As part of an upcoming cookie box, Little G and I decided to make an assortment of cookies. We picked a few from the 2019 New York Times cookie special that we hadn’t made before, then added a few more ideas from elsewhere. This one was probably everyone’s favourite, and it’s a real sugar and fat bomb!
The recipe is from Cook’s Illustrated, Nov/Dec 2016. There’s three layers: a shortbread, a gooey caramel center, and a topping of tempered chocolate. Making the base is a snap: just stir ingredients together and pat them into the pan bottom. The filling requires more ingredients and dedication. I needed to buy the corn syrup and heavy cream, and I had to eyeball how much a 14 oz can of condensed milk was, from the larger sized can that I found in my pantry.
It took quite a while for the caramel to reach the target temperature of 236 to 239℉. I wasn’t keeping track of the time, but it definitely felt longer than 20 minutes. As I was stirring and scraping the bottom, it looked like there were some dark bits coming up, either browned butter solids, or maybe caramelized brown sugar.
To finish, the recipe calls for making tempered chocolate using the seeding method. The layer is quite thin, so get out that offset spatula to spread it out nice and evenly.
My caramel never set as nicely as in the magazine’s photographs. It was quite gooey and oozed a bit with every cut. After chilling the shortbread, it was much easier to slice. As others have noted, the bottom cookie base is quite crumbly and sandy, not soft and tender.
This was by far everyone’s favourite, and it was not hard to taste why. The centre is luscious and buttery, sandwiched between a cookie and pure chocolate, and is rich and satisfying. The hardest part is having the restraint to eat one piece at each sitting.