Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Caramel Chocolate Ribbon Cookies

I'm all unpacked and loving my new place, it was finally time to bake in my new place.  But what to bake?  I still only have the necessities (for a lot of things) and don't have everything I usually keep in my baking pantry.  So with a limited list of ingredients in mind, I pulled out the cookbook my sisters gave me for my birthday, I have been dying to use it and this was the perfect excuse.  Not that I ever need an excuse, but sometimes it feels good to justify the need to bake.  I'm pretty sure we all grew up with a copy of a Betty Crocker Cookbook or have at least seen them.  So when I found out that they had one devoted to just cookies, I wanted it, badly.  But of course shortly after I got it I packed it away.  I'm happy to say that all of my boxes are gone, and I have some things lying on my living room floor, waiting to be put away.  But for that to happen I need to get some bookshelves and some end tables.  But stuff like that can wait until I get a job. 

It had been bugging me all week that I haven't been in the kitchen, and I have moved things around numerous times, Big Red being one of them. Time to get out the cookbook and start to bake.  And why not start with some easy things.  I picked out two treats and couldn't wait to get them going.  First up was the cookies.  The dough does need to chill for at least 4 hours - so you know that means that it can also be kept in the freezer for up to a month before you use it.  I made the dough, made the other treat and relaxed for the night.  I woke up the next morning and I saw the dough when I opened the fridge.  So on the oven went, and 8 minutes later.......

......perfect balance of caramel and chocolate.  You could also add mini chocolate chips to the chocolate layer if you wanted a little more of a chocolate boost.  Now comes my only problem, not a lot of taste testers here yet :/ The lucky recipients of these were the people in the office of my apartment building - they were so excited. 

Caramel Chocolate Ribbon Cookies
makes about 5 dozen
1/2 cup shortening or butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening, egg and vanilla until creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add in flour, baking soda and salt.  Mix until incorporated.
  2. In a small bowl, take half of dough and add chocolate.  Mix until chocolate is evenly distributed. 
  3. Divide both doughs in half and form each half into 2 strips that are 2" wide and 1/4" thick.  On a large piece of plastic wrap or waxed paper, place a layer of chocolate dough, then a layer of caramel dough, followed by another layer of chocolate and then caramel dough, making sure to press each layer together gently.  Repeat with remaining dough; you will have 2 dough logs.  Wrap tightly and refrigerate, at least 4 hours. 
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.  Cut each log into pieces that are 1/8".  Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden brown.  Let cool completely on wire racks.  

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