Saturday, February 7, 2015

Coconutty Cookies with Toffee Bits

Coconutty Cookies with Toffee Bits

These cookies have a deceptively unassuming appearance. They aren't attractive, studded with chocolate chunks, glazed or sprinkled. They just kind of look like beige oatmeal cookies, but that's NOT what they are. There is no oatmeal in here. The bumpy texture comes from two cups of coconut and a total of 2 1/4 cups nuts. Their heavenly scent and flavor come from all of those things in addition to the 3/4 cup toffee bits. Mmmmm. They're chewy, buttery, nutty, sweet, and deeply satisfying. Trust me--if you like all of the previously mentioned ingredients, you will love these cookies. But if you are not a coconut fan, don't bother. These are not for you.
My coconut and toffee loving sister-in-law declared these "perfect." Try 'em.


Coconutty Cookies with Toffee Bits

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 
  • 2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  • 3/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 3/4 cup toffee bits (use Heath Toffee bits or recipe below)
Instructions
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Cream butter, shortening and sugars.  Beat in baking soda and salt.  Beat in vanilla extract and eggs.  
3.  Mix in flour just until blended.  Then stir in coconut, nuts and toffee bits.
4.  Scoop by tablespoons onto parchment-lined baking sheets, leaving two inches between cookies.  (If you want a flatter cookie, like the one in the bottom pic, flatten the tops of the dough balls so you have a dough disk that's about a half-inch thick.)
5.  Bake at 350 for 8-9 minutes, or until cookies are puffed and start to brown around the edges.
6.  Allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Note: I like to keep my cookie dough in the fridge, or make and freeze dough balls.  If you do that with these, be sure to flatten slightly before baking.  When I just popped them in the oven after having been frozen, they didn't spread enough, and I was left with cookie balls, rather than regular cookies.  They tasted okay, but not as good as they did when they were flat.

Makes about 4 dozen 3-inch diameter cookies, I think.

Be sure to smoosh the top a bit before baking.


English Toffee Bits

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup packed C & H Light Brown Sugar 
  • 1/2 cup C & H White Sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
Directions
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.


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