You should know, I’m not such a great cook.
Sure, I can turn out meals for my family most nights of the week that are just fine. And I can host friends for dinner and everyone walks away happy and full (I think).
But I’m much, much better at baking.
I used to think that this is because cooking takes a lot more interpretation and “to taste” direction, while baking has pretty clear measurements and instructions that need to be followed if you want a recipe to turn out just so.
Lately, though, I’m putting this theory to the test just a little bit and giving myself some room to tinker with recipes. Even ones that come from experienced bakers and chefs that I refer to the most, like the folks at America’s Test Kitchen (seriously, you cannot go wrong with their recipes, like, ever).
I’m taking what I know and like from a lot of different recipes and combining them to create just what I want. Usually it takes me a couple of iterations before I can actually get to what I have in mind, but I’ve started to land on some recipes of my own that I truly love.
Here’s the first one. I hope you’ll try it and let me know what you think. There are more to come.
Chocolate Chunk Toffee Cookies
2 Cups Flour
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
About ¼ cup caramel bits (recipe below) – I cut these really, really small so that they almost blend into the dough
6 oz. 60% cacao chopped
In a bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking soda. Set aside.
In a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter and heat until browned. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer. Let cool slightly.
Add the sugar to the butter. In mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and butter at medium speed until well combined.
Add vanilla, egg and egg yolk and mix well.
Add flour mixture until just combined.
Using a wooden spoon, add the chopped chocolate and caramel bits. Refrigerate dough for at least a half hour or up to 2 days. After that, either bake or freeze dough for later.
Scoop dough into balls, about 2 tablespoons each. Bake at 350° for 8-9 minutes, be sure to rotate your pan half way through baking time.
½ cup sugar
¼ cup butter
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 tsp kosher salt
Cover a dish with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.
In a medium sauce pan, heat the sugar until it melts and turns amber in color. Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up any sugar that clumps during this process.
Take the sugar off the heat, add butter and stir constantly to melt butter and combine with the sugar.
Place pan back on heat, add cream and salt. Stir constantly until caramel turns a shade darker.
Pour onto prepared dish and place in freezer for at least ½ hour.