Whole Wheat Cookies Stuffed with Dulce de Leche

Happy New Year!

How were everyone’s holidays?!

I hope that they full of lots of family, friends, love, excitement—now let’s make 2017 even better than last!

Ohh 2016, you were quite a sassy little thing weren’t you, so moody, yet so wonderful. While there were many ups and downs, full of pounds of butter and sugar and chocolate chips, some loss, lots of growth and gain, quite a few running blisters, a wedding, a move, a new puppy, some really tough moments, followed by many unbelievably beautiful ones…I’d say 2016 is a year that will never be forgotten.

But the obvious question here: are y’all big New Year Resolution people?!

I used to be, always the normal “go to the gym more often,” “eat more whole foods,” “be more positive.” But I’ve slowly strayed away from that and moved more into the self-love: respecting yourself and your body, finding happiness, etc. One huge thing that I learned over the last year was that you can’t always control what happens, but you can control how your react to it, which is how I try and stay most centered.

So there. Voilà. My updated life outlook!

Along with that, baking will always be my most relaxing activity…I mean unless you want to include cuddling on the couch the pup and Roberto an activity…

I want this year to include a lot more wild experiments in the kitchen, whether it’s testing a recipe 500 times, or seeing how huge I can make a cookie and what silly thing I can stuff it with next, or how tall I can stack a cake, who knows—there will be no fear this year!

The first recipe of 2017 is a more simple one, slightly healthy (what’s up, whole wheat flour?!), but also packed full of homemade dulce de leche and dipped in chocolate…so nevermind with the H word.

As you know, I get random cravings, then I need to get into the kitchen and just bake until they are satisfied! Remember the caramel corn? All started with my need to go to an amusement park…sometimes I even surprise myself… Anyways! This recipe was exactly that: I wanted something salty dipped in chocolate, and a pretzel or a chip just wouldn’t do! Then it was something like oh, a cookie? But hmm, I bet it would be great stuffed with caramel, so let’s make dulce de leche! But still, hello, where’s the covered-in-chocolate part?! Right, a cookie, with all sorts of chocolate chips, a gooey inside, dipped in milk chocolate, sprinkled with salt, AND SPRINKLES!

Oh. Whole wheat flour for a slightly different taste, texture and maybe added nutrients?! It is the New Year isn’t it?           

It’s always fun to read my ridiculous thoughts, isn’t it? I did happen to bring a test batch of these cookies (that’s 30 of them…) to a relatively intimate NYE party, and they were all eaten! So, if that’s not proof that these are addicting and delicious, go grab a bottle of Champagne, then you’ll definitely be convinced!

 

ingredients

Butter (room temperature)—12 oz, or 3 sticks

Brown Sugar—12 oz, or 1 ½ C

White Sugar—4 oz, or ½ C

Eggs—3

Vanilla—2 tsp

Baking Soda—1 tsp

Salt—2 tsp

Whole Wheat Flour—17.5 oz, or 3 C

AP Flour—10.25 oz, or 2 C

Chocolate Chips—14 oz, or 2 C

Dulce de Leche—recipe here

Milk Chocolate Chips (melted)—2 cups

 

process

In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.

Scrape down the sides of your bowl.

Add in the eggs and vanilla, mix until combined.

In a separate bowl, sift the flours, baking soda and salt.

With the mixer on low, slowly add in the dry ingredients.

Add in your chocolate chips.

Mix until all is combined.

Wrap the cookie dough in plastic wrap and allow to chill for at least an hour or two, until it has firmed up a bit.

While the dough is chilling, you can make your dulce de leche sauce—found here! This will take between 2-3 hours, so it’s a great time to get it done!

 

When you are ready to bake your cookies, preheat your oven to 350˚F.

By this time, your dough should have firmed up, and your dulce de leche should be finished and cooled.

Make dough balls that are about 1 oz, which is around a tablespoon—this can be eyeballed!

Flatten them out and make them into little “bowls” so that the filling will have a nice place to sit.

Put about a ½ tsp of dulce de leche in the middle.

Take another ball that is the same size, flatten and make another bowl out of it, this will be the top to your filled bottom cookie bowls.

