Friday, December 17, 2010

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes {vegan+gluten free}

An "ugly sweater party" (though I might note, there were hardly any ugly sweaters present...) prompted the creation of these cupcakes. Simple, dark chocolate is blended with subtle notes of peppermint, all adorned with a cap of vegan vanilla-peppermint buttercream. The cake is fluffy and moist, balanced by a not-too-sweet frosting. These pleased both vegans (with rave reviews) and non-vegans alike. Irving Berlin may have been dreaming of a white Christmas, but I'm dreaming of a red, white, and chocolate Christmas. (That's right...I used a cheesy White Christmas reference. Rent it. Or buy it. And watch. It. And then make some cupcakes).

[insert recipe here] <----I'm too tired. I'll do this part tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gingerbread Cupcakes {Vegan+Gluten Free}

The weather has turned, the sweaters have been donned, the halls have been decked: The holiday season is here. In honor of the season of giving, I only found it fitting to spend a bit of my time on Tuesday baking treats for my much-deserved office mates. Visions of gingerbread were dancing in my head as I thought about cupcakes and rich, creamy frosting. I had a vegan gingerbread cupcake recipe, but I didn't love the idea of a citrus frosting with which the author intended it to be paired with. The recipe was also far from being gluten-free. A bit of experimenting later, I came out with these moist yet fluffy cupcakes that were all but devoured by everyone in the office. A hit!

{Vegan+Gluten Free}
(Recipe adapted from Gingerbread Cupcakes in "Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World")

1 1/4 c. Gluten-free flour (I used a combination of tapioca starch, corn starch, potato starch, white rice flour and Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Baking Blend)
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. molasses
1/2 c. maple syrup
1/4 c. soy milk
2 tbsp. tofu sour cream
1 1/2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 c. finely chopped crystallized ginger

1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. margarine
3 1/2 c. confectioner's sugar, sifted
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (try adding more spices if you deem necessary - I didn't really measure mine).
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 soy creamer

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a muffin tin with paper cupcake liners.

Sift the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt into a bowl.
Whisk the oil, molasses, maple syrup, soy milk, sour cream, and lemon zest in separate large bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just smooth. Fold in the crystallized ginger.

Fill cupcake liners two thirds full. Bake 19-22 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

Prepare frosting:
Beat the shortening and margarine until fluffy. Add sugar and spices and beat for about three minutes. Add the vanilla and soy creamer and beat another 5-7 minutes until fluffy.

Garnished with slices of crystallized ginger, if desired.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Pumpkin Pie {Vegan + Gluten Free}

We had a Thanksgiving Potluck at Pearlfisher (the design studio for whom I work) today, at which my chosen dish-to-pass was dessert. In keeping with true American Thanksgiving spirit, I needed to make a pumpkin pie. (I also made an apple pie...which will be posted shortly). I wanted to make both pies gluten-free and vegan, while remaining appealing to the masses. I was pleased with the gluten-free pie crusts I had made in the past, however, I often wondered if they could be made more flaky and less crumbly/cookie like. Success was achieved with the recipe I will post when it's not an ungodly hour...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies {vegan/gluten-free}

Clearly I've been into making cookies lately. A sub-par attempt at vegan/gluten-free brownies led me to believe I should continue making cookies, this time to satiate some sort of chocolate craving I was having. I originally made these cookies (using oil instead of margarine for chewiness) in the ice cream sandwiches I made this past summer. They're just as good sans-ice cream filling and were received with great welcome by friends and coworkers alike.

(Adapted from the Post Punk Kitchen)

3/4 cup vegan margarine (at room temperature)

2 cups sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon ground flax seed, plus 1 teaspoon ground flax seed

1/2 cup soymilk

2 cups gluten-free flour

1 tsp. xanthan gum

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups semisweet vegan chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Combine the ground flax seed and soy milk in a small sauce pan. Whisk over medium heat until gently boiling. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking soda,

salt, and xanthan gum.

Cream the sugar and margarine using an electric mixer. Add the flax/soy milk mixture and mix well. Stir in the vanilla.

Slowly mix in the dry ingredients.

Mix in the chocolate chips. Roll dough into 1" balls and place on a cookie sheet prepared with a silpat or parchment papper. Flatten dough balls slightly with the palm of your hand.

