Friday, April 20, 2012

Salted Chocolate- Caramel Turtle Ice Cream Sandwiches

Salted Chocolate- Caramel Turtle Ice Cream Sandwiches

This past fall, I was looking for a recipe to make some cookies for a friend.  I wanted something with that salty /sweet combo that is so popular right now and it definitely had to include chocolate. After looking, I stumbled upon this recipe on one of my favorite blogs: How Sweet It Is. I made the cookies and they were amazing. The night that I made them, was before a long trip.  After I had packed and prepared, I sat down with a bowl of vanilla ice cream and two of these cookies. They had a little chewiness due to the caramel, crunch from the pecan and every once in a while you would bite into a salt crystal. Delish! It dawned on me at that time that these cookies would make great ice creams sandwiches with a caramel ice cream that I had made before. The cookies needed to be a little bigger for sandwiches and why not add more caramel to balance the strong chocolate cookie. My wheels were turning......... this little gem is what I came up with!

This is actually two recipes: one for the cookies and the other for the ice cream. If you choose to not make the ice cream or don't have and ice cream maker, buy a good quality caramel ice cream like Ben & Jerry's Dulce Delish. The cookies are also great on their own.

Salty Chocolate- Caramel Turtle Cookies

Dough ready for the oven

1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans
12-15 caramels, chopped into fours

Cream together the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla until fluffy. Add flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Mix until combined. Fold in pecans, caramel pieces, and chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 4-6 hours or more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough into 2 inch balls and set on the baking sheet. (Note: Refrigerating is the most important part. If you don't refrigerate, when the cookies go into the oven, the caramel pieces will sink to the bottom and stick to the cookie sheet.)

Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool slightly on the baking sheet before moving them to a cooling rack. Place the cookies in airtight containers until ready to make the ice cream sandwiches.
Yield: about 3 dozen

Recipe Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Caramel gooey goodness



Caramel Ice Cream

Spinning away in the ice cream maker!

3/4 cup sugar plus 2 Tbsp
2 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 cup heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

 In a heavy saucepan combine the 3/4 cup sugar, water and lemon juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar dissolves, 1-2 minutes. Stop stirring at this point and cook until the syrup is amber, 5-6 minutes, swirling it to make sure it cooks evenly. Watch closely to avoid burning. If it burns, you must throw it out and start over.

Cook the sugar until light amber.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour 3/4 cup of cream into the hot syrup being careful that none splashes on you. Stir with a wooden spoon until smooth. Place back over medium heat and cook until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Combine the egg yolks, salt and the 2 remaining Tbsp of sugar, and the remaining 1/4 cup of cream. Whisk until smooth.
Adding the cream to the warm caramel

Pour the milk mixture into the warm caramel and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and leaves a clear trail when finger is drawn through it, 4-6 minutes. Do not let the custard boil. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Stir in the vanilla.

The caramel has thickened until it sticks to the back of a spoon and you can draw a line with your finger and it does not run.

Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Stir occasionally until cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container. Cover and freeze till firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days before serving.
Yield: about 1 quart

Recipe courtesy of Williams Sonoma

To Make the Sandwiches:

Place approximately 8 cookies on a work surface with the flat side up. Scoop 1/2 cup of ice cream onto the cookie, pressing the ice cream down slightly with the back of a spoon being careful to not break the cookie. Place another cookie on top, pushing down slightly to make a good contact. Individually wrap each cookie in plastic wrap and place in freezer until ready to serve. Upon serving, remove from plastic wrap, plate and serve. Or leave the wrap on for a tidier snack.

* Note in this recipe you will have many more cookies that you have ice cream. You can eat the individual cookies alone, which is still wonderful or double your ice cream recipe.

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