Salted Caramel Popcorn and White Chocolate Chip Cookies | gluten free

We are nibbling our way around Las Vegas at this very moment, but oh the memories of this cookie are lingering, and I’m planning on a batch as soon as we get home.

Chewy gluten free cookies full of salted caramel popcorn morsels and sweet white chocolate chips. These are a combination of two of my favourite childhood treats!Salted Caramel Popcorn Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeHave you ever had the pleasure of eating Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs? If you haven’t, I’m sorry, but I do hope you have your own favourite sticky, caramel-coated popcorn treat. Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs were an 80s favourite, but they’ve never gone out of style.

For these cookies I made my own salted caramel popcorn because it’s super, super easy (that’s dangerous knowledge for our waistlines I know) and then I mixed it into chewy, brown sugary, buttery, cookie dough with some white chocolate chips. The caramel popcorn coating melts slightly as the cookies bake creating pools of sticky salted caramel perfection. Drooling.Salted Caramel Popcorn Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeI sent these home with my Mum and Dad to thank them for being our taxi to and from the airport. A day later I got a photo of the empty container. All gone. Yes, they are that good. And my parents have a sweet tooth. See! It’s genetic! Every butter, caramel-soaked, white chocolate studded fantasy you have is answered in these cookies. And I only got to eat one. One. And my house smelled like these cookies for days. If you aren’t into scented candles or air-spray contraptions, just bake a batch of these. You will drive your neighbours wild. And probably find yourself sneaking to the cookie jar for just one more…Salted Caramel Popcorn Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished LifeBite into this cookie and your teeth first meet chewy cookie dough, then crunchy popcorn pieces, super sweet chocolate chips and, if you are lucky, a little pool of molten caramel. Be generous with these cookies. Share the happiness and gobble up some of this biscuits of bliss! Although, it is totally acceptable to hoard the whole batch for yourself and eat them while hiding in your closet with a good book and a glass of cold milk. I won’t tell anyone.Salted Caramel Popcorn Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Salted Caramel Popcorn and White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten free | Makes about 18 cookies | Preparation Time: 30 minutes | Cooking Time: 20 minutes | Cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to four days.

Tip: to make these extra quick you can use pre-made caramel popcorn.

Warning: this recipe involves melting sugar. Molten sugar is incredibly hot. BE CAREFUL when handling the caramel and if making this with kids be sure to keep little fingers out of the way. Take it from someone who had third-degree burns from making caramel, okay?

Ingredients

For the salted caramel popcorn

  • 4 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 50 grams butter
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

For the cookies

  • 50 grams sorghum flour
  • 50 grams buckwheat flour
  • 40 grams brown rice flour
  • 35 grams white rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 120 grams butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. First, make the popcorn. Place the air-popped popcorn into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Place sugar in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. The sugar will begin to melt in a few minutes. Gently shake the pan to mix the molten sugar around the pot. When it starts turning a deep honey colour remove from the heat and whisk any un-melted sugar until it dissolves.
  4. Add butter and whisk until is incorporated. Add salt. Pour caramel over popcorn and use two wooden spoons to toss and mix the popcorn until it is coated in the caramel mixture. Do not use your hands as the sugar will be incredibly hot. Set popcorn aside to cool while you make the cookie batter.
  5. Weigh sorghum flour, buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, white rice flour, and baking soda into a medium mixing bowl and whisk them until well combined.
  6. In the bowl of a standmixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using a handheld mixer) beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes.
  7. Add egg and vanilla and beat until well incorporated.
  8. With mixer on low speed add whisked dry ingredients and mix until incorporated.
  9. Using a wooden spoon mix in popcorn and white chocolate chips.
  10. Using your hands form heaped tablespoonfuls of batter into balls and place on prepared baking trays. Leave about 6cm between cookies to allow for spreading. You may need to bake the cookies in two batches depending on the size of your baking sheets.
  11. Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes or until they are spread out and the edges are golden. These cookies will still be incredibly soft when they come out of the oven. This accounts for the chewiness. Allow the cookies to cool completely on the trays before removing and serving or storing.

