Crème Brûlée Cookies

New Year's Eve
Photography by Alan Weiner / Recipe from Modern French Pastry (Page Street Publishing, 2017)

This elegant homage to Crème Brûlée comes from pastry chef Cheryl Wakerhauser‘s Modern French Pastry (Page Street Publishing, 2017). Always a crowd-pleaser. Class up your crème brûlée with a bit of Grand Marnier orange liqueur. The tart dough base not only adds crunch, but acts as a carrier for the cream. So easy to make and you can take these to a party and not worry about getting your crème brûlée ramekins back at the end of the night. For this recipe, you will need two 4-centimeter (1.5-inch) silicone demisphere molds with fifteen cavities per mold. We used Freshware’s SM-100RD 15-Cavity Mini Half Sphere Mold found on Amazon

Sweet Tart Dough
Makes 30 rounds
  • 3 egg yolks (50 grams)
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup (155 grams) all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling and baking
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (70 grams) powdered sugar
  • ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons (120 grams) unsalted butter, cold
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and vanilla and set aside. Sift the flour, salt and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and combine on low speed. Cut the butter into 1-centimeter (0.5-inch) cubes and add it to the flour mixture. Continue to mix on low speed until the mixture resembles coarse sand, about 5 minutes. Do not overmix. If the mixture starts to stick together, it will not absorb the eggs and it will be very sticky and hard to roll. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and mix just until incorporated and you have a homogenous dough, about 30 seconds. Form the dough into a flattened circle and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour, minimum.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a half sheet pan with a silicone baking mat.
  3. Roll out the pâte sucrée 0.5 centimeters (0.2 inches) thick. Using a 4.5-centimeter (1.75-inch) pastry cutter, cut 30 circles from the dough and place them on the half sheet. Refrigerate the dough for 15 minutes to prevent spreading. Bake the circles just until the edges are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.

Crème Brûlée
Makes about 2 ½ to 3 cups
  • 5 egg yolks (85 grams)
  • ⅓ cup (60 sugar) plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 ½ cups (350 grams) heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) Grand Marnier
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 grams) vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Place 2 (4-centimeter [1.5-inch]) silicone demisphere molds with 15 cavities per mold on a half sheet pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all the crème brûlée ingredients and blend them with an immersion blender. Fill the molds with the crème brûlée. Pass the flame of a propane torch over the surface of the cavities to pop any bubbles. Place the half sheet pan in the oven, but before closing the door, pour 1 centimeter (0.5 inch) of warm tap water into the pan around the molds. Close the oven door and bake until the crème brûlée is set, about 25 to 30 minutes. When you lightly shake the pan, the crème brûlée should not move in the center. Allow to cool to room temperature, pour the water out of the pan and then place it in the freezer. Freeze for at least 6 hours.

Gold leaf, as needed

Unmold the frozen crème brûlée and place a dome on each of the tart dough bases. Sprinkle a tiny amount of sugar on top of the crème brûlée. Caramelize the sugar with a propane torch, using the lowest setting. Decorate with gold leaf. Allow to thaw completely before serving, about 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

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    • Hey Samantha,

      So happy to hear you’re going to give these cookies a shot! Much like crème brûlée, it would be best to make the custard in advance and keep the cookies separately. When you are about ready for the party, you can pop the custards onto the cookies, sprinkle with sugar, and brûlée them then. If you refrigerate for too long with the brûlée top, condensation will form and affect that delightful, crackly crust. Just save that part for the last minute! Happy baking!


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