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