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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Toffee-dark chocolate chip cookies

One of my best friends from college is coming to visit this weekend!  It's been a while since she's been in NYC -- she has two kids under 4!! -- and her husband has volunteered to watch the kids over the weekend so that R can come to visit (Thanks, J, for letting me have R for the weekend!!)!

I need to clean my apartment before R gets here -- and I'm running out of time, since I'm working a long day tomorrow and then B is taking me out for graduation.  My apartment is a bit of a mess since I was too busy working on my portfolio and not cleaning over the past month and a half.  But I spent most of today running errands, watching some TV, cleaning a little -- and baking cookies.  Because when I'm stressed and have deadlines and I'm running out of time, and don't feel like cleaning, I bake.  Clearly that makes sense, right?

So I found a recipe for chewy white chocolate chip and dried cranberry cookies - they looked delicious and I decided they'd be great cookies to make.  Why?  Because I wanted to bake for R when she was here, but also prepare a care package to take back to J and the kids, and I figured cookies would transport well on her train ride back to Boston.  And because the combination of white chocolate and dried cranberry is tasty (for instance, these copycat cranberry bliss bars).  And best of all, I had all the ingredients on hand. 

Or so I thought.  I swore I had white chocolate chips, but if I do, I can't find them anywhere.  And those craisins I had been holding onto for a while?  Yeah, they expired in March.  But seeing as I had the butter already warmed to room temperature, I started looking around the kitchen for some other mix-in options.  I'm not a huge fan of nuts in my baked goods (I prefer candying them and serving them as such), so I nixed those.  I did, however, have some toffee pieces and some dark chocolate chips, and after some deliberation -- I thought milk chocolate may be better -- I decided that they would go well together. 

Lastly, I was intrigued by the addition of cornstarch to the cookies.  Apparently they make the cookies "thick and chewy, not flat and flimsy" -- and who doesn't like a chewy cookie?!

Soft Baked Cookies
Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup white chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate chips)
3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used toffee pieces)
Line an ungreased cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mat.
Set aside.
In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together on medium speed until fluffy and light in color.
Mix in egg and vanilla.
Scrape down the sides as needed.
On low speed, mix in flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt.
Stir in white chocolate chips & dried cranberries the toppings.
Chill dough (covered) for 30 minutes or up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 350F.
Drop balls of dough onto cookie sheet.
Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges.
Do NOT cook them longer than 9 minutes.
Remove and let cool for 5-10 minutes on the cookie sheet.*
Transfer to cooling rack.
Note: *If cookies do not spread at all, gently press down with a spoon when they come out of the oven. (I didn't see this part when I baked mine, so they look a little domed)

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