Friday, May 12, 2006

Donna Hay's Caramel-Filled Biscuits

For the third Hay, Hay, It’s Donna Day! the challenge was to make cookies having two colors and two flavors – a very good challenge.

My choice, Caramel-Filled Biscuits with added chocolate, unfortunately, did not come out to my liking.

Here's my gripe: the cookie is buttery, sandy, and soft – like a tender shortbread. (If you’ve ever eaten a Mexican Wedding Cake, you’ll know what I’m talking about.) My mother makes something very similar at Christmas and it’s the one type of cookie that I completely avoid. The difference here is that the corn flour in the dough adds the occasional bit of hard corn meal, which seems to run counter to the rest of the cookie’s texture. Maybe the corn flour I bought wasn’t milled well enough.

The cookie is filled with a sweet caramel made from Sweetened Condensed Milk. The last time I used SCM, I had trouble getting past its cheesy smell. (You have to get very close to it to pick that up.) I ran into the same problem here. I know, however, that that is completely my problem. I had so much caramel left over that Shane ate it for dessert. And breakfast.

To combat these challenges, I threw in vanilla extract to both the batter and the caramel, but I don’t think it made any difference. What did change things was the melted chocolate I piped into and on top of the sandwiches. That’s my favorite part.

I’d like these a lot better if:
The caramel was omitted
The cornflour was replaced (with AP flour?)
The cookies were baked thinner
The cookie was filled and topped solely with chocolate, OR filled with a raspberry jam and topped with chocolate.

I’m looking forward to doing another Donna Hay recipe soon because they sound so good. (Honey and sesame prawn stir-fry? Yum.)

But I’m staying away from this one.

Donna Hay’s Caramel-filled Biscuits

2 sticks plus 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c. confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ c. flour
1 c. cornflour
1 egg.
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
4 Tbsp + 1 tsp. butter
2 Tbsp. golden syrup (or light corn syrup)
½ tsp. vanilla extract

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

Combine the butter, sugar, flour, cornstarch, egg and vanilla in a stand mixer until a smooth dough forms. Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls and place on lined baking trays. Flatten the dough slightly and place the trays in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until firm. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F.

Bake the biscuits until lightly golden, 10 to 14 minutes. Cool on racks.

To make the filling, combine the condensed milk, butter, vanilla and corn syrup in a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of boiling water. Let cook 10 to 15 minutes until the caramel is thick, stirring occasionally.

Place chocolate into a microwave-safe plastic zipper bag (like Ziplock) and seal. Microwave at 30 second intervals at 30- to 40-percent power until chocolate is melted, mushing the chocolate between “zaps.”

Cool the caramel for 10 minutes (though it took mine much, much longer), then spoon onto the flat side of a cookie. Snip a small corner off the chocolate-filled plastic bag, and using it as a pastry bag, place dollops of chocolate the flat side of another cookie. Sandwich the cookies together and repeat. To decorate, drizzle chocolate on top of each cookie. Allow to cool and become firm before eating.

Yeilds 12 cookie sandwiches.

Grade: C (much higher if this is your kind of cookie)

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Kelvin said...

Kia Ora (Hello) from a male blogger down under in New Zealand. You have a really great recipe blog.

Laura Rebecca said...

Thank you very much! I'm glad you like the blog!

If you're interested, click on the "caramel-filled biscuit" hyperlink above for this recipe's original, metric measurements. For measurement conversions on other recipes, the "Kitchen Measurement Converter" (listed on the right under "links") is a wonderful tool -- bless the folks behind it!

Lis said...

I totally understand and agree with your points on why this cookie probably isn't the greatest.. I've never used corn flour, but I can see why it may not be the best flour for a cookie that turns out with a light crumb and although I love caramel, I find that with cookies (along with cakes and brownies as well), the caramel makes the all around cookie too sweet.. I do like the idea of filling these with the raspberry jam though.

That all said.. they still turned out beautiful looking! A very pretty sandwich cookie =)

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I just stumbled on this from Barbara's blog, I'm also from New Zealand. I think for this recipe, you need to use cornstarch. Here in NZ and Australia, we call this cornflour but I think the equivalent in the USA is cornstarch.

Your cookies are beautiful, I love the chocolate on the top!!