Chewy, gooey brownie cookies studded with chunks of homemade caramelized white chocolate and sprinkled with flakey sea salt.
Chewy, gooey brownie cookies studded with chunks of homemade caramelized white chocolate and sprinkled with flakey sea salt.
The perfect chocolate pairing is one that is dark, sharp and slightly bitter along with another that is light and sweet. A double chocolate cookie often lacks complexity because most recipes use natural cocoa and semi-sweet chips – both fall around the same point in the chocolate spectrum. This recipe yields a cookie that has the dark richness of dutch process cocoa, and rather than pairing with an obvious milk or white chocolate, uses caramelized white; a complex, less cloyingly sweet chocolate which you can make at home!
If you’ve worked with chocolate before you might be afraid of its, shall we say, temperamental nature. If you are melting it or making ganache you know that slow and gentle is the way to do it. Similarly, when we caramelize white chocolate, we do it on low heat and for about 40-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes as it caramelizes on the bottom. This process removes some of the cloying sweetness, and adds notes of butterscotch to the taste.
It’s honestly one of the easiest and most delicious things you can make with just an oven, a spatula and a baking tray! I like to do mine on a silpat mat if I’m caramelizing a small quantity because it makes scraping and stirring easier without the chocolate sticking to the pan. If it’s a larger batch, I use a 13 x 9″ baking pan that hasn’t been too tarnished (no parchment paper or anything) and a rubber spatula to turn it.
But I also take this process one step further because once you’ve completed the caramelization, processed it and let set, your chocolate can be powdery and might not have the same snap to it. To get it closer to it’s original texture, I re-melt it and temper it by seeding: adding a bit more un-caramelized white chocolate and stirring until smooth. This gives it more snap and reduces the hardened powdery bits.
I’m unabashedly obsessed with this stuff; partially because it is so easy to make but mostly because it’s absolutely delicious. Every fall I make a huge batch (or two, or three…) and store it in the pantry for all kinds of uses. Here is a basic cwc buttercream recipe, a swiss meringue version and these fudgesicles are the absolute greatest thing to happen in a popsicle mold. Also, you can use it as you would chocolate chips in a good ol’ chocolate chip cookie recipe like I did here.
If you’ve made these small batch double chocolate chip cookies, you’ll recognize this dough. It’s based on egg white and dutch cocoa focused; the ingredients which produce a soft, chewy and ultra chocolatey interior, like a brownie (see those bite pics?!). I originally paired the dough with milk chocolate and figured white would be good too but caramelized white takes it to another level.
This cocoa-based dough comes together pretty quick but it does need to rest in the fridge. If you bake it right away the cookies will spread like mad. I let it firm up for at least a few hours, but usually overnight; scoop them onto the cookie sheet and then flash freeze them (5 minutes) so that they go into the oven very cold. The goal is to get them soft inside and minimize too much spreading. The result is, dare I say, better than a brownie!
The beauty of a good cocoa-based cookie is that you can get away with a number of alternative flours. I’ve tried it with buckwheat, oat flour, and rye and have had great results. The latter two were probably my favorites. I have a huge bag of KAF rye flour in my pantry which was supposed to become sourdough but IDK if that’s ever going to happen when my cookies are this good. I have swapped out half of the AP flour in my regular egg yolk cookies and tbh couldn’t even tell the difference so I was prepared to go full rye with these and was very happy with the results.
White Chocolate: Use a good quality chocolate, not chocolate chips. Most white chocolate chips are made with sugar and oils and don’t have much cocoa butter (so why are they called chocolate? Beats me.) But in bar form, especially eating bar form (from the candy section at the grocery store, not the baking section) white chocolate comes in much better quality. I always use Lindt White which I buy in bulk or whenever it’s on sale at the store. If you want something super high quality, buy Valrhona’s white chocolate feves. ALSO, I didn’t want to tell you this because it negates a bit part of the recipe, lol, but if you are really not into the idea of caramelizing and can spend the extra $ then Valrhona – who invented the caramelizing technique, makes their own cwc feves which they call Dulcey!
Rye Flour: There are a variety of rye flours, some light and some dark. I used KAF’s blend which is a medium mill. Light rye would work great too but I’d avoid pumpernickel. You may use oat flour (store-bought; not homemade as it won’t be as finely ground) or even a high protein all-purpose (like KAF) if you like.
Dutch Processed Cocoa: I have not tried natural cocoa in these, I know it would make the cookies lighter in color and less intense in flavor; but more importantly, it could affect the spread so I wouldn’t recommend it. Guittard makes a great cocoa, as does Rodelle, and Saco Pantry makes a blend of natural and dutch which gives you the best of both worlds.
Butter: American style butter with 80% butterfat.
Sugar: Fine granulated white. Don’t substitute with brown as it will make the cookies too soft. If your sugar comes in large granules, use a food processor to grind it further.
Egg whites: Large eggs. You might ask if you could use egg whites from the carton and I’d say maybe? You’ll need about 60grams.
What can I do with leftover egg yolks? Here’s some recipes that are yolk focused: small batch monster cookies, small batch birthday cookies (which also uses white chocolate!), egg yolk cookies and brown butter chocolate chip cookies.
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I made these cookies last weekend and they were amazing! I was a little confused on the amount of chocolate though… There is 200g of white chocolate listed in the ingredients, but 300g listed in Step1, then 50g in Step2. How much white chocolate (caramelized & not) should be used in the recipe?
