22 December 2014

Eats: cinnamon toffee chocolate chip cookies

Because Team P isn’t traveling for the holidays this year, we’re missing out on a usually integral part of our holiday celebration: Mr. P’s aunt’s cookie tray. This cookie tray has no less than six types of cookies (that I can recall), which she bakes in the days leading up to the holiday celebration at her home in Wisconsin. Any year we don’t go to Wisconsin for Christmas is a year in which someone tsk-tsks, “Too bad, no cookie tray for you, then.”

I don’t know if it’s that tradition, or the cookies-for-Santa tradition, or cookie exchanges, but something about Christmas triggers my desire to bake cookies. Somehow, though they’re simple, they seem to be the most seasonally appropriate dessert (especially when paired with a cup of hot chocolate)! So this year, I decided to try a new cookie that promised to be a hit with the crowd: these cinnamon toffee chocolate chip cookies. Cinnamon and toffee just feel right this time of year, don’t they?! So with just days remaining until Christmas, let’s get to it!

First things first per usual with cookies: cream together the butter and sugar. For that, you need a stick plus two tablespoons of softened butter, 2/3 cup of brown sugar, and 1/2 cup of white sugar. (Note that I roughly halved the recipe from the source and I still had over forty cookies, in the end. Scale accordingly!)

Next up, add one egg and a teaspoon and a half of vanilla. Mix!

Then the dry ingredients. Start with the smallest in volumes: 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 3/4 tsp baking soda, and 3/4 tsp baking powder.

You could totally go for more cinnamon, as I’ve omitted the cinnamon chips and didn’t compensate with more cinnamon. Mr. P isn’t a huge cinnamon fan (unfortunately for me) – but I think it’d be extra tasty with a full teaspoon!

Flour’s next! You need a 1 3/4 cup, plus... a bit more. Just make sure it’s a heaping, ok? The baking equivalent of “some”.

Finally, you need 4 oz toffee chips (2/3 cup) and 6 oz semisweet chocolate chips (1 cup). I used this kind, about a half-package of each:

The original source calls for bittersweet chocolate chips, but I wasn’t super interested in that. I did consider splurging on dark chocolate, though! Whatever you use, MIX:

And now... here’s the part where you get a little annoyed with me. Because, see... at this point, I followed the directions and wrapped up the dough and stuck it in the fridge. For, uh. For a whole day.

I know, you were wanting me to skip that step and tell you it’d be just fine! And you know what, it probably would be. But... for once I followed directions. Forgive me? I really am sorry.

Anyway, whether you wait 24 hours or 24 seconds, drop them by teaspoonfuls onto a greased baking sheet and pop them in a 375 degree oven. If you DO refrigerate overnight, the dough’s going to be pretty hard, so give it a chance to warm up a little bit so you can scoop it. And note that the source says 8-10 minutes in the oven, but I let mine go for 12 since they didn’t look done. I’d stick with 10 if you can, though.


I was a bit wary of this dough given its texture – it was a bit more crumbly than I’m used to, and I wondered if the cookies would be dry or hard. But I was absolutely wrong. Instead, the cookies had that perfect crispy on the outside, gooey-soft on the inside texture we all long for in a good cookie. The only problem was perhaps over-baking them; while they were perfect for the first day, they got a little hard after that. I wonder if I had just taken them out at 10 minutes if they would have been better!

With the reduced cinnamon in my version, there’s just a hint of spice with the sweet toffee and semisweet chocolate – so if you’re a cinnamon fan, be sure to add more (or add the chips). For me, though, the bit of cinnamon is perfect for a cookie that feels a bit seasonal without reminding your tastebuds loud and clear that it’s Christmastime... though the snow outside might already make the season clear.

So! I think these would make an unexpectedly tasty addition to your holiday feast or traditional cookie tray – you might think they’re just a plain chocolate chip cookie, until you take a bite! Just be prepared to share the recipe... and enjoy!


Janice said...

Yum. In traditional fashion, I have come "late to the party" of using parchment paper when baking. Oh for the love of all that is gooey and yummy, you have GOT to try using it instead of greasing a cookie sheet! I used it with all of my cookie baking this season. Rumor is you can use a sheet of paper twice (at least) but I threw all caution to the wind and disposed of it after a single use. I am now a Parchment Preacher! Holy cookies talk about FAST clean up! You can transfer from cookie sheet to cooling rack just by sliding the paper off the cookie sheet! Cookies can cool on the paper or slide cookies off paper onto the cooling rack. You have GOT to try it.
Like you, I tried a couple new recipes this season. They were of the candy variety rather than cookie. There's just something about candy cane cookies that just have to be made for the season to be complete in this family. ;) Will think of and miss Team P as we pass around the cookie trays over Christmas dinner. Merry Christmas Team P!