Friday, June 1, 2012

Salted Caramel Buckeye Cookies

Buckeyes are part of the chestnut family, but in nature, they inedible due to the high tannic acid content.  In fact, most people "oil" and collect them much as they would fine furniture!  They are considered good luck in many cultures.
I made these cookies as a special gift for my grandson Ari and his Dad who will be moving back to Ohio later this month after spending the last ten months in Madrid, Spain.  Matt has been offer a position at Oberlin College and having grown up in Cleveland, this will be a great opportunity for both he and Ari. 

Most recipes for buckeyes are as a candy; made with peanut butter and confectioners' sugar, then dipped in chocolate.  My recipe, which is a cookie, also pays tribute to one of Seattle's favorite treats--salted caramel.  Kelly and I loved these from our favorite Chocolatier,  Fran's and could easily devour a box;-) 

Salted Caramel Buckeye Cookies
1 cup + 2T (2 sticks +2T) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. caramel extract
 
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
pinch of salt

Caramel bits (or you can cut a Kraft caramel square into fourths)
6 oz. semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted in a double boiler for dipping
Sea salt

Preheat oven to 350F-degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, scrapping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the sugars and cream until fluffy--3 to 5 minutes.  Add the extracts and pinch of salt and mix once more.

Add the cocoa and flour and with the mixer on low speed, gently incorporate...you don't want to be wearing it;-D
Use a "teaspoon" size scoop to measure up the dough.  Add a caramel bit or quarter into the center and enclose.  Roll into a ball and place on the prepared baking sheet.


 Bake in preheated oven for 9 minutes, until set.  It's hard to tell with chocolate dough--look for the cookie to have "dried" on top.  Let set about 5 minutes, then, transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
 Melt chopped chocolate in a double boiler, reserving about 3 tablespoons of chocolate to "temper" it.
Dip tops of the cookie in the melted chocolate and let set.  If you've tempered correctly, the melted chocolate should set in about 10 minutes and have a nice, glossy appearance.  Sprinkle a few granules of sea salt on top and let dry completely.


The addition of the caramel gives these cookies an elegant flavor and a little surprise in the center!  They set in about 10 minutes and I was ready to pack them up to go in my last box to Spain!
We're all looking forward to having Kelly's guys back in the States and I'm looking forward to not having to ship to Spain. LOL!  Enjoy!
 

18 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh Susan - these look to die for!! And what a small world...I am very near to Cleveland & Oberlin! When you are in town visiting Ari & Matt we'll have to meet for coffee!!

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    1. You're on! I would love to visit your farm and I know Ari would too. XOXO

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  2. Susan, these look divine! I know you are so excited to have your family closer. Hope you have a great weekend.
    Martha Ellen

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    1. I am! Also, in July I'm doing "Mimi's Camp" for both the grands! If I'm not too tired by the end of the day, keeping up with a 4 year old and a 3 1/2 year old, I will be blogging our adventures!

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    2. Mimi's Camp sounds like fun! We've had our two grandsons here this weekend. At 7 and 9 years old they love to bake with me. We have made homemade pizzas, homemade waffles and chocolate chip cookies. I'm tired!!!

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    3. Forgot to sign post.
      Martha Ellen

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by...I LOVE your blog--a new one to follow!

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  4. Susan, I may have to stop reading your blog soon. I swear I gain weight with each of your posts.

    I made the chocolate chip cookies which you featured the other day - they are for sharing at the village picnic on Monday as we celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. My husband tested one...then asked for another. Success! Thank you for the recipe.x

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    1. Elaine, It's a good thing we "take walks" on your blog so we can eat what I bake on mine!!

      Happy Queen's Diamond Jubilee...wish I was there. XOXO

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  5. I heard about the buckeye "candies" while I was in Ohio last month...This cookie version sounds a lot better to me! :) Glad the guys are heading back to the U.S. Nice to come back home. Ohio is a great place from what I've seen and not a back plane trip either. Lv, me

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    1. I know over the next two years, I'll certainly get to know Ohio!

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    2. Kitchen Aid is in Ohio...I've never made it there, but here the tour and outlet are amazing. Somehow being at the KA outlet would be like going to the fabric store. Hours later, I'd leave with way more than I ever dreamed. :)

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  6. I like nuts! Off to stamp convention today with our friends. stamping sue
    http://stampingsueinconnecticut.blogspot.com/

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  7. How wonderful to be on the receiving end of a goodie box from you! I know you will be so happy to have Ari a short air ride away from you. It is a very interesting recipe. You are so talented !!

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  8. my goodness how exciting it must be to find a package from you in the mail. these look almost too good to eat! have a lovely sunday dear friend. :)
    xxx lori

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  9. These look delicious! Chocolate and caramel has to be good!
    DeniseB

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