Monday, March 7, 2016

Chocolate Monday Perfect Parfait: Cookie and Granola



Mini Parfaits ready for the School Trip





Parfait with fruit and granola 
This week I'm gearing up for the spring festivities... with a Parfait

Parfait is french for perfect according to the Oxford dictionary. Perfect because a parfait has all the key elements for my palate. Delicately sweet and Creamy, combined with the various flavors with fruit and a pastry can be layered in it for a bit of texture/crunch. Call it wacky but I work a little backwards at times. So I started my parfait with the textured crunch element of my parfait.
To create the perfect parfait crunch...well nearly perfect, because when your imagination is involved you'll make a new perfect every time. I had a taste for those snicker doodles I made, but I wanted them chocolaty.

Chocolate Caramel Snickerdoodles
I adjusted the Snicker doodle recipe (recipe and link below) and mixed in cocoa for some of the flour.  Once the dough was made I wrapped it in plastic wrap and let it set in the refrigerator, until I made the caramel. I over cooked the caramel and I'll tell you why. I used coconut milk. The coconut milk took a bit longer for it to get thick and when it did, the color was silky and muted, then all at once ... tan. It was so light and beautiful and once it was a little darker, the silkiness disappeared, as it set up it was crumbly and oily! At least until I stirred it.
So now I know when I’m using a non-dairy milk like coconut to stop the heat sooner and From now on use a thermometer to gauge the soft ball stage better. When it's boiling all over don’t wait for the darker caramel color, it never comes with the coconut milk. It's not less delicious or beautiful either.
Even though it was crumbly I tried it in the cookies anyway, but of course I didn’t get the same results as the first time. The creaminess of the caramel made the middle of the snicker doodles so moist and chewy! 

Later I thought let me press out the rest of the cookie dough and drizzle the caramel on top.  This was the result... Looks like chocolate Bark, right? Only cookie form or
…a brownie only crisp around the edges, sort of like those brownie chips they sell in the market? Yet tender in the middle and with the caramel...soo good like a coffee taste.





This concludes our crunch/texture element for our Parfait. Actually, I just have one more crunch element to add...granola. I read that the Canadian people incorporated granola to their parfait and I usually have granola because it is a whole grain, fiber rich ingredient. Whenever I can incorporate a whole grain it's a plus and being able to top that off with fiber! I'm pleased with myself to the second power! So the final crunch option is Granola...and I have shared a easy recipe on the Snack Attack page. Just click the blue word granola or any of the blue words on this page to be taken to a link that has either a recipe or more on the subject discussed here.


Next week we’ll get into how I made the creamy part of the parfait. The Pastry Cream Yogurt or Ice Cream it will be a surprise. Then last we'll look at the fruit we want to use.
For now here is the original Caramilk Snicker doodle Recipe here. My version is below. Just remember if you want to make them chocolate, change the flour to 2 c. and mix in ¾ c. of cocoa or cacao! Read he recipe all the way through too. You'll get a cookie like ginger snaps. 



Chocolate Caramel Snicker doodles Recipe

Serves: 4 dozen
Ingredients
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 c. cocoa or cacao
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Topping:Optional (*I skipped this part for the chocolate version)
  • 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 48 individual Caramilk chocolate bar pieces
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone liner.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add the butter and sugars. Cream until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Mix in one egg at a time, making sure to beat well in between. Add vanilla and mix.
  3. Sift together the flour, cocoa, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl. Slowly add to wet ingredients and mix until JUST combined. Refrigerate for 30 min or overnight.
  4. In another small bowl, combine the granulated sugar and cinnamon. Measure out 2 tablespoon-sized portions of dough for the top and bottom of each cookie. Flatten the bottom out the best you can(I use the back of a measuring teaspoon) add 1/8 tsp. caramel  into the middle, Place the top over each bottom, sort of fold over dough by pinching and roll into a ball. Roll in the sugar mixture. Be generous and coat entirely! Repeat until no dough remains! 
  5. Bake at 350F for 8 mins and allow to cool slightly on baking pan before moving to cooling racks.
  6. Cooks Note: You may have to manipulate the dough a bit  around the caramel. A squeezy bottle would be great for getting the right amount of caramel into the cookie cavity. It doesn't take a lot! 
  7. When the dough get too soft to work I stick the whole baking sheet in the refrigerator for about 10-15 min. and start again. So a do ahead cooks note would be to clear space in your refrigerator or even your freezer for the cookie manipulation steps in # 4.
Original Recipe by The Cookie Writer at http://thecookiewriter.com/caramilk-stuffed-snickerdoodles/

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