|Giant Chewy Toffee Cookie|
What do you do when you have a batch of extra English toffee on hand at Christmastime? You experiment with it. That's what you do. The reason I had the toffee on hand is because I'm trying to figure out how to make "al dente" toffee. That's actually the name of a toffee store in Adel, Iowa: Al Dente Toffee. My work friend, Misty, let me taste some a few weeks ago, and it was great. Sort of a light toffee, in that it was, well, al dente--not too hard, very crisp, almost airy, but not really. The recipe/method is secret, and I will continue trying to figure it out. The toffee that wound up in these cookies turned out as it usually does for me--crunchy, buttery, sweet, and yummy. Perfect for this cookie application.
After breaking up the toffee into chunks, I had some toffee "powder," so I subbed some of that for a 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. I think it adds to the overall richness of this cookie, which honestly is about as rich as you can get. I used my recipe for Really Chewy Chocolate Chunk Cookies, and made a couple of changes. The next day these cookies are still really chewy, really sweet, and just plain fabulous. If you're into toffee cookies, you might want to try these.
I'm sure you can make these a more reasonable size, just be sure to adjust the bake time.
Giant Chewy Toffee Cookies
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 2/3 cups bread flour (I used King Arthur Unbleached All Purpose Flour)
- 1 ¼ tsp. baking soda
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 ½ tsp. coarse salt, such as kosher
- 1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup pulverized toffee chips (toffee "powder"--crush it up yourself)
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups toffee chips/chunks*
Combine flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Put dry ingredients through a sieve to sift them together. Set aside.
Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream butter, cream cheese, sugars, and pulverized toffee until very light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low/stir; then add dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Add the toffee chips/chunks, and mix briefly to incorporate. Cover dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, about two hours.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove the bowl of dough from the refrigerator, and allow it to soften slightly. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
Now here is where you have to decide what size to make the cookies. I used a large sized Pampered Chef cookie scoop, which is probably about a quarter cup. Bigger is probably better with these cookies. Place scoops onto parchment-lined cookie sheets and leave about 2 to 3 inches between cookies. Bake cookies for 14-16 minutes or until puffed and browned at the edges. Transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack for 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies onto the rack to cool a bit more.
Makes about 25 very large cookies
*English Toffee Bits
1. Line a square Pyrex pan (8X8) with parchment paper or non-stick foil.
2. In a heavy saucepan heat butter and sugar to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil over medium heat until it reaches 300° on a candy thermometer. Pour into prepared pan and evenly spread with a silicone (not rubber) spatula. Allow to cool completely.
3. Break toffee up into big chunks with your hands and then on a clean cutting board, chop into smaller bits. Be sure to taste some to see if it's good.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups of toffee bits. Use the extra to make some toffee chocolate chip cookies or use as an ice cream topping. They'll keep in a zip top bag for a few weeks as long as you keep them in a cool, dry place.