Sally McKenney is a self-described "sprinkle lover" and author of a new cookbook based on her popular blog Sally's Baking Addiction. She says baking doesn't have to be intimidating and wants her followers to experiment along with her.
One of those experiments paid off last year, when she won a Nestle Toll House recipe contest. She calls her salty chocolate-caramel treat her "$5,000 cookie." If stuffing caramel into a chocolate cookie sounds hard, read on to find out how she does it.
Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies
Prep time: 20 minutes. Total time: 2 hours, 50 minutes. Makes 16-17 cookies.
1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup (80 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100 grams) light or dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons (30 ml) milk
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (or semisweet)
18 chocolate-coated caramel candies, such as Rolo
coarse sea salt
Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.
Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar together in a large bowl on medium speed until creamed, about 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
With the mixer running on low, slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Add the milk. With a large spoon or rubber spatula, fold the chocolate chips into the dough. The dough will be heavy and sticky. Cover and chill for at least 1 to 2 hours.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to slightly soften at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
Take 2 tablespoons of chilled dough, split in half and roll each into a ball with your hands. Stick a caramel into 1 ball of dough. Top the caramel with the other ball of dough and seal the sides so that the caramel is securely stuffed inside. Repeat with the rest of the dough and caramel candies. Sprinkle each with sea salt before putting into the oven.
Bake for 12 to 13 minutes. Cookies will appear undone and very soft. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies stay fresh in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.
Sally's Tip: The trick to stuffing the caramel candy inside is to make sure the dough completely envelops it. Otherwise you'll have a leaking caramel mess on your cookie sheets!
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.