Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Cookies

Butter + Sugar + Chocolate + Caramel = Delicious

It is hard to resist the delightful scents that draw people to the kitchen. Freshly baked cookies is one of those incredible aromas. Your nose can sniff the smell of baking bread and other good things here at Jungle Jim's International Market in the Bakery department and of course, in the Cooking School. Right now the Kraft Caramel Bits are available and when you pair that with a bar of Jungle Jim's 54% Dark Belgian Chocolate with Roasted Almonds and a pinch of flaky sea salt, something wonderful is going to happen. Follow the evidence!


Good Smell #1:  Browned Butter


If you haven't tried browning butter, then you really should. For the cookie recipe below, we used 2 sticks of unsalted butter and browned it in a saucepan over medium heat. Keep a close watch over the bubbling and foaming butter - stir it frequently until you smell a nutty fragrance and the color turns a golden brown. The butter can go from brown to burned quickly, so don't walk away. High fat butter will brown more quickly because there is less water to evaporate, so giving an exact time to completion is hard to do - depends on the butter you use.

Good Smell #2:  Coffee


When the powdered espresso hits the dough, you can smell the coffee house aroma waft up from the bowl of the mixer.

Good Smell #3:  Chocolate


You can really use any kind of chocolate in this recipe, including semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks , or other high quality dark chocolate bars with or without nuts. Jungle Jim's markets a very nice chocolate bar that is showcased in this recipe; we also carry a dark chocolate bar with cocoa nibs that would work very well, too. A sprinkle of flaky sea salt brings all the good flavors together in perfect cookie harmony.


A cookie scoop ensures a uniform size of cookie that helps with baking - all the cookies are done at the same time! We used a 1.5 tablespoon sized cookie scoop. You can pick one up in the Gourmet Galeria.


Good Smell #4:  Freshly Baked Cookies - see above photo again and again!


Brown Butter Mocha Cookies with Sea Salt and Caramel

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar - you can use light brown
1/4 granulated sugar
1 large egg + one egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour - we use Gold Medal Unbleached
2 tablespoons instant espresso powder - we use Medaglia D'Oro brand
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup caramel bits - we use Kraft Caramel Bits
3/4 - 1 cup coarsely chopped Jungle Jim's 54% Dark Belgian Chocolate with Roasted Almonds
Coarse sea salt for sprinkling on top 


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir and watch carefully. When the butter begins to turn brown and fragrant, remove from heat and pour into the bowl of a stand mixer to cool for 5 - 10 minutes.

While butter is cooling, combine the flour, coffee, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.

When the butter has cooled, add the sugars and beat until well combined - at least 2 minutes. Add the egg, yolk and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and combine on low speed until just mixed. The caramel bits and chocolate chunks can be mixed in gently by hand.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, use a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop to make balls of dough. Eight  scoops of dough per pan. Sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt. Bake for 9 minutes and then check to see that the edges are brown and the dough is not shiny. Bake an additional 1 to 2 minutes if more time is needed. Cool on the sheet for 5 minutes and remove to a rack.

Makes 22-24 cookies

Tip:  When using all butter in a cookie recipe, take the time to make a test cookie. If the cookie flattens out too much, add a couple tablespoons of flour to the remaining dough or chill the dough for 30 minutes and try again. 






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