The only downside – and I assure you, there is only one downside – of buying a jar of Henri Le Roux’s famous caramel spread “Le Caramelier” is the fast-approaching expiration date. The jar I brought back from Denise Acabo’s shop A l’Etoile d’Or had an expiration date of 19/12/09 written on it, which meant that I only had two weeks to finish it.
And believe me, that’s not a problem at all, especially if you’re living in Paris, only a couple Metro stops away from the best candy shop in Paris. But for admirers like me, who live thousands of miles away, in a country where obtaining a French tourist visa requires more paperwork than all the other countries combined, it is a downside. There’s no way I could have savored it by the spoonful, spreading the joy over a few months.
Oh, and I’d like to add the fact that I only discovered the expiration date after I returned back home, which left me with only a week or so. I was desperate to use it in a recipe.
Then I came across Nick Malgieri‘s Swiss Raspberry Preserve-Filled Sandwich Cookies recipe and I was instantly sold. I made a few changes to the original recipe, turned it into a chocolate cookie and filled them with Henri Le Roux’s caramel spread as well as another caramel spread I bought from G. Detou.
The fragile, melt-in-your-mouth cookie contrasts so nicely with the rich and smooth caramel spread.
And don’t worry if you don’t have Le Caramelier. I’m certain these cookies will be great with David’s caramelized white chocolate recipe (you may toss in roasted walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds) or a rich chocolate ganache (pour 1/3 cup of hot cream on top of 2 oz. chopped chocolate and let cool). And if it’s one of those lazy days, simply spread Nutella and enjoy!
CARAMEL BEURRE SALE SANDWICH COOKIES RECIPE
Adapted from Nick Malgieri’s recipe published in Saveur (issue 98).
Yields 24 sandwich cookies
- 2 sticks of butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar (plus 1/2 cup more to roll cookie dough and to dust the top layer of cookies)
- 2/3 cup cocoa
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 egg yolks
- 3/4 cup caramel spread
- Sift together flour and cocoa into a bowl and set aside.
- Beat butter and confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Increase speed to medium; beat until light and fluffy.
- Add yolks one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
- Reduce speed to low and add the flour and cocoa mixture 1/2 cup at a time, beating after each addition to combine. Scrape sides of bowl with a spatula; give the dough one last stir.
- Press dough into an inch-thick rectangle, divide into 4 equal pieces, wrap each piece with a sheet of parchment paper (or plastic wrap) and let chill for 1 hour.
- Arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 325 F.
- Sprinkle some confectioner’s sugar onto the counter and work each dough piece gently with a rolling pin to warm slightly. Roll dough into a large rectangle, about 1/4-inch thick.
- Using a two and a half inch round cookie cutter, cut out 9 circles of dough and transfer them to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet about 1″ apart. Reserve scraps. Repeat process with remaining chilled dough pieces. Combine leftover scraps into a ball. Reroll dough and continue cutting circles. Using a 1 1/4″ round cookie cutter, cut a hole in the center of half of the circles—these are the tops. Bake all cookies in batches, rotating pans halfway through, until just pale golden, about 15 minutes. Let cookies cool completely.
- Put remaining confectioners’ sugar into a sieve; dust cookie tops. Turn whole cookies upside down (bottoms) and spoon about 1+1/2 tsp. of caramel spread onto each. Using a small spatula, spread to within 1/8″ of the edges. Cover each with a cookie top.
- Serve cookies immediately or store between sheets of wax paper in an airtight container at room temperature.