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Strawberry Shortcake Caramel Snaps

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(45)
Milk Bar
RATE THIS RECIPE
(45)

Ingredients

Chewy Caramel (makes about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Caramelized Cookies (makes about 12 three-inch rounds)
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • White Chocolate Coating (makes 2 cups)
  • 18 ounces (3 cups) white chocolate chips, melted
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • To Assemble
  • 1 recipe Caramelized Cookies, cooled completely (recipe above)
  • 1 recipe Chewy Caramel, cooled completely (recipe above)
  • 2 cups shortbread cookies, crumbled into small pieces
  • 1 recipe White Chocolate Coating (recipe above)
  • 1/2 cup freeze-dried strawberries, crushed
  • Chef notes

    With one delicious formula — crunchy cookie base, layered with a flavor center (caramel, peanut butter, jam, marshmallows — you name it!), crunchy/sandy layer (like small crackers, mini pretzels, anything delicious and crumbly/broken up), chocolate coating and a textural topping (like crushed nuts, candies, etc.) — you can get super creative and dream up a snap that tells whatever flavor story you’d like.

    Technique tips: Get creative with your layers! You'll want the base to be the crunchy, snappy element, and the next layer to have some chew to it.

    Dunk with conviction! Use a fork to flip the cookie right-side-up to get an even coat.

    Swap options: If you don't have access to freeze-dried strawberries, dried strawberries or a little strawberry drink mix would work great! Add pink sprinkles for a nice visual effect.

    Make your own shortbread crumbles or go store-bought! Any grocery store shortbread type of cookie works great.

    Preparation

    For the Chewy Caramel:

    1.

    In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook 1/4 cup sugar over medium-high heat. As soon as the sugar starts to melt, use a heatproof spatula to move it constantly around the pan — you want it all to melt and caramelize evenly to a gorgeous amber color. Once the first amount of sugar has taken on color, add an additional 1/4 cup sugar to the existing caramel in the pan, repeating the previous steps, cook and stir, cook and stir, until the mixture is once again a gorgeous amber color. Continue adding 1/4 cup sugar twice more until all your sugar has become one pretty pan of caramel.

    2.

    Remove the saucepan from the heat. Very slowly and very carefully, stir in the butter. The caramel will bubble up and steam; stand away until the steam dissipates. Use the heatproof spatula to stir the mixture together.

    3.

    Carefully add the heavy cream, vanilla and salt, stirring continuously. If the mixture is at all lumpy, put the saucepan back over medium heat and heat the mixture, stirring constantly, until the sugar bits have dissolved, and the mixture is smooth.

    4.

    Let the caramel cool completely before using. It will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one month.

    For the Caramelized Cookies:

    1.

    In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and light brown sugar on medium speed, until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

    2.

    Add the flour and salt on low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds.

    3.

    Turn the dough out and flatten into 1 evenly shaped pancake. Wrap in plastic wrap or store in a zip-top bag and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.

    4.

    Heat the oven to 325 F. Pan-spray or line a sheet pan with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Dust the surface of a clean counter, the chilled dough and a rolling pin with a sprinkling of the additional flour and roll the dough out to 1/2-inch thickness.

    5.

    Using a 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut your dough into rounds and transfer to the sprayed baking sheet, spacing 1/4 inch apart (they don't spread in the oven!). Reshape your dough scraps into a ball and roll out again (if the dough becomes sticky or warm, you may need to pop it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so).

    6.

    Bake for 10-12 minutes, the edges and roof of the cookie are a healthy, caramelized, auburn brown. Cool the rounds completely before layering into a snap. If made in advance, these cookies will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days.

    For the White Chocolate Coating:

    In a medium bowl, gently melt white chocolate and oil in the microwave in 30 second spurts, until totally melted and uniform, about 2 minutes (but every microwave heats at different strengths). Use a whisk to ensure mixture is fully melted and homogenous. Keep warm, or re-melt if necessary, before using.

    To assemble:

    1.

    Top each cookie round with 1 tablespoon of cooled caramel. Using the back of your spoon, spread it evenly across the surface, but don't spread it all the way to the edge (you don't want it pouring over).

    2.

    Sprinkle a heaping 2 tablespoons of shortbread cookie pieces over each caramel layer, pushing lightly so they stay in place. Transfer to a plate or baking sheet and pop in the freezer to ensure maximum coolness while you set up your dipping and topping stations.

    3.

    Put a large piece of parchment paper or a silicone baking mat on the counter, or pan-spray two sheet pans. Reheat White Chocolate Coating in the microwave in 15 second spurts to ensure it's warm and fluid. Repeat this warming process as needed during the following steps if the coating cools down and thickens or forms lumps.

    4.

    Pull the cookies out of the freezer and, one-by-one, dunk each cookie, caramel down, into the melted white chocolate. Use a fork to flip the cookie right-side-up to get an even coat.

    5.

    Tap the fork gently on the side of the bowl to encourage any excess chocolate to drip back into the white chocolate mix. Carefully transfer the dunked cookie to the parchment paper and gently drop it off. Sprinkle the top of each cookie with 1/2 teaspoon of freeze-dried strawberries (or alternatives). Repeat until each cookie is coated and topped.

    6.

    Allow coated snaps to set for a minimum of 1 hour. Feel free to speed this process up in the fridge or freezer. Crush or share at room temperature. Snaps will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one week or freezer for up to one month.