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chocolate toffee cookies

September 28, 2010

I’ve made these cookies for the past couple of Christmases to bring to Chris’s family party. They make large-and-in-charge batches, and they’re pretty tasty, too. So when I decided to make cookies for his sister’s engagement party this weekend, these were first on my list of three. (Like I said, no nutritional redemption ahead for this blog!)

This recipe is really unlike any other cookie recipe I’ve tried. About 80% of the cookies’ mass is made up of melted chocolate—which is obviously a good sign.

The final (or semi-final, rather) product is really more of a batter than a dough, and every time I’ve made these, I’ve had a few doubts that they’d turn into actual cookies rather than just a mess on the counter. (Yes, I’ve made them several times. Yes, I still doubt them every time.)

But I suck it up and scrape them out into logs to freeze. And by “logs” I mean sloppy lines of batter on sheets of plastic wrap that I try not to compare to the wrong end of a fiber bar as I wrap them up and squeeze them into logs, always making sure that there’s several layers of plastic between my hands and the lumpy, gooey mess.

Sorry for the blurry photo…daytime cooking with normal lighting is not an option during the week.
And actually, they’re still a pain in the butt to deal with even after they’ve been frozen. The chunks of toffee make it really difficult to cut the dough into the neat little rounds that Deb accomplished for Smitten Kitchen, and I usually just wind up swearing off making them ever again as I pile little scraps of dough into roughly-circular shapes on the cookie sheets.

But it all turns into magic in the oven. The little scraps all melt together into serviceable cookie-shaped cookies. And the cookies themselves, oh my gahhhh. They have a crackly crust just like a brownie, and they basically dissolve in your mouth into a sticky mass of chocolate and toffee that’s been gooey-fied in the oven. And that is why I keep coming back for more.

Chocolate Toffee Cookies
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped*
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (packed) brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 1.4-oz. chocolate-covered English toffee bars, coarsely chopped
*I’ve stuck with bittersweet for the most part, and this is actually one of those rare cases where it pays to use that Ghirardelli’s or something similarly overpriced. I used store-brand semisweet the first time I made these, and because there’s basically nothing else in the dough, I thought they left a kind of strange aftertaste. I don’t think anyone else noticed, but I did. So there.

1. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in small bowl; whisk to blend. Stir chocolate and butter in top of double broiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. [Or…microwave.] Remove from over water. Cool mixture to lukewarm.
2. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla.
3. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee. Form batter into 1.5-inch diameter logs [Godspeed] and freeze until firm, about 45 minutes.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment or waxed paper. Slice logs into 1/2-inch slices and place slices on sheets, spacing two inches apart. Bake just until tops are dry and cracked but cookies are still soft to the touch, about 12 to 15 minutes. Cool on sheets.

Source: slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

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