Friday, April 8, 2011
Crunch Time Cookies
•1 cup pecan halves
•1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
•1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
•1/2 teaspoon baking powder
•1/2 teaspoon baking soda
•1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
•1/4 cup softened cream cheese
•1 cup dark brown sugar
•3/4 cup granulated sugar
•2 large eggs, room temperature
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
•2 1/2 cups rolled oats
•8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
•4 ounces (2/3 cup) toffee bits (Heath toffee bits or “Bits o’ Brickle”)
In a frying pan, sauté the pecans over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until the nuts begin to change color, and emit a nutty scent. Turn the nuts out onto paper towels and allow them to cool, then chop them roughly and set aside.
Sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until the mixture is very creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat very well, until the mixture is creamy and uniform. Add the granulated sugar and again beat very well, until you have a uniform, creamy mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.
Using a large wooden spoon, stir in the dry mixture just until combined. Then stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and toffee bits, blending only until thoroughly mixed.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator until completely chilled, three hours or overnight.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and allow the batter to warm slightly while the oven is preheating.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Place silicone mats (if you have them) on two cookie sheets.
Measure the batter out by tablespoonfuls, two inches apart. Place no more than a dozen cookies on each sheet. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 9–11 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are very brown and the centers are no longer soft.
When you remove a cookie sheet from the oven, place it on a cooling rack for 2 minutes, so the cookies can set up. Then use a pancake flipper to remove the cookies to cooling racks, and allow to cool completely. Store in airtight containers or in zipped freezer bags. These cookies freeze well.
Makes about 4 dozen cookies