Bake for 9-10 minutes. Let cool slightly, remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes {vegan/gluten-free}

In due tribute to the fall season, I have turned a bit "pumpkin crazy". But honestly, I wait all year for the vegetable-that- is-rarely-eaten-as-a-true-vegetable to arrive and it would be a crying shame if I didn't take advantage of it. This recipe was developed on a rainy fall day as my mom was visiting me in New York (hence the flowers on the table - I got a bit fancy and placed wildflowers all over the apartment). As my mom slept peacefully, I was busy in the kitchen filling the apartment with the warm, spicy smell of these pancakes and the earthy scents of vegan maple-sage sausage (I can't give you this recipe because I didn't use one...but let me tell you, I don't like sausage very much and these impromptu patties were delicious). As my mom was learning about veganism (she's already had to learn plenty about my gluten-freeism) I felt like whatever I made better live up to any "normal" person's expectations. From her remarks (yes i know she's my mother but she isn't obligated to say nice things about my cooking) she could "eat vegan everyday if it tasted like this! (she) would never miss meat or anything!" And there you have it; my goal achieved.

1 1/4 c. non-dairy milk (I used hemp milk because I had it, but normally I would use almond milk)
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
3/4 c. canned pumpkin puree
1/4 c. canola oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/4 c. sweet white rice flour
1/4 c. sorghum flour
1/2 c. oat flour
1/2 c. tapioca flour
1/4 c. potato starch
1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon*
1/2 tsp. ground ginger*
1/4 tsp. ground cloves*
1/4 tsp. ground allspice*
Pinch of salt

*(please note that all spices are an estimate as i didn't actually measure them....oops.)

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the first five (wet) ingredients. In another medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, ensuring they are equally distributed. Gently whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, breaking up any lumps. Let the batter stand for 3-5 minutes. If the batter seems too thick, add a bit more almond milk until it is to your desired consistency; just be aware that over-mixing can mean a slightly tougher pancake.

Preheat griddle or skillet on medium heat. Spray pan with non-stick cooking oil.

Using a 1/4 c. measuring cup, pour batter onto the hot griddle (you will likely have to spread them out a bit with the back of the measuring cup). When bubbles are on the surface of the cakes, flip and cook a bit longer, until bottom is golden (avoid frequent flipping as over flipping pancakes also makes a tougher cake). Be patient, vegan and gluten-free pancakes take longer than normal pancakes to cook.

Serve with REAL maple syrup and enjoy!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Tea Cakes {vegan/gluten-free}

Get these cookies away from me. I have eaten so many of these that I'm not sure when I'll be able to make them again. That being said, they are delicious. They aren't quite a cookie, so I've started calling them "tea cakes" which I'm not sure is an appropriate name, but hey, I'll run with it. As the name "tea cakes" implies, they are very cakey and soft, instead of crisp or chewy like most cookies. The flavor is akin to a good pumpkin bread and, dare I be this cheesey?; harkens the fall. That's right, it's officially fall. Now go make some tea cakes.

2 1/2 c. gluten-free baking blend (I used a mixture of tapioca starch, potato starch, sorghum flour, white rice flour, oat flour, and garfava flour).
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. all spice
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
A pinch of salt

1/2 c. Earth Balance, melted
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 1/4 c. canned pumpkin
1 tbsp Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 2 Tbsp water
1 tsp Vanilla extract

1/4 c. Earth Balance, Softened
1/4 C. Tofutti Cream Cheese, softened
2 c. confectioners sugar, sifted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients
In a large bowl, mix together the wet ingredients.
Add the dry mixture to the wet, being careful not to overmix.

Drop scoops of dough on prepared baking sheets using a rounded scoop. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned. Cool completely.

Beat together Earth Balance and Tofutti cream cheese until combined. Add the sifted confectioner's sugar slowly until smooth. Frost tops of cooled cookies and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (vegan/gluten-free)

How many months has it been??? A relocation (for those of you unaware, I moved to New York), a new job, and a bunch of other significant changes have occupied my time as of late. However, the main reason behind my lack of posts has been the fact that summer in NYC has been HOT (and not just in Paris Hilton sense of the word). Apparently this is the hottest summer they have on record for New York. As it's generally been in the 90's and air conditioning is a luxury I can only afford in my room, turning on the oven makes my kitchen feel like the 7th circle of hell. Thus, cooking has been somewhat of a rarity in my apartment. However, I recently got back from a trip to the Pacific Northwest and for some reason, New York decided it was suddenly going to be fall. Let the cooking begin.

