Monday, August 20, 2012

chocolate toffee cookies.

I have certain foods that I imagine I would crave in certain situations the same way I have certain outfits I imagine I would wear in certain situations.  Usually these are incredibly obscure situations (like skiing in Switzerland with royalty on New Year’s Eve) - the odds of them ever happening are about one in a million (because I don’t ski and I don’t know any royalty) but I like to think I am prepared for all of life’s random possibilities (you can never be too prepared!).   This is why I nicknamed this cookie the breakup cookie.  If my relationship was to end I would drag myself to the kitchen to make a batch (or two) of these.  This is the cookie to end all cookies; it’s safe to say it’s perfect.  There is a whole lot of chocolate, a whole lot of toffee, enough nuts to keep things interesting, and a sprinkle of sea salt.  It bakes up with a crispy exterior, which gives way to a soft and barely cooked interior; it’s as if a brownie and cookie had the most perfect baby.  I suggest pairing it with a tall glass of milk and a large pile of fashion magazines on those days when you need to find comfort in chocolate and sugar (which is something I do on an almost daily basis - no shame). 

Chocolate Toffee Cookies
Recipe via Smitten Kitchen

The salt on these is optional but I highly recommend it, it brings out the subtle flavors in the chocolate and toffee. The dough also freezes beautifully so you can stash it in your freezer and then have fresh baked cookies whenever you need a really need a cookie (or two).   I also recommend stocking up on Heath Bars after Halloween – they are usually absurdly cheap and as long as you keep them in a cool dry place, they will last a while. 

½ cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, chopped
¼ cup (½ stick unsalted butter)
1 ¾ cups packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 of the 1.4 –ounce chocolate-covered English toffee bars (such as Heath), coarsely chopped (7 ounces total if you use the mini ones!)
1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling (optional)
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl; whisk to blend.  Stir chocolate and butter in top of a double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth (or you can do this in the microwave but watch to make sure you don’t burn the chocolate).  Cool mixture to lukewarm.

Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes.  Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla.

Stir in flour mixture, then toffee and nuts.  Chill batter until firm, about 45 minutes (you can freeze it at this point if you want to.)

Preheat the over to 350 degrees.  Line 2 large baking sheets with a silpat, parchment, or waxed paper.  Drop batter by spoonfuls onto sheets, spacing two inches apart.  Sprinkle with a pinch of flaky sea salt, if you’re using it.  Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to touch, about 12 to 15 minutes.  Cool on sheets.  (Can be made 2 days ahead.  Store airtight at room temperature.) 

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