11 September 2011

Chocolate chip pecan toffee cookies

Oops!  I mean Lacey Chocolate chip pecan toffee cookies

Even though it's only been about five or six weeks since I last posted, it feels longer...much longer.  I fully admit to a bit of sheepishness about the length of this past break.  My usual two or so week break stretched to three...and then a month...and then it became...umm...a wee bit longer.

I think I have good reason.  The fact is...I really didn't cook or bake a lot this summer. Between this and that, this food fete and that dinner, most of my kitchen activity seemed to be microwaving or simply pulling a cold drink...erm...salad fixings from the fridge.

That's the way it goes sometimes.

This week I made a very conscious effort to reacquaint myself with my kitchen and create something to write about.  I decided upon chocolate chip cookies.

Goodness knows I've made hundreds of dozens of them over the years.  That should be a nice, easy way of easing me back into the swing of things.


You know what it's like to take a yoga class after not doing a Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana for five years?  That feeling that even the corpse pose is well beyond capabilities?

Okay...maybe you don't.  But I do...and it's weighing heavily as I'll be unfurling my mat for the first time in half a decade on Tuesday.  No...I'm not concerned...overly.

Yeah.  That's what it was like baking these cookies.

I looked at a few recipes, including the Alton Brown's Chocolate Chip Cookie #10 (aka the Toll House Recipe) and a couple of community even cookbooks and came up with another way to build a chocolate chip cookie (because, of course, the world needs another chocolate chip cookie recipe).

It all came together nicely and I scooped out the first tray of cookies.

After eight minutes I took out the first tray of cookies from the oven.

The first tray looked more like crocheted lace doilies by someone obsessed with the popcorn stitch.  Half the tray was one lacy cookie ooze of sugar and butter, held together by the occasional molten pool of toffee and studded with softened chocolate, as well as the just scant amount of flour I used.

Don't get me wrong, they were buttery and soft and nummily sticky with melted toffee bits...but they didn't have  the toothsome weight that I wanted.

Thank goodness I can fix things on the fly.

Based on the amount of dough left, I measured out some flour.  Presto!  Cookies that keep their shape without being too cakey (the bane of My Dear Little Cardamummy's cookies (but you didn't hear that from me)), lovely and chewy and just salty enough to cut through the combined sweetness of the dough, the chocolate and the toffee.

Not bad for my return to the kitchen, I think.

Chocolate Chip Pecan Toffee Cookies
Chocolate Chip Toffee Pecan Cookies 
Yield 3-4 dozen

175g (1.25c/300ml) all purpose flour
0.5tsp (2.5ml) bicarbonate of soda
0.5tsp (2.5ml) salt
115g (0.5c/120ml) soft butter
125g (10Tbsp/150ml) brown sugar
75ml (6Tbsp/90ml) white sugar
0.5tsp (2.5ml) vanilla extract
1 egg
175g (1c/250ml) chocolate chips
100g (0.5c/125ml) chopped pecans
75g (0.5c/125ml) toffee bits

Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Moderate. Line cookie trays with parchment paper.

Sift together flour, bicarb and salt. Set aside.

Cream together butter, both sugars and vanilla for about five minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg. Mix in the flour until just combined. Fold in the chocolate, nuts and toffee.

Roll into teaspoon-sized balls and place about 4cm (1.5") apart on the prepared cookie trays. Do not flatten.  Bake for 7-9 minutes, or until the cookies have spread and are golden around the edges and on the bottom.

Let cool on the the tray for about five minutes and then transfer to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Note: for the lacey version, reduce the flour by about 35g (0.25c/60ml); when you portion them out, flatten then slightly before baking.

I'm a quill for hire!


MargaretJ said...

Good to see you back!

Mikaela Cowles said...

Welcome back to the kitchen. I relate to the absence. Summer was a hard time to be in the kitchen. There were just WAY to many things going on elsewhere.