Valentine's Day is Monday. We will spend this weekend looking for candy, flowers and other little trinkets to give our loved one. Before you start spending lots of money, what about something homemade? How about homemade cookies? I attended a Women's Business Network meeting yesterday and basically asked the same question. Then proceeded to pass the container of cookies around for everyone to taste a sample.
Is homemade that hard or have we just gotten out of the habit of reading a recipe? Slice and bake, along with defrost and serve have become an easy past-time for "homemade". But really, how long does it take to make a batch of cookies? Start to finish? Probably 30 to 40 minutes. I know when I bake, I have happy people. Whether it's a snack in someone's lunch or an after dinner dessert, everyone likes something homemade. (I'm going to guilt you into making cookies.)
Back a few weeks ago I came across this recipe, Chocolate Toffee Cookies on the Epicurious website. I wanted to make something chocolaty to showcase for a Valentine's Day recipe. (I'll warn you up front...I have two more recipes.) The cookies looked delicious and I liked the dark rum component. As I was making them, the smell was incredible. The chocolate and rum together gave the impression I was making rich brownies. As it turned out, they did taste like chewy fudgy brownies. I also made them as mini cookies, using a cookie scoop that held about two teaspoons of dough. By doubling the recipe, I ended up with about 80 mini cookies.
My family tasted them and like most cookies I bake, they were a big hit. So good, they went out and purchased vanilla ice cream to enjoy them as mini ice cream sandwiches. The women at the Women's Business Network enjoyed them, too. The best compliment was when one women came up to me at the end of the meeting, as I was getting my empty container, and asked if there were any more left. (Great segue into guilt.)
Now, I will leave everyone with the recipe to these deliciously chewy and chocolaty cookies. I expect to hear about happy faces in every household as people decide not to purchase a gift and make something HOMEMADE!
1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon of dark rum
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups crushed chocolate-covered English toffee (such as Heath bar; about 7 ounces)
1/2 cup chopped almonds
Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until fluffy. Add egg, rum and vanilla and beat until well blended. Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt into small bowl. Stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mix in toffee and chopped almonds.
Drop batter by heaping tablespoonfuls onto heavy large un-greased baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake until cookies puff slightly and crack on top but are still soft to touch, about 11 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheet 1 minute. Transfer cookies to rack and cool completely (cookies will become crisp). Repeat shaping and baking with remaining batter. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)