Sunday, October 14, 2007

What Workers Want

Yesterday's 20-mile run signaled the beginning of the end of my marathon training, and I've decided to spend much of the next three low(er)-mileage weeks baking goodies for the generous people I work with who've made donations on my behalf to Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. People don't necessarily like parting with their hard-earned cash, but give them a worthy cause and the promise of homemade cookies, and watch how quickly they whip out their checkbooks.

Today I made three different cookies to stash in my freezer until I bring them to work the day after the marathon: Lenox Almond Biscotti from Dorie Greenspan's Baking, Flourless Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Cookies from The Bon Appetit Cookbook, and Chocolate Toffee Butter Cookies from Cook's Country by way of Aunt Betty.

The biscotti and peanut butter cookies are part of my standard baking repertoire. I call on Greenspan's biscotti recipe when I want a light, crispy biscotti--the addition of cornmeal gives them a fabulous crunch. They're for the dieters in the office, as well as those who aren't big on sweet stuff. The peanut butter cookies are rich and delicious. Enhanced by a glass of milk, they are no-brainers for the traditionalists.

But with their impressive chocolate-nut covering, the Chocolate Toffee Butter Cookies will probably be the crowd pleasers. People love gooey stuff. However, these are no mere gloppy squares. The pecans on top are toasted, to intensify their flavor. The cookie dough is enriched with Heath toffee bits, which add additional crunch and boost the flavor of the dough's brown sugar. And they've got pretty drizzled patterns on top.

My money's on the toffee cookies to be the first to go.--S

Chocolate Toffee Butter Cookies

makes 5 dozen cookies

2 1/3 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
16 T (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened by still cool
1 c packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 t vanilla extract
1 c Health Toffee Bits (without chocolate)
1 1/2 c semisweet chocolate chips
1 T vegetable oil
2/3 c pecans, toasted and chopped fine

1. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt together. With electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture in two batches, and mix until incorporated. Stir in toffee bits. Divide dough in half and roll each piece into log about 9 in. long and 1 1/2 in. in diameter. Flatten logs until 2 1/2 in. wide. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 1/2 hrs.
2. Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
3. Using chef's knife, cut dough into 1/2-in. slices; transfer to baking sheets, spacing 1 in. apart. Bake until just browned around edges, 10 to 12 minutes, rotating rack position and direction of baking sheets halfway through baking time. Cool cookies completely on baking sheets. Use remaining dough to make second batch of cookies.
4. Transfer baked cookies to wire rack set in baking sheet. Melt chocolate and mix with oil in bowl until smooth. Dip part of each cookie into melted chocolate or drizzle chocolate over cookies with spoon. Sprinkle pecans over cookies. Don't touch until chocolate sets, about 1 hr.

Recipe courtesy of Cook's Country

1 comment:

Laura said...

Dude - those toffee cookies look SOOOOOOOOOO GOOD!!!! if that's not a carrot dangling in front of you throughout the marathon, i don't know what is!! rock on...

ps - i like how "aunt betty" made it as a tag for this story..heh...