Cover the filling with this second flattened piece, press the edges so that it seals in the dulce de leche, and then gently roll it in your hands so it makes a completely closed cookie dough ball.

This is one!

Do this with the remainder of your cookie dough and filling.

Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

It will be hard to tell when they are finished baking due to the color of the whole wheat flour, but they should be completely set on the edges and just slightly underbaked in the centers.

Allow to cool completely before dipping them in chocolate!

 

To make the chocolate for dipping, make a double boiler and melt about 2 cups of chocolate chips.

When the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, remove from the heat (make sure to wipe the bottom of the bowl to remove any of the warm water!), and dip each cooled cookie about halfway with chocolate.

Before the chocolate sets, sprinkle with just a little bit of salt and some sprinkles for extra color, crunch and excitement!

Whether or not you allow to chocolate to cool and set entirely…

 

Bon Appétit!

Salty Chocolate Tart

Good morning, my wonderful baking friends! I have quite a confession to make, and I hope that you all will understand—this recipe below is amazingly quick and simple, I can hardly believe it myself. The dough has only 6 ingredients in it, and I know that they are in your pantry, and the chocolate ganache has 4 ingredients…yes, FOUR! I mean, I have made 3 of these tarts over just a couple of days, I promise that I have some sort of life outside of baking…

…which may be hard to believe, I know!

I made this recipe for a friend of mines birthday this week, whose love for baking is just about as crazy as yours truly. She is honestly all sorts of wonderful—an outdoors loving, musical obsessed, positivity radiating, lovely person, AND she was all about us blasting the Hamilton soundtrack at 9am at work the other day, sooo does it get any better than that?!

So to start with Miss Anna’s birthday chocolate tart, I used a simple pâte sucrée base (recipe found in my Lemon Blueberry Tart recipe!). It’s really just a sugar dough, it makes quite the vehicle for this type of tart, not the main star, but would totally win for best supporting role! ...And from there, a dark chocolate ganache. It is so simple to make, I don’t know why I haven’t made this (really) since school a couple of years ago.

Boiled cream—pour over the chocolate—stir to combine—add the butter—add the alcohol—put into baked tart shell—let set.

What I love is that while it is simple in steps and ingredients, the flavor is mind blowingly divine. You can play around with how dark you want your chocolate to be, but it’s going to end up so smooth and creamy, slightly sweet yet very rich, only a small sliver is required, or 3 small slivers if you’re me. Another fun addition you can do to this tart? For my friend’s, I added crushed up pretzels to the top of it, because I mean, duh, and the salty chocolate combination was undeniably delicious. Or you can just sprinkle coarse salt on top as well, and a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon or Carmenere goes a long way with this dessert as well!

This is certainly going to become a go-to for most dinner parties and celebrations, but it is also absolutely acceptable early on a Friday morning, dancing along to a little bit of Hamilton and enjoying for a birthday of a beautiful friend!

pâte sucrée ingredients and process

found here

 

chocolate ganache ingredients

Heavy Cream—10 oz, or 1 ¼ C

Dark Chocolate, roughly chopped—5 oz, ~10 squares if using a Ghirardelli bar

Butter, cubed—2.25 oz, or 4 ¼ TBL

Bourbon—0.5 oz, or 1 TBL

 

process

Set up all of your ingredients, as the heavy cream will boil very quickly.

Place the heavy cream in a small saucepot with the heat on medium.

While the cream is coming to a boil, put the chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl.

Once the cream comes to a boil (watch out so it does not boil over!), pour it over the chocolate and allow it to sit like that for 3-4 minutes.

Using a wooden spoon, begin to stir the heavy cream-chocolate mixture.

Once it has homogenized, add in the butter.

Stir until melted and combined.

Add your alcohol of choice—in my case, bourbon, always!

Stir.

Pour into your prepared 10” tart pan.

Place in the refrigerator for about 4-6 hours or overnight so that the ganache can set.

To decorate: it is tasty all on its own, but sprinkling salt over top the entire tart really makes the chocolate pop; also, fresh fruit is always a great option as well!

Enjoy with a glass of red wine and good company.

 

Bon Appétit!