For this blog post, I have a bit of a story to write before I get to the actual recipe part. You see, today’s recipe came to me in a rather special way. Let me tell you what happened (you may want to get some tea, this might become a lengthy post).
Last january, my husband started to become very secretive. He’d taken a notepad and at the bottom had written “KEEP OFF!”. I’d never see him write in it, but everytime I saw the pad, it would have the message at the top. He also started spending rather a lot of time working with his laptop, heaving sighs and giving the screen some looks of disgust. When I asked him what was going on, he just mumbled something unintelligible and would continue his working and sighing. Every time I tried to take a peek, he would tell me to get to the other side of the table or the other side of the room, so I had no idea what he was working on.
Finally, in March, he told me he was working on a surprise for my birthday. He was getting a “little bit stressed out” (read: A LOT stressed out) about it, but he was determined to get it all done. He just wasn’t sure if he would be able to get it all done in time for my birthday. I told him it didn’t matter, that it was fine if it was a bit later, and that surely I would like whatever it was what he was working on and it would well be worth the wait.
My birthday came and went and even though he did give me some gifts, he made it clear that the thing he had been working on wasn’t there yet.
Cue about a week after my birthday party. That day, the gift was finally there and I found out what it was that he had been working on for so long. When I saw it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He had made me a cookbook. Not just that, but he’d made me a cookbook filled with recipes that incorporate my favourite bar of chocolate: Tony’s Chocolonely chocolate in milk chocolate, sea salt and caramel. And to make sure that I would make something from the book, he also gave me seven (yes, SEVEN!) bars of that particular chocolate and some Maldon sea salt for good measure.
He made the lettering himself, changing the letters of the chocolate bar to make the title of the book. He designed every page, spending hours online for stock photos and images and recipes he could use. He went through dozens of recipes, changing words, trying to find the best way of putting everything on a page. And then he had it printed on glossy photopaper, the good quality stuff and made sure even the spine was looking perfect.
I’ll admit it: I am completely in awe of what he did for me. And of course I was going to make something from the book!
So here it is, the first recipe from my own cookbook. It’s a recipe for cookie dough bonbons that are covered with caramel and sea-salt sprinkled milk chocolate. Before I started this post, I did a quick internet search and discovered the recipe is actually Wolferien’s. The link to the original recipe is here. Just so you know: it’s in Dutch.
Here’s the recipe in English (directly translated from my cookbook):
130 grams of full fat butter
80 grams of icing sugar
100 grams of light brown caster sugar
2 tablespoons of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
225 grams of plain flour
1 teaspoon of sea salt
2 bars of Tony’s Chocolonely caramel and sea salt chocolate (I used only one because I had soms chocolate chips and wanted to use them up)
Cream the butter and sugars together. Add vanilla and cream and mix until well combined. Add the flour and sea salt and mix to a crumbly dough. Cut up one bar of chocolate and mix this in (I used chocolate chips instead). Form the dough into a ball.
Line a tin with baking parchment (I used a tin that was 20×18 cm, which is about 8×7 inches) and push the dough into the tin, making sure to get an even layer. Put the tin into the fridge to cool. Melt the other bar of chocolate au bain marie and pour the melted chocolate over the cookie dough. Sprinkle a few sea salt flakes over the top for decoration (I didn’t do that). Put back into the fridge to cool for at least another hour.
Once the chocolate has hardened, use a sharp knife to cut the dough into squares and your bonbons are done!
I completely forgot to take pictures while I was making these bonbons, but I did take pictures of the end result:
The bonbons were really yummy and I loved the contrast between the sweet vanilla cookie dough and the caramelly salty flavour of the chocolate topping. I handed out some of these bonbons to some relatives and everyone loved them.
This brings us to the question: Would I make them again and what would I change?
I don’t think anyone will be remotely surprised when I say that YES, I WILL be making these again. If I had to change anything I might use a little less sugar in the dough if I felt like having a slightly less sweet bonbon. I might use smaller chocolate chips, because the ones I used were a little bit big for the size of the bonbons. But really, the recipe works perfectly, so any changes are optional and not necessary at all.
If you end up making these bonbons, do send me the result! I love seeing what you make of these recipes and maybe your personal changes will give me some new idea for other recipes. Alternatively, if you have a recipe you’d like me to try, do let me know as well! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the form on my contact page.