Every once in a while, a recipe will come along
that will knock your tuques off!
This one’ll do just that and it’s not only Canadian.. it’s an authentic French Canadian recipe,
(just like Mabel’s Nanaimo Bars)
Which makes baking a batch of these even more appealing don’t you think?
(trust me, they’re better than poutine)
My Cello Diva friend, Mona, is
Baking her way to Bolivia!
She volunteers for Habitat for Humanity in her spare time, building homes for the less fortunate.
When she isn’t solving the medical mysteries of the planet with her beakers and lab coat at the University,
you’ll find her reading to children at the library.
she’s incredible… and incredibly smart..
(and patient with my, ahem, invented last name spelling and cello deviations)
Mona will bake ANYTHING and ship it to you for a (click here →) donation to the charity..
You can read also read about it here on Facebook
(but only if you’ve “Friended” her on Facebook)
You could do this too!
What are you waiting for??
Family and friend’s requests have been pouring in.. Some wanted Unicorn Poop Cookies, others wanted Cinco de Mayo Pinata Cookies… but none of these were a challenge to Mona’s baking expertise.
Then someone finally asked for this one particular cookie..
a traditional and “oh so special” sweet French Canadian treat usually only found on tables at Christmas time!
(I didn’t realize Mona was French Canadian
…even though her name is Chappellaz..
guess I never thought about it..
Some days.. I really am blonde!)
Making this particular cookie requires a Scientific Approach (that would be Mona) and an extra pair of hands, so Mona called in the troops..
“Just a Smidgen… at Your Service!”
Biscuits Sucre à la Crème
Imagine sturdy little sugar cookies smooshed together with thick, soft caramel filling inside (sort of like fudge).. and if you don’t have time to make the cookies.. just pour the Sucre à la Crème into a buttered rectangular baking dish. It will have a lovely fudgy texture that you can cut into squares..
Begin with sugar cookies.. you’ll need lots because it takes two for every cookie…
.. make lots!
Biscuits Sucre à la Crème
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whipping cream
4 cups brown sugar
In a large mixing bowl, whip the butter and sugar together. Then beat in the egg and vanilla. Sift together the flour and baking powder and stir in.
Chill for at least one hour. Then roll out to cut in rounds.
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Bake for 8-10 minutes until only light browned on the edges. Depending on the size of your cookie cutter, this should make about 30 cookies or 15 sandwich cookies.
Pour the cream into a large pot. Stir in the brown sugar. Put a candy thermometer on the side without the bottom of the thermometer touching the pot.
Begin heating over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches the softball stage. It will rise and heat to 100 F. Then keep at a rolling boil. The mixture will continue to bubble “splashy” bubbles. When the bubbles become less “splashy” and start leaving craters in the surface, start checking to see if it’s at the soft-ball stage.
Fill a clear glass with icy cold water. Drop a small amount of the mixture in. If it makes threads, it’s not cooked long enough. If it makes a small ball shape, see if you can scoop it out of the cup and press it. If it flattens into a pancake it’s done cooking. If it dissolves it’s not ready. Check often, if you cook too long it will go to a hard-ball stage and this is not what you want.
Once cooked to soft-ball stage, remove from heat. Continue to stir. Stir and cool until a spoon lifted and waved around leaves a trail in the mixture. Spoon a small amount to place on one cookie and then top with another. Work quickly as the mixture cools into a solid state when fully cooled.
Any left-over mixture can be pressed into a greased pan and let set and cut into squares.
Go Nuts! (That’s Mona’s recommendation, there)
Just a Smidgen http://justasmidgen.com/
Mix the cream and sugar together in a large pot
.. look.. a heart swirl!
The candy thermometer didn’t help much.. the mixture boils and has bubbly splashes as it rises up the pan.. stir constantly.. it will reach 100F… but the thermometer wouldn’t budge after that..
The bubbles change.. they get less “slurpy” and the mixture is thickened.. the thermometer should show the temperature starting to rise again.. (our thermometer didn’t work) this means it’s close to being done.. there are “volanic craters” in the surface..
Drop a splash into a glass of ice water. If it’s a thread keep cooking. If it forms a ball..gently scoop out the soft ball.. if it holds it’s shape and doesn’t disintegrate.. you’re done. Check often.. over cooking is not a good thing.. This was my job.. well-done, Smidge!
Once you’ve got that soft ball stage.. take off the heat and let the mixture slowly cool.. stirring..
Still stirring.. see how shiny it is.. keep stirring.. In fact you stir the whole time you’re making this.. a great workout!
Tired? Sit at your table.. and keep stirring.. this is no time for wine or rest!
Stirring.. but look! You can see little tracks left behind when you trace the spoon around.. it’s almost ready!
Lots of tracks.. it’s time to assemble!!
The mixture is runny enough to spoon.. don’t put too much on or it will overflow the edge of the cookies.. not enough and, well, that’s boring, isn’t it? By the end of the batch, the mixture will have thickened and become more “spreadable” than runny..
A nice glossy center.. quickly press the tops on (that was my job… what? It was a difficult task!). You must work fast.. the sugar mixture starts to set into a fudgy consistency.. not a good thing!
The lighting got a bit dodgy late in the evening.. so I tried a Lomo effect.. oh, well… a few suggestions would be nice..
Makes you feel like you’re in Vegas, eh?? Stacks of chips, er, cookies!
… this was my prize.. I got to take one of these home.. I rolled a lucky 7…