In Portland and Seattle I was able to sample a bunch of different baked goods from various vegan/gluten-free bakeries. Unfortunately, most were sub-par. As I have recently been craving a good cookie, I decided I would fire up the oven and bake some peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Outside of some (delicious) vegan/gluten-free ice cream sandwiches I had been making this summer, I haven't baked many vegan cookies, so I thought I'd play around a bit. I worked with this recipe and I have to say, it turned out amazingly. I tested them on a non-vegan/non-gf friend and got rave reviews. She hadn't eaten all day and was starving...but still. Rave reviews.

2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used this breakdown: 1/2 c. tapioca starch, 1/2 c. oat flour, 1/4 c. sweet sorghum flour, 1/4 c. white rice flour, 1/4 c.potato starch, 1/4 c. bob's red mill baking blend (or just use another 1/4 c of something else))
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted vegan margarine
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 TBS ground flaxseed whisked with 6-8 TBS water (I added a bit more than 6tbs because the mixture was a bit too thick...)
1 cup rolled oats
2 cups (almost 1 bag) Dark/bittersweet chocolate chips (I used Ghiradelli Semi-sweet)
Sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or use a silpat.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

On medium speed, cream together the margarine, peanut butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract, about 3 minutes. Add the flaxseed mixture and beat to combine. On low speed, gradually add the flour mixture until just combined. Using a large spatula or wooden spoon, stir in the oats, and then the chocolate chips.

Using two tablespoons, drop dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Lightly sprinkle each cookie with coarse sea salt. Bake for 10-11 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Cool completely on the baking sheet or a cooling rack and then store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gluten-Free Dark Chocolate Caramel Tart with Sea Salt

I found the base recipe for this decadent tart over a year ago in Saveur Magazine. I had always intended to make it, but never had a reason (or a tart pan). After realizing this would be the perfect dessert for a coworker's birthday, I was commissioned to make two more for another event, and made this last one for a wedding shower.

based on recipe found in saveur magazine, issue 119.
1 1⁄2 cups gluten-free flour (tapioca, potato starch, sweet white rice flour, arrowroot starch, sorghum flour, garfava flour)
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tbsp. dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
2 egg yolks, preferably at room temperature
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1⁄2 cups sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tbsp. crème fraîche

1⁄2 cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
Gray sea salt for garnish

1. Make the crust: Heat oven to 350˚. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until mixture is pale and fluffy; mix in yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Transfer dough to a 9" fluted tart pan with a removable bottom and press dough evenly into bottom and sides of pan. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prick the tart shell all over with a fork and bake until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a rack and let cool.

2. Make the caramel: In a 1-qt. saucepan, whisk together sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 6 tbsp. water and bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer inserted into the syrup reads 340°. Remove pan from heat and whisk in butter, cream, and crème fraîche (the mixture will bubble up) until smooth. Pour caramel into cooled tart shell and let cool slightly; refrigerate until firm, 4–5 hours.

3. Make the ganache: Bring cream to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat. Put chocolate into a medium bowl and pour in hot cream; let sit for 1 minute, then stir slowly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Pour ganache evenly over tart and refrigerate until set, 4–5 hours. Sprinkle tart with sea salt, slice, and serve chilled.

Monday, April 5, 2010

When Life Gives You Lemons...

I'm still recovering from what was an overly complicated week filled with stress, unexpected surprises (both good and bad), and a whole gamut of emotions. In the end, all of this change has spurred a fairly significant decision: I have decided to move, and in exactly one week from today, I will be based out of New York. I'm not exactly certain of all the details yet, but things started to fall into place. Unfortunately, the excitement of moving has been overshadowed by two main things, one of them being the fact that saying "goodbye" is extremely difficult, especially when you don't have a lot of time to do it. Between bouts of ranting and/or crying, I kept thinking of the phrase "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade," because I have hope that a great deal of good will come from my current circumstance. However, I didn't really want to make lemonade to tell you the truth, and since I was already drowning my sorrows in various sugary food-items, I decided that "When life gives you lemons, make a creamy lemon meringue tart." And so I did. Perhaps this tart didn't solve all my problems, but it was amazingly delicious; tart and creamy, contrasted by a delicate, buttery crust, all topped with a cool, airy meringue. I would take this over lemonade, any day.

