Usually at this time of year I am the one packaging up and sending cookies out to everyone I love. So this year, it was a wonderful change of pace to be the recipient of some cookies. As a participant in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, which I wrote about a few days ago, I received three packages in the mail, each containing a dozen very delicious cookies.
There is something so exciting about getting a package in the mail. I suspect that little thrill of finding a parcel in my mailbox is the primary factor contributing to my on-line shopping addiction. By the time the box arrives, I have completely forgotten about it, so it comes as a wonderful surprise. (Lovely, that is, until the credit card comes later in the month reminding me that I bought myself these gifts!)
My bounty from the Cookie Swap included:
- Cinnamon Roll Sugar Cookies from Dana of hot pink apron. In the accompanying note she said,”They’re simple yet painfully addictive – you’ve been warned!” She was right!
- Double Chocolate Espresso Cookies from Kate of kate’s plate. Deep and dark and deliciously satisfying with my morning latte!
- Sour Cream Softies Cookies and a beautiful handmade origami ornament from Lisa of je suis alimentageuse. The tang of the sour cream kept these cookies from going over the sweet edge.
I am a big believer in sweet generosity! I have always felt that baking for other people is one of the most thoughtful gifts that you can give. Rather than shop for gifts for all the people in my life for whom I am grateful, I decided many years ago to bake. And somehow, over the years my gratitude has grown to include a circle of about 44 people!
While I may get a little bored baking the same treats year after year, certain items in my gift box are mandatory or there may be an uprising. Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Bark and Gingerbread Snowflake Cookies are sacrosanct.
I decided to add Chocolate Toffee Cookies to the mix this year. These cookies take chocolate loving to the next level. Deep dark bittersweet chocolate combines with toffee bits to create a chewy cookie with bits of crunchy toffee in the center. A sprinkling of Maldon Sea Salt on top of the cookies adds an incredible textural component as the little salt crystals crunch gently between your teeth and then dissolve on your tongue. After my friend Edward received his box of cookies he sent me the following brief email:
Subject: Chocolate Toffee Cookies
Are you insane? You should be locked away. They are “O.F.S.”……..out f^#*ing standing.
High praise indeed for some pretty yummy cookies!
The toffee in these cookies comes from chopped up Skor bars. Chop up more Skor bars than the recipe calls for since the little bits of chopped up toffee have a mysterious way of disappearing! I wondered where those little bits had gone to and then I discovered them on my hips this week!
Eggs and brown sugar are mixed well for about 5 minutes.
Add cooled melted chocolate and butter mixture and then the chopped Skor bars.
An ice cream scoop works well to portion dough so that all your cookies are exactly the same size and bake evenly.
Halfway through the baking I like to sprinkle the tops with a bit of Maldon sea salt. The cookies are done when the tops have a beautiful crackly surface. They will still look a bit wet on top but remove them from the oven anyways. If you bake them for too long you will have a dry crumbly cookie instead of a chewy one.