Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Method to my Throwdown cookie madness

Happy Wednesday everybody!
I'm so thrilled to see I have "followers." I'm still not entirely certain what that means, but I do love the sound of it!
Let's get down to the nitty gritty. Per the suggestion of my brother and avid follower ;), Avi, I have decided to post the recipes for all of my mouth-watering treats! Ya'll should feel honored, I'm typically very territorial about my recipes. I spend so much time finding the right ones and actually studying and comparing variations on the same food that after I do the research, I want the result to be my own. It's work coming up with the right recipe, but luckily it's something I enjoy. In the spirit of sharing and with the hope that you will be able to make someone as happy as I do just with food, I'll divulge all my dirty cooking secrets (well...maybe not all, but the relevant ones for sure!).

As I stated in the last post, my inspiration for my Throwdown cookies was this recipe from Lovin From the Oven. However, I changed a few things so the recipe I'm going to post is the one with my modifications, but first my explanations for the changes.

The first thing I wanted to change was the amount of eggs. While her recipe calls for two eggs, I actually used one egg and one egg yolk. I did this because I wanted the perfect soft, chewy texture to these cookies. I generally associate eggs with cake, and while this was only two eggs, I wasn't taking chances. I firmly believe that a cookie should have that ooey-gooey pull apart ability packed with the buttery moisture that holds the pieces together once you've broken it in half. As far as I'm concerned this rule applies to all cookies whether it's chocolate chip, snickerdoodle, oatmeal, and oh hell-even a macaroon (especially a macaroon-who likes a dry macaroon??). Thou shall NOT skimp of moist cookie dough! Now, there is a time and a place for a cakey cookie, but let's save that for Mexican wedding cookies or a seriously substantial bakery style cookie.

My next change was in toasting the walnuts before mixing them into the batter. I wanted the toastiness of the nut to add depth and complement the toffee in the cookie. I gave the nuts about 10 minutes in the 375 degree oven. Next time, I will probably toast them longer to ensure their flavor is prominent.

Finally, I added more of every mix-in. The recipe calls for 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup toffee bits, and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts-but I wanted these babies PACKED. I added an entire bag of semi-sweet chips (12oz, so 1 and 1/2 cups), 1 cup of toffee bits, and 3/4 cup of the toasted walnuts. You know what though? Next time I make these cookies I'll still add more of everything. I want a morsel of something in EVERY bite-and as long as I'm in charge, I'm gonna do just that!

A change that I was thinking about but didn't do because I didn't want to get too fancy for the throwdown was browning the butter on the stove before mixing it in the dough. I've always been fascinated by browned butter cookie recipes, and I think the caramely notes from browning the butter would be excellent in this cookie. Next crack at this cookie, it's browned butter all the way.

DISCLAIMER: In any recipe, unless stated otherwise, butter should be left at room temp for a couple hours before baking to soften it. Microwaving it is great in a pinch, but softened means softened, so place it in the microwave in small time intervals and don't melt it. If it specifies melted butter you're free to microwave away! On that note, eggs also crack better at room temperature-leave them out for about 20 minutes before being used. These tips ensure a flawless, creamy dough or batter.

Without further adieu here is my version of the recipe:
This made about 40 cookies.

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened (I leave them out on the kitchen counter for two hours prior to baking)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 heaping tsp. vanilla extract (let it drip a little-I love vanilla)
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup toffee bits
3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, toffee bits and nuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

ps. Hope ya'll like my new layout-I think it's pretty cute :)

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