*Filling originally based off of Martha Stewart's creamy lemon squares
1/2 c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
1/2 c. confectioners' sugar, plus more for dusting
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. gluten-free baking mix (tapioca starch, potato starch, arrowroot starch, oat flour, sorghum flour, sweet white rice flour, almond meal)
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. vanilla extract
4 large egg yolks
1 can fat-free sweetened condensed milk
3/4 c. fresh lemon juice

5 egg whites
1/3 tsp. cream of tartar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons superfine sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9-11 inch tart pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside. Make the crust: beat butter, vanilla, sugar, and salt with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add flour and xanthan gum, mix on low until just combined. Press dough into the bottom of prepared tart pan and up sides; prick lightly all over with a fork. Bake until lightly golden, about 10-15 minutes. Make the filling: In a large bowl, whisk together yolks, condensed milk, and lemon juice until smooth. Pour over hot crust in pan; return to oven, and bake until filling is set 18-25 minutes. Refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator and top with meringue (recipe follows).

Beat egg whites with cream of tartar and salt in immaculately clean mixer bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually beat in the sugar until very stiff. Spread over tart filling; seal to edge of crust. Make peaks in meringue with the back of a spatula or spoon. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. Let tart cool on a wire rack.
Store at room temperature (no matter what you do, the meringue will always "bead" with moisture and begin to breakdown once it is subjected to refrigeration).

Gluten-Free Carrot Cupcakes!

You may recall a gluten-free carrot cake post on my site from last year. Well, it's easter-time again and my sister had been asking for some carrot cake, and I figured any good sister would honor that request. I also hosted a going away party, and since people have something against cutting cake and eating slices of it, I turned my carrot cake into carrot cupcakes to satisfy the masses. The recipe is similar to last year, however, this recipe uses two packages of carrot baby food instead of applesauce and a bit more oil instead of the mayo. I also switched to unsweetened organic coconut flakes (found at whole foods) which I like much better in this recipe than the larger sweetened kind I used last year. I have to say, I like this recipe even more than last year's cake! The cupcakes were very moist - I'm pretty sure no one would have guessed they were gluten-free.

2-1/2 c. gluten-free flour blend (tapioca starch, potato starch, arrowroot starch, sorghum, garfava flour, sweet white rice flour, oat flour)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3/4 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. light brown sugar
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 c. (2 plastic containers) of pureed carrot baby food
1 c. crushed pineapple, drained
3/4 c. unsweetened shredded coconut (I actually used a "low fat" coconut, found at whole foods)
1/2. c. (or a little more) golden raisins
3 c. finel grated carrots (I grated them in a food processor and it was extremely efficient)

1 pkg. (80z.) neufchatel cheese
1/2 c. (1 stick) softened butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 c. powdered sugar

Walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare cupcake pans with paper liners. Combine flours, xanthan gum, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda in a medium bowl, and stir with a whisk. Combine sugars, vanilla, vegetable oil and carrot puree/baby food in the bowl of an electric mixer, blending well. Add slightly beaten eggs to mixer bowl. Stir in carrots, pineapple, coconut, and raisins. Pour into prepared cupcake pans. Tap pans on counter to level and remove air bubbles. Bake 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack and frost when completely cooled. Sprinkle top of cupcakes with walnut pieces, if desired.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or with an electric hand mixer), combine cream cheese and butter. Add vanilla and blend. Slowly add powdered sugar to taste.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"Roll-Em-Ups" (gluten-free!)

Growing up, "roll-em-ups" were a weekend breakfast staple in my home, much like pancakes or waffles for any child. Halfway between a pancake and a crepe, I later found out that "roll-em-ups" were also called "dutch babies" and "german pancakes." The difference is, we always served these rolled up with powdered sugar and butter, and a squeeze of lemon, as opposed to slices, as many people do. The recipe originates for my great grandma Rishack, a woman I never had the pleasure of meeting, but someone to whom my mother credits her own cooking skills. Before my mother could see over a kitchen counter, my grandmother would set her on her knee at the stove and teach her the secrets of classic german cooking. From a wooden stool, my mother would taste such delights as german potato salad, rouladens, and "roll-em-ups." I've changed the recipe slightly (including coming up with a gluten-free alternative) but the recipe remains nearly identical to the one that was scratched out on an index card all those years ago.

