Praline flavour soft cookies

caramelcookies

I’ve been tinkering with these biscuits for a couple of weeks – I think now I have this recipe just about as good as it can get. My twin lads now basically hover in the kitchen waiting for a batch to be just cooled enough to eat. So I’m thinking that might be a good endorsement!

Notes

Makes about 22 – 24 biscuits, each about 5 cm diameter.

Chill the biscuits before you bake them to ensure they stay thick and slightly crunchy. If you pop them in the oven straight after making they will flatten, giving you a very different biscuit altogether (still highly edible but thin and crisper).

I have made these biscuits with a proprietary gluten free flour – they need about a minute more in the oven, but came out otherwise roughly the same.

Please do make these with the sugars listed below – demerara/soft brown and golden caster. I do believe that the browner sugars have a slightly nuttier taste, because there is just a little of the molasses left in the sugars – or I have read actually added back in to some white sugars after it is initially extracted/centrifuged out. Is it me or does that sound insane (and how do I find out which brown sugar this is?)?  This nuttier taste then adds significantly to the caramel-ly flavour of the finished biscuits.

Also, it’s not just the flavour – the two different sized sugar crystals (demerara being larger and more boxy) provide different profiles to the bake. The soft brown sugar will melt quicker – if you used all of this smaller granulated sugar the biscuits would be smoother and well, more ‘biscuity’ rather than like a proper soft cookie. If you don’t have these sugars you can substitute demerara for granulated and soft brown for normal caster; well… if you have to.

Purchase the caramel syrup in the coffee aisle in a supermarket. You know the ones that they add into coffee to flavour it? I have used both Monin and Vedrenne makes for this (I ran out of one after a first test then only found the other to purchase). I can’t tell the difference between them.

Equipment

  • 2 large baking trays (or cook in two batches if you only have one)
  • A third, smaller baking tray or ceramic oven proof dish
  • Bowl
  • Small ice cream scoop if you have one (this ensures the biscuit dough is the same size for every one)
  • Baking parchment/greaseproof paper
  • Wooden spoon (no mixer is needed for this recipe)

Ingredients

  • Unsalted butter at room temperature – 120g
  • Demerara or soft brown sugar – 100g
  • Golden caster sugar – 50g
  • Egg, medium – 1
  • Ground almonds – 30g
  • Plain (or gluten free) flour – 150g
  • Baking powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Hazelnuts, roughly chopped – 70g
  • White chocolate drops – 60g
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Caramel syrup – 1 1/4 teaspoons

Method

  1. Put the oven on to 120C fan, about 140C for a conventional oven
  2. Pour the hazelnuts onto the smaller tray/dish and bake in the oven for about 10 minutes gently until they start to turn a light toasty brown (don’t let them burn)
  3. Remove and leave to cool
  4. When the nuts are cool, roughly chop them
  5. Line the two baking trays
  6. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl (as best as you can – the larger particle sugar will stop you getting as creamy a consistency as you would with just caster)
  7. Mix in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, salt, caramel and egg
  8. Add in the nuts and white chocolate drops and mix gently until they are distributed evenly throughout
  9. Make about 24 small balls with the dough using the small ice cream scoop, or use a tablespoon measure, and place with at least a 2cm gap between them on the trays
  10. Flatten them very slightly
  11. Refrigerate for 15 minutes
  12. Preheat your oven to 180C fan/ 190C conventional
  13. Put in the oven for 12 -14 minutes
  14. They are done when they are just about to go golden brown at the edges. They will be slightly soft, but do check they are not underdone in the middle (if a biscuit looks a bit translucent in the middle it still needs a couple more minutes baking). They will firm up a little more as they cool
  15. Let them cool on the tray – if you lift them onto a wire rack while they are warm you risk breaking them
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