Monday, 11 June 2012

What I made Monday: Secret Cookies

I've always considered myself a fairly good baker. When I say "fairly good" I mean in the "look I made a cake and it's not only edible, but it's actually quite nice" sense and not in the "I wrote this recipe and iced these designer cupcakes all by myself" sense.

Anyway, a while back I was given the book "Cakes to Celebrate Love and Life" by Cape Town based brother and sister baking team Callie Maritz and Mari-Louis Guy. I credit this book with taking my baking into the sphere where people actually asked me to bake things for them. I swear, their red velvet and chocolate cake recipes are the best I have ever tasted. And easy.

For my birthday last year, a friend gave me their newest book "Cakebread: Pudding and Pie" and this recipe comes out of there.
They're called "Secret Cookies". It's either because they have a delicious gooey surprise inside, or because, as Callie Maritz explains in the book, he believes his sister was keeping the recipe a secret from him.

These may be the very best biscuits I have ever eaten or made. They are likely to change your life. My boyfriend calls them the "make me feel better biscuits" because he would eat them after a bad day at work.

Disclaimer: I actually made these biscuits last week Monday but didn't get around to posting the recipe, but I am about to make them again because they are all sorts of delicious so it's not really lying to post them up today.

Here is what you need:
200g butter, softened
half cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 cup (120g) walnuts- chopped
24 Rolo sweets ( or Hershey's Kisses)
1 cup icing sugar.

In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until pale in colour. Add the vanilla essence and incorporate. Add the flour and walnuts. beat only until a rough dough forms. Shape into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and regrigerate for 1-2 hours.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
On a floured surface, divide the dough into 24 balls of equal size. Take each ball, and using your thumb, create a hollow large enough to place the rolo inside.

Fold the dough around the chocolate making sure there are no gaps where the chocolate can leak out. Reshape into balls and place on a baking tray. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Remove from the refrigerator and place directly into the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes, While still slightly warm, roll in icing sugar and allow to cool.

My notes:
-I seemed to have a fair bit of dough left over once I had made the 24 balls. I had bought three packs of Rolo's which is about 30 sweets- but had eaten the extras while I was baking. My advice is to not be a greedy pig like me, and keep the Rolo's for in case you have extra dough left over.

-Some of mine leaked. While not a train smash, the biscuits are more delicious when they have the whole sweet INSIDE. So make sure there are no gaps, and make sure that the dough is thick enough around the whole biscuit which is where I think my mistake lay.

-I know it says to roll them in icing sugar while still warm, but I attempted to remove my biscuits from the tray after only a few minutes of cooling which resulted in some biscuits breaking apart. They are quite soft when they come out of the oven and harden as they cool so either give them a bit longer to cool, or do like I did and instead of rolling them, just place them on a tray or plate and sieve the icing sugar over the top.

-If you don't have Rolo's or Hershey's Kisses in your country, I'm sure you could use any small chocolate with a caramel sort filling. A different filling such as coffee, peanut butter or something fruity could be good too.

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