Caramel Creme Toffee Nut Cookies

Caramel Crème Toffee Nut Cookies ~ Yay, to some more Christmas cookie goodness! This is the latest addition to my holiday cookie line-up.

Caramel Creme Toffee Nut Cookies

Caramel Creme Toffee Nut Cookies

It’s also my latest recipe development and the hardest to develop so far. I’m sure we can agree butter and cookies go hand in hand. So what happens when someone like me wants to go messing with that? Keep reading to see what happens.

What sacrifice butter? I was skeptical myself, but then again if you know me, you know I seldom back down from a challenge.

I went for it, during holiday madness and all. More importantly, what is someone like me who has no background in food science doing messing around with ratios. The closes I get to science in the kitchen is testing my baking soda with vinegar for effectiveness, which by the way, my lil guy loves to do for me. He loves the chain reaction of fizzy bubbles. See what I mean, “fizzy bubbles”, now that is some scientific academic writing.

Now that we’ve established that, you shouldn’t be surprised that this particular recipe took me three runs to nail it.

The first two attempts yielded a great tasting and flavored cookie, but the texture was wrong. The cookies turned out flat and almost burnt around the edges.

In the first run I creamed the sugar and butter then added the caramel crème sauce, end result: flat and unsuccessful in texture. Second run, I cut the butter ratio down and tried the melted brown butter method from my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie post, again, flat and unsuccessful. Third run, I omitted the butter completely and went with just the caramel crème sauce relying on the cream in the caramel creme sauce to serve as the fat ratio. Finally it was perfect in texture- nice and chewy, fat and puffy. Now the only thing was the flavor wasn’t quite spot on. Fourth run, no butter and I changed out the light brown sugar for dark sugar-bingo, the texture and taste came out just right.

I don’t know how it is for most of you, but I find recipe development hard work; although, I love the feeling of accomplishment when I can execute on an idea. So aside from sharing my experience in developing this recipe, I also wanted to share with you how helpful Michael Ruhlman’s book Ratio has been in assisting me to develop my own recipes. If you are a baker and/or a cook who likes coming up with your own recipes, this is the book to show you the way. He breaks down the skeletal structure of basics from sauces to cakes and gives you the relational ratio for each of the fundamental components.

A few notes:

  • You will have a more caramel crème sauce then you need. But keep that handy, as I have a cake recipe coming up using caramel creme sauce that is absolutely delicious.
  • This cookie dough is forgiving and does not require refrigeration prior to baking as the cookies will bake up the same in body and texture whether it is refrigerated or not. However, I do recommend refrigerating the dough for at least an hour for easy handling.
  • I am sometimes asked if corn syrup can be omitted. Yes, it can be, but it lends chewiness to cookies, so that’s why I use it. In some instances you can change out corn syrup for honey to achieve that extra chewiness, but honey will sometimes impart its own flavor.
  • For an added visual aid to making homemade caramel crème sauce see my post here. Keep in mind the caramel sauce in this recipe will be paler in color as there is more added cream in this recipe.

Caramel Crème Toffee Nut Cookies

Yields 32-36 2 ½ inch cookies

Preparation: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line bake sheet with parchment paper

Ingredients:

Cookies:

  • 21/2 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup of homemade caramel sauce, warm not hot (recipe follows)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of corn syrup
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup of toffee bits
  • 1 pecans, toasted and chopped

Homemade Caramel Crème Sauce:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, room  temperature
  • 3/4 cup cream

Instructions:

Cookies:

1. Sift flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. Place caramel cream in a bowl and whisk in egg, vanilla and corn syrup until well combined. Add in sugars and whisk until well combined. Fold in flour mixture with a wooden spoon or a sturdy spatula until just combined. Fold in toffee bits and pecans until combined.

2. For easy handling, place dough in refrigerator for an hour. Remove and pinch of enough dough to roll into 1-1/2 inch balls. Place dough balls one inch apart on parchment and bake for about 10-12 minutes or until cookies start to turn golden. Allow to cool for 1-2 minutes on bakes sheet before moving cookies unto a wire cooling rack.

Homemade Caramel Crème Sauce:

1. Add sugar into a saucepan over low heat. Stir until sugar has dissolved. Use a wet brush to remove any crystals that form on the side. Once sugar has dissolved increase heat to high. Now and then, using the handle give the pot a swirl to keep the mixture moving. Do not stir the mixture directly. The mixture will start to bubble after a minute. As the mixture darkens to a medium amber color, approximately 5-7 minutes add butter and  cream to saucepan. The mixture will bubble wildly. Whisk to combine, do not worry about the bubbles as they will subside upon cooling.

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27 Responses to “Caramel Creme Toffee Nut Cookies”

  1. #
    1
    Blog is the New Black — December 14, 2010 @ 3:00 am

    Wow, these look amazing. What a terrific combo of flavors!

    Reply

  2. #
    2
    Kaitlin — December 14, 2010 @ 3:24 am

    Thanks for the book recommendation! It sounds like it will be very useful.