Gluten-free "Roll-Em-Ups"
Serves 2-3
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2/3 c. flour (1/3 c. tapioca starch, 2 Tbsp. potato starch, 1 Tbsp. oat flour, 1 Tbsp. white rice flour, 1 Tbsp sweet sorghum flour)
1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. fat-free milk

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
Whisk salt and eggs in a medium bowl. Blend in remaining ingredients.
Heat a large skillet prepared with non-stick cooking spray over medium heat. Pour in half the batter and let set a bit (not very long, making sure not to brown or over cook). Transfer to the oven very quickly and cook at 475 for 5 minutes. Turn oven down to 400 and cook for 8-10 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter (may cook both roll em ups at the same time, but my oven isn't big enough!). After done cooking, flip upside down onto a large plate. Butter the surface evenly and squeeze a wedge of lemon over the roll-em-up. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Roll up tightly and cut into four pieces. Sprinkle with more powdered sugar and serve.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies Filled with Pistachio

Here are the other cookies I made with the leftover chocolate tart dough. I had an excess of shelled pistachios (I have no idea why) and I put those to good work in this delicious filling.

Dark Chocolate Cookies with Pistachio Filling
1 1⁄2 cups flour (make it gluten-free with a gf baking blend)
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tbsp. dutch-process unsweetened
cocoa powder
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
2 egg yolks, preferably at room temperature
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract

4 oz. melted chocolate
pastry bag (or ziploc bag with tiny corner cut off)

1/3 C. shelled unsalted pistachios, husks rubbed off
1 c. confectioner's sugar
6 tbsp. softened butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract

Heat oven to 350˚. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until mixture is pale and fluffy; mix in yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Separate the dough into three balls, and roll out between two sheets of parchment paper. Place on baking sheets. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Cut into 1.5"-2" rounds. Bake for 5-7 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies). Cool on a wire rack.

Make the filling: Combine pistachios and powdered sugar in food processor. Grind until a fine powder. Add the remaining ingredients to food processor and mix until well combined.

Assembled the cookies: Spread desired amount of filling on one cookie half, top with another. Place on baking sheet prepared with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining cookies. Melt chocolate in microwave and place in pastry bag. Drizzle over cookies. Place in refrigerator to set completely.

Dark Chocolate Cookies with Salted Caramel filling

Upon making a caramel tart with dark chocolate ganache finished with sea salt for a coworker's birthday, I suddenly found myself commissioned to make two more for another coworker. Because I only have 11-inch tart pans (as to why, well, I explain by saying "but these go to 11!") I had to make one and a half times each tart recipe. This required math skills, but perhaps contradictory to what people may think about me, I did my math correctly and the tarts turned out perfectly. Because I was making two 11 inch tarts, I had an excess of tart dough so I decided to put it to good use and bring in some cookies to the hovering coworkers, wishing they had access to the delicious tarts. I hear these ended up being delicious (I didn't make them gluten-free but I know they would work out well substituted with a gf flour blend). I also made pistachio filled cookies as well, since i soon ran out of caramel, but I'll put those in a separate entry.

Dark Chocolate Cookies with Salted Caramel Filling
1 1⁄2 cups flour (make it gluten-free with a gf baking blend)
1⁄4 cup plus 1 tbsp. dutch-process unsweetened
cocoa powder
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
10 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and softened
1⁄2 cup plus 2 tbsp. confectioners' sugar
2 egg yolks, preferably at room temperature
1⁄2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1⁄2 cups sugar
3 tbsp. light corn syrup
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
6 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tbsp. crème fraîche or full fat sour cream

4 oz. melted chocolate
pastry bag (or ziploc bag with tiny corner cut off)
sea salt

Heat oven to 350˚. Combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a medium bowl and set aside. Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl until mixture is pale and fluffy; mix in yolks and vanilla. Mix in dry ingredients. Separate the dough into three balls, and roll out between two sheets of parchment paper. Place on baking sheets. Refrigerate for 20 minutes. Cut into 1.5"-2" rounds. Bake for 5-7 minutes (depending on the size of your cookies). Cool on a wire rack.

Make the caramel: Combine heavy cream and creme friache or sour cream in a small bowl. Set aside. Whisk the sugar and corn syrup with 6 Tbsp. of water and bring to a boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Stir and boil hard for 5-6 more minutes until medium amber. Remove from heat and whisk in butter and heavy cream mixture. Let cool slightly.

Assemble the cookies: Spread desired amount of caramel on one cookie half. Place another cookie on top. Set on a baking sheet prepared with parchment paper. Repeat with all cookie halves. Melt chocolate in microwave and place in pastry bag. Drizzle over cookies. Let set slightly, and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in refrigerator to set completely.