Tuesday, May 3, 2011

THE BEST Cookies I have EVER Made: Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Toffee Cookies w/ Pecans!

I am about to share with you a cookie recipe that just might blow your mind.
You’d think I’d be tired of cookies because of my week long chocolate chip cookie experiment but no! When a cookie is made right, you never can have too many (:

This particular cookie is unlike the plethora of chocolate chip cookies I had in the fact that this recipe produces a cookie 20 times better. YES, I said 20 times!!

THIS cookie blows any other cookie I've ever eaten OUT OF THE WATER. 
I'm serious, there is just no way for me to express how much I love these cookies. 

And though I call this a "chocolate chip oatmeal toffee" cookie, I wouldn't really call it an oatmeal cookie. The truth is, I'm not a huge fan of oatmeal cookies! The oats in this recipe are finely ground (into oat flour) so that you get that same lovely taste and a bit of chew without it being too "oatmeally".

The simple oat and flour base is then pumped up with toffee bits, toasted pecans, and dark chocolate chips to give you a flavor profile that is out of this world.
Convinced yet? 

I found the recipe originally from Cookie Madness (who, unfortunately, as come down with pneumonia! I hope you feel better, Anna!) where she originally got it from here. She made a couple of changes to that recipe, and I made a couple of changes to her recipe, so here is my version!

Crack Cookies (or the more kid-friendly name: Chocolate Chip Toffee Pecan Oatmeal Cookies)
1 cup all purpose flour (4.5 oz)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2  teaspoon kosher salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar*
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (*or 1/2 cup + 2T white sugar and 1/4 cup + 2T dark brown sugar if you don't have light)
1 egg
2 teaspoons imitation vanilla extract
1 cup dark chocolate chips
3 oz Heath toffee bits (a scant 1/2 cup)
3/4 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
1 1/8 cups oatmeal ground into a fine powder in the food processor (or 1 cup oat flour)

Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside.

Cream butter and sugars in large mixer bowl. Add egg and vanilla and stir until mixed.

Add flour mixture and oatmeal gradually, stirring until incorporated. Stir in Heath Bits, Chocolate Chips, and nuts. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Place 8 or 9 balls of cookie dough (I made mine 45 grams each or about an 1/8 of a cup if you don't have a scale) on a parchment lined cookie sheet and flatten slightly . Bake at 375 degrees for 9-11 minutes or until golden and slightly browned around the edges. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 19-21 cookies

See that goo in the above photo? Yeah, that's not underdone or anything, that just how the cookie is. These are cookies that don't turn all brittle and stale the day after you make them; in fact from the words of my brother "what did you do to make these cookies stay so moist and fresh?!"

I've made these cookies twice (only days after each other, mind you) and the first time I had to substitute some homemade toffee bits for the store bought kind because I ran out. This caused some ugly spreading...
Went from this-
To this-
Eh so the first batch wasn't the prettiest bunch, but everyone LOVED THEM.
It took every will I had for me to NOT eat one of these dough balls straight from the pan...
(Also in the first batch you can see I forgot to flatten them slightly before baking, but I did the second time around)
Some cookies had a major case of the "ugly", for example-
He was promptly eaten.
And then there was the "clique", the pretty cookies of the bunch...grouped together...shunning the "spreads" (their words, not mine!).
I honestly don't know how bottom-left cookie made it in to the clique. Either way, they were all eventually eaten. And by "eventually" I mean WAY TOO SOON.

When it came to one lone cookie left in the container on the counter, I quickly snatched it up. I'm the one that made these master pieces, so it should be I that gets the very last one! :P  I was practically weeping as I slowly saw the cookie dwindle right in front of my very eyes. Or more appropriately- right in front of my mouth.

No worries, I took a picture of it-
Pretty much all I could think of was when I could make my next batch as soon as the first batch was gone.
 And luckily there was a perfect opportunity just days later!

We had a group of 4 people coming over for dinner last night and I knew this would be my chance to make these cookies again. This time, I thought ahead and actually made the dough 24 hours in advance. The longer dough sits in the fridge (to an extent) the better!
In addition, in place of Hershey's dark chocolate chips, I used slightly chopped up Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips. Also, I made sure I bought a new bag of Health toffee bits so I wouldn't have to use homemade ones! (I still don't know the reason behind why the homemade bits spread so much compared to no/very minimal spreading from the store bought kind?)

The extra sitting time and normal toffee bits made for an even better and prettier cookie than before! How is that possible when a cookie is already an 11 on a scale that's 1 through 10?!

Well, let's just say you shouldn't ever make any other cookie ever again. Okay?
Yay for no ugly spreading of toffee!
I went a little picture crazy-
I simply couldn't choose which picture looked the most appetizing!

I put out 16 cookies for our 4 guest to enjoy. 11 cookies disappeared between 4 people in the course of an hour! If that's not saying something than I don't know what does.

My parents are also in love (with the cookie...but yes, with each other too). These cookies are supposed to be reminiscent of the (apparently amazingly delicious) cookies they give you at the DoubleTree hotel (I've never been to one, so I don't know how they taste). Since my dad has stayed there, I asked him if they tasted as good as the DoubleTree cookies and he replied by saying "these are triple tree!" (that's his way of saying that they are "super good"). My mom repeatedly told me "These are really, really good" and my brother couldn't get enough. He asked "what is that special flavor?" my response was "toffee bits" and that's all he needed to understand- "Ahhhh."

And lastly, sometimes my toughest critic-my sister. I presented her with a fresh from the oven cookie; she took one bite, chewed. She began nodding her head and saying "mm hm, mm hm". The reason why she couldn't say much but an affirmative "mm hm" was because she was stuffing her face with the cookie. I kid you not. :D Eventually, after clearing her throat, she said "ohh yeah, these are good."

And the best part? It's actually surprisingly low in butter but you could never guess. In fact everyone mentioned that they bet there was "a lot of fat" in these cookies (in some form or another) because of how moist and decadent they tasted. The toffee bits (along with everything else) attribute to that special taste because actually, these cookie's flour/butter ratio is a modest 2.25! (if you're wondering what that means, check out my cookie post)

The best thing I love about these cookies is their crisp exterior and moist and buttery interior. They are thick, and the gooey dark chocolate works so well with all the other flavors...how can you go wrong with chocolate, toasted pecans, and toffee? You can't. You just can't!

Please. I urge you. Make these. NOW.
You will thank me.

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