So I have you caramelize more than you’ll need because some will be lost between the pan and food processor. The added 50g is optional, you can do it if you want to temper the chocolate (so it has a bit more snap to it as the caramelization kind of wrecks the smooth interior texture).
Should the butter be melted or softened?
These cookies are THE COOKIES in my house. They are too good. I’ve made them with all different kinds of chocolate, not just caramelized white chocolate and every time they’re gone as soon as they’re baked! I also sometimes add espresso powder to them to switch it up, or even peppermint extract to, change them up again! So versatile and so delicious!
Is it alright to substitute the rye flour with all-purpose four? What does the rye flour do for this recipe?
Hi Irene, a high protein AP will work (like KAF). There’s more info in the ‘ingredients’ section
Man, this cookie base is unbelievable. Crisp crunch around the edges and a gooey center. The cwc was still a little too sweet for my taste, so I can’t wait to try these with other add-ins like caramel and maybe just some dark chocolate and cacao nibs. Thanks for all you do, Sam.
Sammi, so happy you liked it. I love cacao nibs in cookies so I vote yes!
These are so so incredible. They’re rich, moist, and irresistable. ?
Stop reading comments, and go ahead and make these!!! I made them for thanksgiving and they were the only dessert to be cleared out. I was told by multiple family members that these are the best cookie they have ever had (and we eat a LOT of desserts)!
I did not have the flour so subbed regular AP. If you make the CWC the night before it’s pretty simple day of to make these (just make sure you account for the chill/rest time). Can’t thank you enough!!! Now off to go buy more cocoa powder…
THE most incredible cookie recipe. I’ve had some dough frozen for 6 months and every time I take a couple out to bake they still AMAZE me with how rich, gooey and luscious they are. CWC has changed my life and these have inspired so many rye flour recipes for me since I first baked them!!
I’ve made these so many times. I purposefully overbake them a bit (13-14 mins in the oven, don’t kill me) because we prefer them chewy rather than gooey and use plain flour and they are still upsettingly good. Make these if you’re chocolate crazy!!
is the substitution for AP flour in place of Rye flour 1:1?
I make these with store-bought caramalized white choc, plain flour and 56 g of egg whites (from fresh eggs, just measured it so its consistent every time) and they are SO good. Killer recipe.
Hi Sam! Could I replace the rye flour with whole wheat?? Thanks!
I’m not sure, I haven’t tried it. If you need to, I’d go for a white whole wheat or a whole wheat pastry flour.
Hi I wanted to ask is it possible to replace the rye flour with white flour? Plus can you increase the amount of ingredients in grams
Sam you knocked it out of the park again!!! CWC is my weakness and you use it so perfectly with the fudgy cookies! I’m obsessed!
Ahhh thank you so much Jaina! 😀
I tried making the cwc with two Lindt white bars, and after only 20 minutes it was a crumbly mess. What did I do wrong? Thanks for any light you can shed! 🙂
Hi Ruth! If the oven was at the right temperature and you turned it at least once within the 20 minutes, likely you did nothing wrong and it just needed to keep going! The chocolate does get rough and as it continues through the caramelization process it will smooth out again.
Can you add weight measurements for flour and sugar? Thanks!!
These are absolutely Divine! I always make these with the egg whites I have left over after baking Sams ccc (which are also freaking amazing!). I have actually never made them with rye, just normal flour and they are already so good. Can’t wait to make them with rye, when I get my hands on it!
These are amazing cookies and they will be a staple in my cookie box. The caramelized chips are easy to make and add a rich flavor to the cookie. I feel like the kind of white chocolate you use is important. I first made them with baking chips and they turned out grainy. Next time I used Lindt white chocolate and they came out smooth. The caramel chip with the chocolate dough also make for a beautiful cookie.
Love that it is made with rye flour as I have a lot of it! I’ve made these with AP as well and they were just as tasty. Thank you for this! FWIW, I was able to find caramel bits at the store and substituted those instead and they worked too. For the holidays, could add a little peppermint extract and replace white chocolate with peppermint chips and make it more “Christmas”-y. Great cookie base!!
Lisa that’s so wonderful to hear! Honestly your comment made me want to make them again (with peppermint white chocolate!) so there’s dough in my fridge right at this moment lol. Thank you for such a thoughtful review!
these cookies are pure heaven. The cwc is worth the work, but even if you don’t want to complete that process the cookie alone is amazing. Best brownie cookie I’ve ever made. It has the perfect texture.
Ahhh so good to hear that Kimberly!!! Thank you so much for the comment 😀
These are on my Christmas Cookie list this year! They look absolutely amazing!! How many cookies does the recipe make??
Hi Elizabeth! About 22-24 depending on how big you scoop them.
These were absolutely delicious! I had made the caramelised white chocolate the week before, and found myself with leftover egg whites,so finding this recipe was wonderful. I used rye flour for the first time, as recommended, and nobody could tell that it was made with rye flour. Definitely a winning recipe!! 🙂
That is awesome! So glad you tried it out with the cwc AND the rye! Thank you so much for the review <3
These are amazing!! I was feeling lazy and don’t want to go through the caramelization process (plus I didn’t have good white chocolate – just the chips), but they were still incredible with plain white chocolate. Can’t wait to try again with the full effect of the cwc!
Hi Val! So so good to hear it went well, and absolutely regular white chocolate will do just fine here. Hope you do try it with the caramelized version, I’m sure you’ll love it!