with another collab - this time these super delicious Caramelised White Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Salted Dark Chocolate German Buttercream. They sound like a mouthful, and they truly are, but the good kind. lolz.
These wee cookies were something that my friend Becky and I dreamt up for Cherry Bombe University last year. We partnered up for a bake-off, and because we live on opposite coasts, decided to divide and conquer our recipe by doing a sandwich cookie, and coming up with one component each. Being our resident internet cookie queen, Becky whipped up these incredible cookies - little brownie cookies with a caramelised white chocolate ‘dust’ swirled throughout. I paired them with my very favourite thing - a salted chocolate german buttercream. Alone, the components are pretty good, but paired up, these cookies are just ridiculous. The cookies are perfectly soft, and sandwiched with the slightly salty, silky buttercream, they are some of the very best cookies I have had in quite some time. Becky came around the morning of the event and we baked our little butts off, filling my teeny apartment with boxes and boxes of cookies - we had to make 200, so kept them on the small side, because making 400 cookies is a whole shitload of cookies. They won crowd favourite at the event, and I promise you they will become your new favourite too.
A few wee tips:
- Don’t go out and buy amazing quality white chocolate for this. Get good dutch cocoa and good dark chocolate and good butter, but we found that for a great dusty texture, regular white baking chips worked best. We used the white baking chips from Ghirardelli.
- The time for the caramelised white chocolate may vary from brand to brand. If you take it too far by mistake and it goes smooth again, just chop up once cool into small pieces.
- The white chocolate dust recipe is easily doubled on one half sheet pan - I suggest making extra because they are super good to have as a garnish for a dessert, or just for a quick stress eat when you need it (happened to me v recently)
- You will see that there is bread flour and all-purpose flour in these cookies, which is a signature move of Becky’s. It gives the cookies amazing height and chew - don’t skip it if you are able. If you are in NZ, Bread flour is the same as High-grade.
- I used King Arthur’s Double dutch cocoa for this - which is a blend of black cocoa and dutch cocoa, so the cookies came out a little darker than they would if you used regular dutch cocoa. Either works!
- These will seem small, but remember that there will be two cookies, plus buttercream in a sandwich. They pack a wee punch. A tablespoon cookie scoop really helps to keep them consistent in size.
- Muscovado sugar is great - it is dark and super flavourful. If you can’t get hold of it, dark brown sugar works great too.
- The dough for the cookies will seem quite loose - but with an overnight rest it firms up nicely. Make sure you account time for this.
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Caramelised White Chocolate Brownie Cookies with Salted Dark Chocolate German Buttercream
Caramelised White Chocolate Dust
- 285g (10 oz) White Chocolate Baking Chips
- 115g (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 250g (1 1⁄4 cups) granulated sugar
- 100g (1⁄2 cup) dark muscovado sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
- 3 teaspoons (15 ml) real vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup (118 ml) sunflower seed oil
- 156 g (1 1⁄4 cups) bread flour
- 156 g (1 1⁄4 cups) all-purpose flour
- 75g (⅔ cup) unsweetened dark (Dutch process) cocoa powder
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt
Salted Chocolate German Buttercream
- 110g sugar
- 12g (1 ½ Tbsp) cornstarch
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 190g whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 340g (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 180g good quality dark chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
- ½ tsp flaky sea salt
CARAMELISED WHITE CHOCOLATE DUST
- Preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C).
- Sprinkle the white chocolate over a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and stir the chips and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Repeat this process 3-4 more times, until they have turned a nice bronze color and the chips have crumbled - this usually takes me about 40 minutes. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool.
- In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix on medium for 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time taking care that each is well blended before adding in the next. Add in the vanilla and oil running the machine 1 minute more or until thoroughly blended. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that everything is well blended. Take the bowl out of the mixer.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the bread flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt. Add this to the butter mixture and combine in as few strokes as possible and no flour streaks remain. Take the bowl out of the mixer, sprinkle the caramelized chocolate dust over the top and barely fold into the dough…you want there to be thick swirls of it in the dough. Wrap tightly and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and cover several baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Roll into 1 tablespoon-size balls and set on the prepared baking sheet leaving a 1 1⁄2-inch (3.7-cm) space between dough balls. If dough gets sticky while rolling, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm back up.
- Bake one sheet at a time for 8 minutes in the center of the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.
SALTED CHOCOLATE GERMAN BUTTERCREAM
- In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla to just shy of a simmer. Remove from the heat.
- Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.
- Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow container or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold - at least four hours, preferably overnight. If you need to speed this process up, you can place the pastry cream in a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice bath. Stir frequently.
- Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and place the pastry cream in the bowl. Whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. It may look curdled at some point but just keep whipping - it will come together! Once the buttercream is homogenous, add the cooled melted dark chocolate and flaky sea salt, and mix well to combine. Store in an airtight container until ready to use, or if using immediately, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
- To assemble, pair similar-sized cookies, pipe a blob of buttercream on one half, and press the other cookie on top. Alternatively you can use an offset spatula, and smear the buttercream on. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
- Store leftover cookies in an airtight container in the fridge.