    I bookmarked this recipe. I’m looking forward to trying it!

    Reply

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    Rhonda (The Dainty Baker) — December 14, 2010 @ 4:55 am

    OHHHHH YUMMM!!! this looks RIGHT up my alley!! reminds me of the Mrs Fields toffee cookies mmmm!!!

    Reply

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    4
    Jackie — December 14, 2010 @ 5:55 am

    Hi

    Is that 1 cup of pecans toasted and chopped?

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — December 14th, 2010 @ 6:07 am

      Hi Jackie,

      Yes, that’s one cup. I have added it to the recipe. Thanks for asking.

      Reply

  5. #
    5
    Cherine — December 14, 2010 @ 8:53 am

    Fabulous cookies.

    Reply

  6. #
    6
    briarrose — December 14, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

    The cookies look fabulous. Great job! Toffee and caramel flavored…heaven. It’s always a rush when a recipe you’ve been tinkering with finally gels into that final version.

    Reply

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    7
    Kristen — December 14, 2010 @ 5:14 pm

    A cookie without butter seems kind of sacriligious but caramel creme makes up for it, for sure!

    Reply

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    8
    ingrid — December 14, 2010 @ 5:37 pm

    These sound heavenly Naomi! If only I liked baking cookies. Perhaps these will get me to break out my cookie sheets.

    Kudos on creating your own recipe! Btw, I have Ratio and enjoyed it though haven’t put it into practice yet.
    ~ingrid

    Reply

  9. #
    9
    Carol — December 14, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

    These cookies sound delicious.

    When I want a chewy cookie I will substitute molasses for part of the brown sugar, up to a 1:1 ratio. This could be an alternative to corn syrup.

    Reply

    • Naomi replied: — December 14th, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

      Hi Carol,

      Thank you for the tip. I’m going try that next time!

      Reply

  10. #
    10
    Maria — December 14, 2010 @ 7:32 pm

    I love anything with toffee!

    Reply

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    11
    azelias kitchen — December 14, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

    Interesting to read your omitting butter to make it work but then reading the ingredients for the caramel you have it in the shape of caramel sauce…so I guess that’s why it wasn’t working maybe..just too much butter in comparison to other ingredients?

    I’ve thinking lately about doing a comparison between choc chip cookies recipes, breaking down the ratios of what each contain, butter to ratio of flour to ratio of sugar and see just how different it is then note the difference in taste & texture.

    Enjoyed reading the post Naomi..didn’t realise you were a food tech person..now it falls into place! :-)

    Reply

  12. #
    12
    Cookbook Queen — December 14, 2010 @ 10:02 pm

    These look GREAT!! I’m with you, I hate developing a recipe. LOVE when it comes out great, but it can be a real hassle. I’m glad it paid off in the end!! :)

    Reply

  13. #
    13
    Amanda — December 14, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    Brilliant!! These cookies make my mouth water!!! Great job girl!

    Reply

  14. #
    14
    diva — December 15, 2010 @ 1:55 am

    That sounds like an interesting book. Might be useful for baking idiots like me too to understand the basics. What an achievement! I wouldn’t dare think cookies without butter but this doesn’t look any different than the regular cookie, in fact it looks more scrumptious!

    Reply

  15. #
    15
    Michelle — December 15, 2010 @ 8:38 pm

    Great job with this. The cookies look perfect!

    Reply

  16. #
    16
    Ali Vanskike — December 15, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    These cookies sound great. I’m going to give them a try.

    Reply

  17. #
    17
    marla {family fresh cooking} — December 16, 2010 @ 4:59 pm

    These toffee cookies look so awesome. I must get that Ruhlman book asap. Now that I am doing much more experimental baking I could use a great reference book like that. XO

    Reply

  18. #
    18
    Nancy@acommunaltable — December 17, 2010 @ 3:54 am

    Hi Naomi,

    Baking is indeed a science – much more than cooking! Ruhlman’s Ratio is a great place to start!!
    These cookies sound intriguing and knowing you I know they will be delicious. I love caramel so these are definitely going on the list of cookies to make!!

    Reply

  19. #
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    Paula (Salad in a Jar) — December 19, 2010 @ 2:09 am

    Judging by the picture you got the recipe just right!

    Reply

  20. #
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    amy — December 20, 2010 @ 12:42 pm

    the cookies sound like a starbucks holiday drink! makes me wanna inhale it all up!:)

    Reply

  21. #
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    Tamara — August 21, 2013 @ 8:51 am

    Thanks for the book suggestion!! I make about 30 flavors of cheesecake and am ALWAYS experimenting with new flavors. Almost all of which require that I adjust/change the stated amounts/ratios. I have always just gone with what my gut told me was correct. Havent really blundered too severely (in fact, just once, when I had JUST started out) but it would be nice to know ahead of time that there was some actual science behind the adjustments/changes I have made.Thanks Again!! GREAT JOB! Kudos for workin on it til it was JUST RIGHT!! :0)

    Reply

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