Thursday, August 1, 2013

Toffee Oatmeal Cookies

Yesterday it became all too apparant at how barren my freezer cookie stash has become. I have been baking from it for months and not making new batches to replace my stash. Needless to say, I spent a good chunck of the afternoon yesterday making cookie dough for me stash (and also baking some to eat of course). Eventhough it's the middle of summer, and most people shy away from baking. Sometimes you just need a cookie - and it's much faster to satisfy a freshly baked cookie craving when there is dough balls ready and waiting in the freezer. There is no "cookie season" in my house. It's an all-year-round necessity. :)
   So, I'll try and space some of the cookie postings out, so you don't get a cookie overload (would that really be a bad thing?). Today I'll share the Toffee Oatmeal Cookies that I made. It's a slight variation on a recipe for Caramel Oatmeal Cookies that I found on the Six Sisters Stuff website (via pinterest of course). These are some cookies that I have had pinned to try for a while, but I put off because I never had the Kraft Caramel Bits it called for. I decided to make them using Heath Bits o' Brickle Toffee Bits instead (because I usually have those on hand in my cookie baking section of my cupboards . . . what? Doesn't everyone dedicate an entire section to cookie baking ingredients?) The cookies turned out really yummy! The texture reminds me of my Coconut Oatmeal Chewies but they have a brown butter/toffee flavor instead. The one batch that I baked off was quickly gobbled up. :)

Here's how I made them:
2 sticks of softened, unsalted butter went into the bowl of my stand mixer.

I mixed the butter a bit, to make sure it was smooth. Then I added 3/4 cup each of white and brown sugar.

While the mixer was running, I added 1 tsp of salt,

1 tsp of vanilla (I usually go a little heavy handed on the vanilla, so I probably added 1 1/2 tsp)

and two eggs.

When everything was thoroughly combined, I scraped down the bowl using a rubber spatula.

In a separate bowl, I put flour, cinnamon and baking soda.

I whisked them all together . . .

and then very SLOWLY added them to the mixer - a little at a time.

When the flour was incorporated, I added in some rolled oats (I like to use old fashioned, but I suppose any would work.).

This is where I deviated from the original recipe. I didn't have caramel bits, but I did have toffee bits. 

The whole bag got added to the cookie dough.

When everything was mixed, I gave the bowl one more scrape down with my spatula.

I used my smallest cookie scoop (it's about 1 1/4 inches across) and scooped out some cookies onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet.

The remaining cookie dough was treated how I treat all my extra dough . . . because I can't trust myself around 5 dozen baked cookies . . . and because it's nice to have freshly baked cookies at a moments notice. I pre-portion out the cookie balls onto a clean cookie sheet and then put the whole thing into the freezer. Once they are rock hard, I put them into a labeled zip-top freezer bag and then I can bake up as many as I would like whenever I want. (And I can also bake a couple cookies of each variety that I have, which I often do when I can't decide which type of cookie I would like to enjoy.) ;)

After the cookies bake @ 350 for 8-10 minutes (depending on your oven - mine were done after 8 minutes), they will look something like this: (FYI, if you chill the batter first, until it's firm, you will have slightly thicker cookies, but not by much. My batter was pretty warm, so it spread quite a bit.)

The cookies are thin, but definitely not crunchy. They are nice and chewy (my favorite).

See the perfect bite mark? Hardly any crumbs. As the toffee hardens it does give a slightly crunchy texture to the outside, but the cookie itself stays nice and chewy.
 Here's the recipe:
adapted from Caramel Oatmeal Cookies

Toffee Oatmeal Cookies
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 cups old-fashion rolled oats, uncooked
1 package Heath Bits o' Brickle Toffee Bits
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and cinnamon with a whisk.  In a large bowl (or stand mixer), cream together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla extract.  Scrape down the bowl and slowly mix in flour mixture until combined.  Fold in oats and caramel bits completely (I just run my stand mixer on low.) Scrape down the bowl, and make sure everything is mixed well.  Using a small scoop (1 1/4 inch) scoop small cookie balls and place onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper or a sil pat, keeping them 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.

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