Tuesday, April 24
Chocolate chip cookies are going through some sort of an identity crisis. I am not complaining.
The classic cookies have an ongoing affair with several different ingredients. They're often caught in the company of various eye candies, ranging from snarky, salty, bacon, to simple sweet butterscotch...or both! (Oh, butterscotch, what's become of you?)
Lucky for us though, it doesn't really matter who the cookies mingle with, as long as we're allowed to indulge in the results of their delicious, free-loving lifestyle.
Enter the crunchy, buttery bliss known as toffee.
Toffee deserves some spotlight time. Oatmeal, nuts, peanut butter, coconut, and, for some reason, white chocolate, are wildly popular chocolate chip cookie companions. But what about toffee? I absolutely love toffee, (and not just because it rhymes with my percolating, morning-bed-head, companion). Toffee rises above the hype and fluff of 24-hour trends. So it was only a matter of time before the chocolate chip cookie became unequivocally enchanted by toffee's reticence.
The union of these two equally delectable ingredients produced possibly one of the best cookie recipes, ever.
Oh, did I mention the involvement of brown butter? No? Well, it's quite involved...two sticks involved, actually.
Originally, I was not even planning to use chocolate chips in this recipe, but someone (I'm not naming names), had already noshed on the bag of toffee, leaving enough to satisfy only half the dough. Chocolate chips are mandatory stand-ins for such unforeseen, tragic events. Chocolate is kind of heroic that way (the little devil).
My fear of the chocolate overpowering the brown butter and toffee was quickly put to rest. It was a perfect gentleman, allowing both toffee and nutty brown butter to sing through the cookie.
The cookies are soft and chewy on the inside, and have slightly crisp, caramel-like edges...the edges don't extend too far into the cookies, so no worries.
Since this it's only Monday, you really do deserve to treat yourself to a batch of cookies. If you're reading this on a Tuesdays, or a Wednesday, congratulations, you survived the horrible, unrelenting, Monday. Time to treat yourself. Thursday and Friday are close enough to the weekend...you can take a cue from chocolate chip cookies new lease on life and let the hedonism begin early. :-D
Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe yields about 24 cookies
1 cup (that's 2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into about 5 pieces (this just helps it melt faster)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups light brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 room temperature eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 8oz bag toffee bits (I used Heath's Bits'o'Brickle)
10 oz of dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli's 60% cacao chips)
Brown the butter: Place the butter into a heavy-bottomed saucepan, or skillet. Heat on medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, (5 to 8 minutes). Remove the pan from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. [Note: You may want to spray the heat-proof bowl before adding the brown butter; I had a difficult time removing it once it had solidified.] Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the butter solidifies (about 3-4 hours).
In a large mixing, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt; Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand-mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the solidified brown butter and sugar. [Note: If the butter is too hard, let it rest at room temperature for a few minutes.] Beat at medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, until well-combined and light in colour. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Once both eggs have been added, beat in the vanilla extract.
With the mixer set on low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients, mixing only until just combined. Use a large rubber spatula to fold in the toffee and chocolate chips. Mix until evenly distributed.
Cover the bowl and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 F.; Line baking sheets with parchment.
For each cookie, measure out about 1/4 cup of dough. [Note: If the dough is too hard to scoop, leave it covered at room temperature until it softens a bit.]
Roll into balls and flatten gently with the palm of your hand.
Place the cookies on prepared sheets, leaving about 1/2-inch of space between each.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges have just set. Do not over-bake. The middles may appear undercooked, but they will firm up beautifully once the cookies have cooled off.
Remove the sheets from the oven, and allow the cookies to rest for about 8 minutes before gently transferring them to a cooling rack.