Anyway, it feels like a cookie time of year to me. Maybe because summer is just around the corner and then we need to move into the world of fruit-based baked goods, but right now we can still fairly justify cookies and brownies and other hangers-on of the winter season.
Do you do that too? Feel like there are certain foods that “belong” to certain seasons? Well, there’s an obvious correlation to produce that is in-season, e.g. I’m not going to eat strawberries in winter or pumpkin in spring. But it goes beyond that, doesn’t it? Like, I just start craving certain foods at certain times of the year. Lately, it’s been spicy Mexican tacos (is this an intuitive preparation of the mind and spirit for Cinco de Mayo? Not that I’ve ever really celebrated that holiday... maybe I’m just already mentally on vacation) and eggs (I don’t even really like eggs – again, it’s some sort of subliminal brainwashing from the coming Easter holiday). And then there are cookies… that, I don’t need to question. Cookies are pretty much built into the American DNA, and we never need an excuse to eat them.
Fudgy Toffee and White Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
There is so much melted chocolate in these cookies (as opposed to many chocolate cookies that get their chocolate flavor almost entirely from cocoa) that I almost didn’t have enough chocolate to actually make them – I seriously underestimated my supply. So while I was digging through my cupboards, gathering together a couple bars of dark chocolate, a few squares of leftover milk chocolate, and the remainder of a bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips, I urge you to plan ahead and buy all the chocolate you need. And really, go for the good stuff – a few bars of high quality dark chocolate. In the U.S., I recommend Ghirardelli, Lindt, or Valrhona. In Germany, those same brands are always good, though I do have partiality to German Ritter Sport for baking – it’s not quite as good as Swiss and Belgian brands, but it’s widely available and affordable, and I believe of far far better quality than something like Hershey’s.The Ritter Sport Halbbitter is somehow between semi-sweet and bittersweet and would work really well for this cookie. Also, while these cookies are good straight out of the oven (ooh maybe with a la mode?), they’re actually best after they’ve cooled and the toffee and white chocolate chunks are solid in a fudgy soft cookie.
1/2 cup (65 g) white flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 pound (450 g) bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) (30 g) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (packed) (350 g) brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
500 g (4-5 bars) chocolate-covered toffee bars (such as Heath or Daim), coarsely chopped
200 g (1-2 bars) white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup (100 g) walnuts, toasted, chopped
Flaky sea salt for sprinkling
1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in small bowl.
2. Melt chocolate and butter slowly on the stove (I don’t use a double boiler because that just seems too fidgety. But I do melt the chocolate very very slowly, being careful not to burn it since the pot has direct contact with the burner).
3. Cool chocolate mixture to lukewarm.
4. Using an electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in bowl until thick, about 5 minutes.
5. Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla extract.
6. Stir in flour mixture, then toffee, white chocolate, and nuts.
7. Chill batter in refrigerator until firm, about 45 minutes (if you don’t chill it, the mixture will be too gooey).
8. Preheat oven to 350°F/170°C.
9. Drop batter by spoonfuls onto sheets, spacing two inches apart. Sprinkle each cookie with a pinch of flaky sea salt, and bake for 12 minutes until the tops are crackly looking but cookies are still soft to touch.