Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Gosh Darn Good Cookies #CreativeCookieExchange

These cookies, adapted from Daphna Rabinovitch, are filled with two types of chocolate, chopped toffee and a surprising hint of espresso to wake you up!

I am a sucker for cookbooks, especially baking cookbooks. Admittedly, I will almost never follow a cookbook recipe verbatim - my passion for creativity is far too great - but I will often take the essential building blocks or essence of a recipe and tweak it to my own tastes and often what ingredients I have lying around. Sometimes, the results are delicious. Other times, the result is simply nothing short of fantastic.

Such was the case with these cookies. A mix of chocolate, toffee, brown sugar and espresso powder, the original recipe came from one of the best baking books I've read in the past few years - Daphna Rabinovitch's The Baker in Me. I made the recipe almost exactly by the book the first time - shocking to even me - and the cookies were devoured by everyone, even non-coffee lovers. This past Christmas, though, I opted to jazz things up a little bit. I had run out of cake flour (and cornstarch, it turns out) so I swapped in a cup of oat flour for the missing amount. This both mimicked the texture of the cake flour and added a delicate layer of nuttiness that I loved, especially with so many sweet ingredients. To make the cookies extra chewy (and last longer before staling) I added a squeeze of honey to the creamed batter, along with extra vanilla because, vanilla. The last swap was due to ingredient availability - I only had bittersweet chocolate chips and whole chocolate chunks on hand, so I used them in place of the standard semisweet or milk variety, and with no Skor bars in sight regular old toffee bits sufficed. With my work schedule, the cookie dough hung out in the fridge for 4 days before baking, and I popped the scooped dough, on the sheets, into the freezer for 15-20 minutes before baking to prevent excess spread.

Far and away, these are my favourite "unconventional" chocolate chip cookie. Sweet, with a touch of bitterness from the espresso, loaded with "bits" and chewy for days - what isn't there to love? Fair warning though - if you share these, share them only with people you want to stay around, because they'll never leave!

The #CreativeCookieExchange is baking Our Favourite Cookies this month, and we’d love for you to join us! What cookie would you take with you on a desert island?

You can also use us as a great resource for cookie recipes. Be sure to check out our Pinterest Board and our monthly posts (you can find all of them here at The Spiced Life). You will be able to find them the first Tuesday after the 15th of each month! If you are a blogger and want to join in the fun, contact Laura at thespicedlife AT gmail DOT com and she will get you added to our Facebook group, where we discuss our cookies and share links.

Gosh Darn Good Cookies
Makes ~ 4 1/2 dozen cookies
1 cup cake flour
1 cup oat flour
1 ⅓ cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
½ tbsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp vanilla
1 ½ tbsp instant espresso powder
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 cup toffee bits
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the flours, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. 
  3. Add eggs, honey, vanilla, and espresso powder, beating for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the flour in two additions, mixing well.
  5. Fold in chocolate and toffee by hand.
  6. Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 24 hours (I went 4 days) or freeze up to 3 months.
  7. Heat the oven to 375F and line cookie sheets with parchment or silpat.
  8. Scoop onto lined cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  9. Bake for 11-13 minutes. Cookies will be barely set but not glossy.
  10. Cool 5 minutes on pans then transfer to cooling racks and cool completely.
These cookies also taste great frozen on their own, or sandwiching your favourite ice cream!

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