Thursday, January 20, 2011

Salted Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I love it when I stumble across something that tastes so good that it consumes me until I just physically can’t stop myself from proceeding directly to the kitchen to recreate it. Such is the case with these cookies.

While out running a quick errand, I decided I needed a pick me up. It was the middle part of the day and lunch had worn off but it was still too early for dinner; I just needed a quick nibble to get me through. That was my plan for my maiden visit to The Steeping Room. The little cafe looked so inviting and a cup of tea sounded just right.

As I walked up to the counter to order tea, I couldn’t help but notice the huge case of baked goods. Of course, I couldn’t resist. I suspect I’m not the first person to succumb to its lovely offerings. In fact, I’m sure it was strategically placed right there at the counter so that no one could resist. Or at least no one with only a normal reserve of will power. I’m sure some people have super human powers of resistance and perhaps they could have walked away from Salted Toffee Chocolate Chunk cookies. I’m thankful I’m not one of them.

A sensible person would have ordered a nice herbal tea and have avoided the obscene amount of calories these cookies were sure to impart. Me? I went for the cookie and ordered a whole milk café au lait to accompany it. I figure in for a penny, in for a pound.

It's times like these that you have to remember that life is short. While I’d like to be sensible, the truth is that when given an opportunity, I’m almost always going to take the cookie. I hope you do, too, because these babies are not to be missed!

Salted Toffee Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Shortly after polishing off that divine cookie from The Steeping Room, I started Googling recipes. It didn’t take long to hit upon one from the Blue Eyed Bakers. Their original recipe called for Heath Bar Bits o’ Brickle Toffee chips but I think it’s just as easy to make the toffee at home and save a trip to the store. Also, these cookies are pretty rich so I made slightly smaller cookies than suggested (I do have a small measure of restraint). If you prefer to make a large cookie, use a 2 ounce ice cream scoop to measure out the cookies. The yield should be around 16 cookies in the larger size. I used muscovado sugar as it is more nutrient rich than other brown sugars because it retains more of the minerals found in raw sugarcane juice. I’ve read that you should slightly reduce the amount of liquid ingredients in a recipe when subbing muscovado for regular brown sugar but I didn’t bother and these cookies turned out fine.

Cookies- adapted from a Blue Eyed Bakers recipe
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup muscovado sugar (or sub regular light/dark brown sugar), packed
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
12 ounces good quality semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped (I used Callebaut)
1 cup toffee pieces (see recipe below)
Fleur de sel

Homemade Toffee- adapted from FunkySeaMonkey’s recipe on All Recipes
1 c butter
1 c sugar
½ t salt

First, make the toffee:
1. In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the butter, sugar and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Allow to come to a boil, while stirring occasionally, and cook until the temperature reaches 285 degrees Fahrenheit and the mixture is a dark amber color.
2. As soon as the toffee reaches 285 degrees Fahrenheit, pour it out into a 9” x 13” Pyrex baking dish.
3. Place the toffee in the refrigerator to chill until set. Break into pieces, and store in an airtight container.
*Makes approximately 2 cups of toffee pieces.

Then make the cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and set aside.
2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined. Slowly add flour mixture and blend until completely incorporated. Stir in chocolate and toffee. Place the dough in the refrigerator to rest for 24 hours.
3. When ready to bake, bring the dough out of the refrigerator and allow it to warm up just a bit so that it will be easy to scoop. Using a tablespoon, drop heaping mounds of cookie dough onto a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silpat and use your fingers to flatten the mounds slightly. Sprinkle each cookie with a generous pinch of fleur de sel. Bake until cookies just start to brown, 13-15 minutes, and rotate the pans halfway through baking to ensure even cooking. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes and then transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely.
*Recipe makes approximately 30 cookies.
I linked this post to Sweet As Sugar Cookies: Sweets for a Saturday.

17 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness, these look and sound incredible-I'm going to have to make these soon .

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! These look amazingly delicious...we are also so happy you didn't walk away from them! As always, fantastic photos.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Toffee pieces are one of my fave mix-ins for cookies. So good!

    ReplyDelete
  4. These look and sound too perfect for words. It is hard to make a good thing better, but I think you have. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh my gosh, these cookies take my breath away. I can't believe you even made homemade toffee to put in them. You are incredible. I'm starting a new linky party on my blog called "Sweets for a Saturday" and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link this up.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks all- the toffee is a great way to add some spunk to classic chocolate chip cookies. My husband and I are really enjoying them!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am going to have to stop reading your blog before noon. Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaayumn.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Shelley, I'm so glad you joined Baked Sunday Mornings because that led me directly to your fabulous blog ! I'm passing on a Stylish Blogger Award to you via mine. Congrats.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Michelle- thanks as always! I'm loving the food porn you're puttin gout every Friday. keep it coming!

    @seattle- You are too sweet! And I'm honored to be considered stylish- it's a bit of a stretch. Loving checking out all the Baked Sunday Morning posts- I'll be back for the Devil's Food Cake challenge. Cakes are my nemesis so I'm sure it will be a challenge indeed!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Shelley...these cookies look mouthwatering...love the idea of some salt and the homemade toffee in these chocolate chips cookies. Great photos :-)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ooo, yummy! I've been trying out chocolate chip cookies recipes, searching for the right one...

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Juliana and Indie- Thanks Ladies!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I really like sweets with flakes of salt on them. Your cookies look stunning! I would probably devour half the plate in a single sitting!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow...Nothing but good things in these cookies!!! I bet they taste even better than the ones at the tea shop. Your pics are making me crave a nice tall stack of them right now!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks Stevie and UrMom! Sadly, all the cookies are gone now. We made short work of them!

    ReplyDelete
  16. These cookies look scrumptious! I love salted caramels, and a cookie version sounds sublime. Now I'll also have to make a trip to The Steeping Room.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Salt and chocolate = divine! Love your recipe.

    ReplyDelete