I’ve made crème brûlée cookies in my “pre-blogger” days and they were a spectacular failure. Ever since I’ve started officially teaching myself to bake, I’ve always vowed to retry those cookies that had oh-so-much potential. Four years later, I think I’ve done it!
There’s a secret to these cookies too: there’s no custard making involved, and yet they taste just like the real deal – all you need is some vanilla pudding and a brulee torch to really achieve perfect crème crûlée in cookie form.
First, pick your favorite sugar cookie recipe (or use the one I’ve included below). When the cookies are done baking, while they are still hot, use a glass or the bottom of jar dipped in sugar to create a divot in the center of each cookie. Let the cookies cool completely, then fill the centers of the cookies with vanilla pudding. I ended up using about two cups of pudding total. Spread the pudding evenly and try to get the top as flat as possible.
Then just sprinkle on the sugar, and use a brulee torch to get a nice, crispy, caramely topping, indicative of a traditional crème brûlée.
You’ll know the sugar was done correctly once you’ve let the sugar dry completely – use the back of a spoon to shatter the top of the cookie. If the top doesn’t break, either the sugar hasn’t caramelized properly or the pudding has made the topping soft. If that’s the case, add a pinch more sugar and caramelize again.
These cookies are best enjoyed right away, because just like traditional crème brûlée, the sugary topping will begin to ‘melt’ into the pudding and cookie within a few hours. If you can’t caramelize right away, let the pudding topped cookies chill in the fridge until ready to serve. Plan to torch your cookies just prior to serving.
What your favorite “they look complicated …but aren’t” cookies? Let me know in the comments section after the recipe!
Crème Brûlée Cookies
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Stir together the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, vanilla and a pinch of salt. Add the flour until a crumbly dough forms. Form the dough into a ball, then chill one hour.
- LIghtly knead the cookie dough until smooth, then roll into individual balls, about one inch round. Place the dough balls on a baking sheet about two inches apart. Use the bottom of a glass or jar to flatten the balls to be about 1/4 inch thick.
- Bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven. Dip the bottom of the same glass used to flatten the cookies in some sugar. Press a divot into the center of each cookie, leaving an edge around the cookie about 1/8 inch wide. Repeat with the remaining cookies, then let cool completely.
- When the cookies have cooled, spoon about one to two tablespoons of pudding into the centers of each cookie. Spread the pudding as evenly and as smoothly as possible. Chill until ready to serve.
- Just prior to serving, sprinkle about two tablespoons of sugar on the tops of each cookie. Use a brulee torch to create a caramelized topping – hold the brulee torch at a distance as to not burn the sugar or scorch the cookie. Serve cookies as soon as the sugar has hardened. Enjoy!