Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Hallo-week: Seasalt cacao nib oreos with meyer lemon caramel filling

Here's a bit of a tricky treat for y'all: a cookie that's sweet but salty.

I've been a bit obsessed with making sandwich cookies lately--don't ask me why because I have NO idea, so I couldn't get this idea out of my head for my Halloween party.  Originally, I'd wanted to make pumpkin oreos, but when I realized that I had too many pumpkin-flavored treats on my list of desserts to make, I had to rack my brain for a different flavor of oreo, and these sweet-but-salty cookies came about.

Seasalt and cacao nib oreos
with meyer lemon caramel filling

They are quite a mind trip but soooo good at the same time!  When you first bite into these, you taste the sweetness of the filling and the caramel but then the sea salt hits and the overall impression that you're left with is that you just ate a yummy but salty cookie.  Bizarre!  I also have to warn you that you'll really want to eat this cookie dough because it's nice and chocolate-y and not sweet at all, so I found myself popping cookie dough in my mouth whenever I had a chance.  Oops.  *innocent look*  I can't wait to serve these at the Halloween party and to see the look on people's faces when they expect a sweet cookie but get hit with savory instead!

Read on for the recipe...

Seasalt cacao nib oreos with lemon meyer caramel filling
Makes ~120 small 1" cookies

For cookie:
2 cups AP flour
3/4 cup cocoa
3/4 cup crushed cacao nibs (I ran these through a food processor to crush them.)
2 tspn coarse sea salt
1 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tspn vanilla

1. In a separate bowl, combine flour and cocoa.  Set aside.
2. In another separate bowl, combine sea salt and cacao nibs.  Set aside.
3. In a mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
4. Add egg and vanilla to butter and sugar mixture and beat to combine.
5. At low speed, gradually add the flour mixture in two portions.
6. Add the sea salt and cacao nibs and mix to combine.
7. Wrap the dough in 2-3 separate portions in parchment paper and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, make the filling:

For filling:
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup veggie shortening
~1/4 cup lemon meyer caramel sauce (as a time-saver, I bought this ready-made at my local Whole Foods--make your own if you can! This sauce is great for other desserts as well.)
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1. In mixer, beat butter and shortening for about 2-3 minutes on medium.
2. Add caramel sauce and gradually mix in powdered sugar.
3. With mixer on high, beat for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

Baking and assembling:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Take one portion of dough out of the freezer at a time. Roll out dough between two pieces of parchment paper or on a floured surface until about 1/4" thickness.  Use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes.
3. Place prepared dough on a pan with a silpat or sheet of parchment paper.  Sprinkle half of the cookies with red sea salt (grey sea salt would work great, too, but I couldn't find it reasonably priced...).
4. Bake cookies for ~10-12 minutes, rotating once half-way through.
5. Remove cookies and let cool.
6. Fill a pastry bag with the filling and pipe a small amount on a cookie.  Sandwich the filling with another cookie and gently press down.




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