C.T.C.T.C. Cookies… haha! I don’t know why that amuses me so much!
Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about those Girl Scout Cookies… you know the shortbread ones covered in caramel and coconut and drizzled in chocolate?? I thought a lot about that caramel, and the texture of the cookie. I like the dryness of the cookie, contrasting with the chewiness of the caramel. I had some heavy cream in the fridge that I had originally earmarked for caramel, but then I made pastry cream (for no apparent reason, since it’s still whipped up and sitting in the fridge). I decided that I would make a simple toffee for my cookies instead… I thought about drizzling the hot toffee through cookie dough and baking the cookies with oozy ribbons of toffee running through them and dipping them in chocolate. Then, I thought about making toffee flavored shortbread and rolling them through coconut flakes like Mexican Wedding Cookies but with coconut instead of powdered sugar. But I finally decided I wanted something thick, chewy, and flecked with toffee, coconut, and chocolate.
Despite the toffee, these cookies are not overly sweet, instead they are mildly flavored with molasses and vanilla. The coconut toffee and chocolate just add a bit of sweetness and complexity to the cookies. I think next time, I’ll scale up the coconut and perhaps use chunkier flakes.
Chewy Toasted Coconut Toffee Chocolate Cookies (adapted by some large stretch of imagination from All Recipes)
12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened just a bit (maybe 30 seconds in the microwave)
1 cup of granulated sugar
3-4 tablespoons of molasses (I used 4 but feel free to use less if you are sensitive to the bitterness of molasses)
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 egg yolk
2 cups of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of flakey salt (again, feel free to use less if you dislike saltier cookies)
1 cup of crushed Coconut Toffee (recipe to follow) (Make this about 2 hours before the cookies so it has time to cool)
1 cup of flaked chocolate
Preheat the oven to 350F
In a large bowl cream the butter, sugar, and molasses until smooth.
Beat in vanilla and the egg and egg yolk until creamy and smooth.
Sprinkle in the flour and baking soda and salt. (I know, I know, I don’t use two bowls, but I promise this works just fine so long as you sprinkle and distribute the leavening ingredients as you mix it in)
Stir in coconut toffee and chocolate
Spoon in 1 tablespoon scoops onto parchment lined cookie sheets (Important! Because the toffee will get everywhere as you bake).
Bake at 350F for about 12 minutes or until just puffed and the edges are just crisp. The cookies will deflate a little once they come out of the oven. If you prefer crispy cookies, bake for a couple more minutes until the edges are crisp and the centers of the cookies have fallen.
Should make 24-30 cookies. I made mine a bit larger than a tablespoon and got 26 cookies (so far only 24 are left).
Coconut Toffee (ummm… I made it up?)
1 cup of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of toasted coconut, unsweetened
Melt sugar in a pan until smooth and deeply golden
Remove from the heat, and add butter in slices
Stir until smooth on low heat
On a pan, spread 1/2 of the coconut making a slightly thicker lip to contain the toffee in a bounded area (nerd alert)
Pour the toffee onto the pan
Sprinkle the top of the toffee with the remaining coconut
Smash with your fist, a hammer, your head, or any heavy instrument. Add to cookie dough, yogurt, or anyplace that needs awesomeness.
I wrote this nearly a month ago, but I never got around to posting the recipe, so I’ve attached the recipe and pictures.
Yesterday I ran 18 miles. I ran 16 blissfully uninterrupted miles, but as the sun sank rapidly I lost sight of the pavement and tripped. This time (unlike last time) I only scraped up my palms. The bruises and gashes on my legs finally healed, but now my palms are the unfortunate victim of running. Today, I went on a 4 mile hike… and you know what? I feel amazing.
Most people don’t understand why I run… and I find it hard to put into words. But mostly, I love it because I have to dig deep and find the courage and strength to do it. You know, at mile 10 when the sun is setting and you’re the only person still running, you have to fight back the quitter in you. You have to put your feet on the ground and move. And, the only thing that keeps you going is YOU. Running is a testament to the strength and the good inner fiber you have. It shows you the power you have over everything else. It’s not about control or anything else – it is about your insides. Your guts. Do you have it or not? Because even when your feet hurt, you want to cry, your underwear is giving you blisters, your music died, and the only thing you can hear is your rasping breath against everything else – you can prevail. That’s what running is about for me. It’s a test of faith in the strength that I have inside me.
Anyway, yesterday when I was standing in CVS with blood dripping down my arm and panting while I picked out band-aids and antiseptic I laughed a little. Mostly because I honestly contemplated running 2 more miles with the blood trickling down my arms before going to the drug store to patch myself up. Because, the goal was 20 and I had only finished 18 when I reached the 24hr CVS.
And since I’ve really only been regaling you all with stories and commentary on myself (I mean really, what a narcissist!) These are chocolate cookies. They aren’t very good the day after, and you absolutely have to underbake them for them to be as yummy as you want them to be. In fact, they’re a bit fussy, but I love them. To combat the dry cookie crumb you get the day after, you should scoop balls of them and freeze them and bake as you want to eat them. I only make 6 cookies at a time because they’re just not good unless they are fresh out of the oven.
Chocolate Cookies (Modified from the back of the Ghiradelli bag!)
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup of butter, softened
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 cups of chocolate chips, measured and then melted
In a heavy bottomed pan gently melt the chocolate chips. I use an All-Clad skillet, heated on high for a few minutes before throwing in the chips and letting it sit off the heat until the chips have melted down and I can stir them easily. Or just be a normal person and use a double boiler. Let the chocolate cool.
In a bowl, beat the butter and both sugars until light and creamy
Add the eggs, beating well after each addition
All at once, add flour, salt, and baking soda and stir until well incorporated
In a thin stream, incorporate the cooled chocolate and dough.
Drop tablespoons of cookie dough two inches apart on cookie sheets and bake at 375 for about 10 minutes
Note: These cookies are best just a bit uncooked, so once the dough poufs, remove them from the oven for perfectly baked cookies. Once the cookies cool, they deflate a little and form a perfectly chewy interior.