Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies
with Salted Chocolate German Buttercream

Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies With Salted Chocolate German Buttercream. There is just soooo much to unpack with this title! This cookie! 

First, if you haven’t been introduced to caramelized white chocolate, let me formally introduce you two now. We take any old white chocolate. You want to get something good quality, but I don’t want you to stress too much or spend too much money. Because traditionally when you caramelize white chocolate you take the chocolate to the point where it gets smooth and creamy. And to do that the best you can, you’ll need a really good quality white chocolate. But we’re not taking it that far today.

Not this time.

We’re going to sprinkle the white chocolate over a baking sheet, pop it in the oven and periodically spread it around the sheet until it gets caramelized and crumbly. Or as I like to call it at this stage:  ‘white chocolate dust.’

Said caramelized white chocolate dust then gets folded into a rich, brownie-like cookie dough until it resembles a constellation — so don’t fold too much. You just want streaks of the white chocolate dust throughout. And there’s your Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookie. It’s that easy.

Then German buttercream comes onto the scene. Even better, Salted Chocolate German Buttercream. Helloooooo beautiful. A lot of people don’t know about it. Haven’t tried it, but Erin Clarkson (Cloudy Kitchen) is a big fan. How does Erin play into the mix?

Last fall when all of the craziness (and fun) of The Cookie Book was happening I got asked to participate in a cookie competition at Cherry Bombe University. When Erin and I found out we were both doing it we knew we wanted to partner up and make our cookie together. We came up with this beauty from opposite sides of the US and I couldn’t be more proud of this nugget. You will be addicted to Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies With Salted Chocolate German Buttercream, I promise.

The entire process was heaps of fun. Read below the pics for more about this cookie + the event! 

Before We Get Started

  • Caramelizing White Chocolate. Depending on the chocolate you use and the heat of the oven, your white chocolate may turn into dust sooner or later. Some chocolates I used turned into dust after 20 minutes. Others took about 40 minutes. If you accidentally took the chocolate past the dust stage and it gets smooth and creamy, don’t fret. Let it cool and then chop it up into little bits. It will resemble the constellation vibe we’re going after. Promise.
  • Buttercream Chocolate. When you cool the chocolate that goes into the buttercream, stir it frequently and make sure it doesn’t get to the point that it hardens…because you don’t want bits of hard chocolate in your buttercream. It can be slightly warm when you put it in.
  • Make Ahead. This is a fabulous cookie to make ahead as both the dough and the custard for the buttercream benefit from fridge time. So if you are running short on time, you can caramelize the white chocolate and make the cookie dough + custard one day and then bake off the cookies and finish the buttercream another.

Let’s make some bombe ass Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies, shall we?

Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies

These small, bite-sized cookies pack a punch. We took a classic brownie cookie that’s soft, chewy and melts in your mouth and then loaded it with caramelized white chocolate. It sounds complicated. But it’s not.

To make the caramelized white chocolate you just put some white chocolate on a baking sheet, shove it in the oven and then stir every ten minutes until it gets clumpy. Once it’s clumpy, you’ve arrived.

These are the perfect make ahead cookies because the brownie dough needs to rest in the fridge a bit to firm up and the custard base of the buttercream likewise needs time to chill out.

Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies

That Salted Chocolate German Buttercream is next level delicious. I’m not even joking. It also sounds complicated, but it’s not. It starts with a custard base that comes together quickly.

Once you give the custard base a good chill in the fridge you whisk it until smooth and creamy. Once it is 100% smooth, whisk in room temperature butter and your melted and cooled chocolate and that’s it. It’s done.

This buttercream is so stable it doesn’t have to be used immediately. Just store it air-tight until ready to use. You will seriously die when you taste how delicious it is. I’m not joking.

Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies

We opted to use a 1 tablespoon scoop for the cookie, because we had to get heaps of Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies out of one recipe so we would have enough for everyone at Cherry Bombe University.

I think we had to make 100s of these cookies…and I’m not exaggerating. But my memory is also rubbish, so the exact number is unknown until Erin texts me back. ;) She just got back to me. It was 200 cookies. I’m just saying, that’s a lot of sandwich cookies.

Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Working on this Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookie from opposite sides of the US was a little tricky. I worked on the cookie and Erin worked on the buttercream.

Erin was nice enough to prep everything the night I landed in New York. The next morning I went to her apartment and we baked and assembled cookies for hours. And hours. We even busted out her awesome counter oven…Erin, what’s that called? It worked amazing!!! 

I’m thinking it took us around five hours to make enough cookies for all of the Cherry Bombe University attendees. That’s a long time making one cookie. Just saying.

Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies

We schlepped all of the cookies to the Cherry Bombe event and everyone was so nice! All of the attendees wandered around, tasted cookies and gave us awesome feedback. The most fun was mingling and chatting with a bunch of people who all have the same interests as we do. The Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookie won the attendees vote. Yay! 

If you only do two things with the rest of your life, make it be caramelizing white chocolate and whipping up some German buttercream. Your life will be complete. Actually, if you make Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies, then your life will be complete.

Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookies

Caramelized White Chocolate Dust Brownie Cookies with Salted Chocolate German Buttercream

Makes approximately 35 sandwich cookies

INGREDIENTS

For the Caramelized White Chocolate Dust

  • 10 ounces (283 g) White Chocolate (if not chips, finely chop up)

For the Cookie

  • 8 tablespoons (115 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1⁄4 cups (250g) granulated sugar
  • 1⁄2 cup (100g) dark muscovado, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 3 teaspoons (15 ml) real vanilla extract
  • 1⁄2 cup (118 ml) sunflower seed oil
  • 1 1⁄4 cups (156 g) bread flour
  • 1 1/4 cup (156g) all-purpose flour
  • 2⁄3 cup (74 g) unsweetened dark (Dutch process) cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon sea salt

For the Salted Chocolate German Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon (110g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (12g) cornstarch
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (190g) whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or real vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g/3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6.4 ounces (180g/1 cup + 2 tablespoons) Bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • ½ tsp flaky sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Caramelized White Chocolate

  1. Preheat your oven to 250°F (121°C).
  2. Sprinkle the white chocolate over a baking sheet and bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes. Take out of the oven and stir the chips and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Repeat this process 2-4 more times, until they have turned a nice bronze color and the chips have crumbled. Take out of the oven and set aside to cool.

For the Cookies

  1. In an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar and mix on medium for 4 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time taking care that each is well blended before adding in the next. Add in the vanilla and oil running the machine 1 minute more or until thoroughly blended. Be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl so that everything is well blended. Take the bowl out of the mixer.
  2. In a medium bowl whisk together the bread flour, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sea salt. Add this to the butter mixture and combine in as few strokes as possible and no flour streaks remain. Take the bowl out of the mixer, sprinkle the caramelized chocolate dust over the top and barely fold into the dough…you want there to be thick swirls of it in the dough. Wrap tightly and chill for at least
    3 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and cover several baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Roll into 1 tablespoon-size balls (19g) and set on the prepared baking sheet leaving a 1 1⁄2-inch (3.7-cm) space between dough balls. If dough gets sticky while rolling, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes to firm back up.
  5. Bake one sheet at a time for 8 minutes in the center of the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a rack to finish cooling.

For the German Buttercream

  1. In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, corn starch, egg, egg yolk and salt. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and vanilla to just shy of a simmer.  Remove from the heat.
  2. Using one hand to whisk constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture. This helps to temper the eggs and stop them from scrambling. Whisk until incorporated, and then pour the whole lot back into the saucepan.
  3. Heat the milk and egg mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until it begins to bubble. It will thicken quickly. Once it has thickened, cook for one minute, then remove from the heat. Pour into a shallow container or bowl of a stand mixer and press some plastic wrap over the surface to avoid a skin from forming. Refrigerate until cold – at least four hours, preferably overnight. If you need to speed this process up, you can place the pastry cream in a bowl, then place the bowl in an ice bath. Stir frequently.
  4. Fit your mixer with the whisk attachment, and place the pastry cream in the bowl. Whip the mixture on medium until creamy and lump-free. Begin adding the butter, a few cubes at a time, until fully incorporated. It may look curdled at some point but just keep whipping – it will come together! Once the buttercream is homogenous, add the cooled melted dark chocolate and flaky sea salt, and mix well to combine. Store in an airtight container until ready to use, or if using immediately, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a round tip.
  5. To assemble, pair similar-sized cookies, pipe a blob of buttercream on one half, and press the other cookie on top.  Alternatively you can use an offset spatula, and smear the buttercream on. Repeat with the remaining cookies.
  6. Thank you for making these Caramelized White Chocolate Brownie Cookie! Be sure to tag Erin and I, @cloudykitchen @displacedhousewife, so we can see your gorgeous cookies on social. Happy baking!! xo

On My Mind

Sending you heaps of love + light!

R xoxo

 

8 Comments

  • Sarah 2019/02/16 at 12:45 AM

    DYING to try making these as a birthday gift for someone – but I have a few questions! You say the dough and the buttercream will do well to sit in the fridge for a bit – is it okay if they sit for 1-2 days? It’s hard to find time to bake on the weeknights! Secondly, what is best for storing the cookies once they’re baked and sandwiched together? Last, what’s a good sub for muscovado if I can’t find it at any of my local grocers? Thank you!!

    Reply
  • Morgan 2019/02/12 at 11:23 PM

    These look AMAZING…my mouth won’t stop watering!!! And congrats on Hallmark Home and Family!!! Your segment was so good!! XO

    Reply
  • MB 2019/02/11 at 6:48 PM

    Love that Book Riot Baking Book list – and was so thrilled The Cookie book was there. You’re deservedly among great company there Rebecca! Congrats :) . And good Lord, those cookies look absolutely divine.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2019/02/11 at 8:56 PM

      I didn’t know if it was ok to use your name in a post!!! I was so excited to see my book on there — thank you so much for that, really. And I loved seeing tons of my favorite baking books on there as well.

      Sidebar, you should try this cookies! They are so worth it!!!
      xoxo

      Reply
  • Anita 2019/02/10 at 1:18 AM

    Oh, Rebecca!! I am so excited to try this recipe!
    And I am so incredibly proud of you!! You are on FIRE!! So well deserved and hard earned. ❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
    • Rebecca Firth 2019/02/10 at 1:23 AM

      Awww, thanks Ani!!!! I can’t wait for you to try them — they are INSANE!!!!!!!! I am in the middle of a cleanse (I don’t know why??) and I broke it to eat three while I photographed them — so good. Thank you thank you thank you for your sweet words!!! xoxo

      Reply
  • Sofia 2019/02/10 at 12:32 AM

    Wow, this looks so good, I can’t wait to try the recipe.

    Reply

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