Salted Caramel Popcorn Cookies | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling

Now that I live away from home I really look forward to visiting my parents. We have always had a special relationship and I view them just as much my friends as my parents. When I walk through the door it’s like being enveloped in a big warm hug, well usually it involves multiple big warm hugs and lots of slobbery kisses from one three-legged rascal dog. When I come home, I try never to come empty handed because I know by the time I leave the next day I will usually have a bag full of extra groceries that Mum ‘just happened to have’ and useful bits and bobs (like a toolbox) that Dad ‘thought might come in handy’. How do you thank two people who have taken care of you since before you were even in the world and keep doing so every single day?

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

My  answer is cookies (or cake, or slice – you get the point). I bring my offering to the door of the people who have loved me longest and best because that is all I can do in the face of this enormous love.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Last weekend I brought these buttery chocolate chip shortbread sandwiches along on Saturday night for a treat for the three of us (Chris was out with the boys). I usually enjoy a firmer shortbread but these were slightly softer and oh so cocoa-y. There are only eight ingredients (or six if you don’t need it to be gluten free) in this easy to make shortbread and you will love the fact that you can make the shortbread dough up to a month ahead of time, and freeze it for when you need it. Chilling the dough has the purpose of ensuring the cookies are flaky because of the solidified buttery pockets inside the dough, and also means that you have cookies on hand whenever you require them. On second thought, that could be dangerous knowledge. Like the fact that freezer brownies taste even better. Now that you know it, you can’t forget it.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies 3

The bitter-sweet shortbread was the perfect foil to the sweet salted caramel filling inside. Speaking of the filling. I could eat this off a spoon by itself. I may have eaten it off the spoon by itself at one point. It’s so easy to make too: I took the caramel from my Salted Peanut Caramel Chocolate Slice, omitted the peanuts, cooled it to room temperature, and then spread it generously between these biscuits. And then I ate them. Well, my fair share at least.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling

Makes 10 sandwich cookies | Gluten Free | Egg Free | Adapted from BBC Good Food

Note: if you do not require these to be gluten free, you can substitute 200 grams (~1 1/2 cups) plain flour for the almond meal, white rice flour and buckwheat flour.

Storage: Unbaked dough can be wrapped carefully in clingwrap and frozen for up to a month. Baked and filled cookies can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Ingredients

For the cookies

  • 175 grams (3/4 cup) butter, softened
  • 85 grams (1/3 cup + 1 tbs) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 50 grams (1/3 cup) white rice flour
  • 50 grams (1/2 cup) almond meal
  • 100 grams (3/4 cup + 1 tbs) buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

For the caramel

  • 400 gram tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons golden syrup
  • 60 grams (1/2 cup + 1 tbs) butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Method

  1. In a large mixing bowl using either a wooden spoon or a handheld mixer beat together butter, caster sugar, and until creamy and smooth.
  2. Whisk together cocoa powder, white rice flour, almond meal and buckwheat flour and add to creamed mixture. Mix in well.
  3. Add chocolate chips and incorporate into dough. This will be quite stiff so you may have to use your hands to get the chocolate chips fully incorporated.
  4. Split the dough in half. Roll each into 5 cm round logs and wrap tightly in baking paper and clingwrap. Chill for at least an hour or up to 3 days.
  5. Once dough has chilled, preheat oven to 160C (320F) and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  6. Slice dough into 1 cm thick rounds and place on baking trays leaving 5-6 cm between to allow for slight spreading.
  7. Place cookies in oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. The cookies will still be quite soft so allow them to cool completely on their trays before spreading with salted caramel and sandwiching together.

To make the caramel:

  1. place sweetened condensed milk, golden syrup, and butter into a small saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir until butter is melted and caramel is golden brown in colour and thickened slightly.
  2. Remove from heat and mix in vanilla essence and salt.
  3. Pour into a heatproof container and allow to cool to room temperature before using to sandwich cookies together.

Chocolate Chip Shortbread with Salted Caramel Filling | Gluten Free | Thoroughly Nourished Life