Chocolate Chunk Toffee Cookies

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After making S’mores truffles last week, I was in the mood for something chocolatey, and single-serve. With the truffles, it’s so easy to just pick up one or two, and then that’s it. They are so rich, it left me craving even more richness and decadence. What can I say, I’m on a roll with the overindulgent desserts.

So, I took to the ever-trusty Pinterest, and found this recipe. This just called to me. I can’t even remember the last time I made (or ate!) a cookie with chocolate chunks. As soon as I saw the recipe, I knew that these were going to the top of the list. I found the original recipe here, and my goodness, check this girl out! Anyone who specializes in cookies is my kind of girl!

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I also decided to go super-indulgent, and didn’t use store-bought chocolate chunks. Paul was wonderful enough to run to the store for me and get me a few large hunks of bulk chocolate so I could chop up my own chunks. Please, trust me and take this route. It makes the cookies feel a little more special because you know that you took the time to chop up the chocolate yourself. However, if you are lazy, or just like the store bought chunks better, no judgement, and buy the bagged version!

These cookies are great for a make-ahead treat, because the dough has to chill from 2 hours to overnight. I decided to make them before work, so I whipped up the dough, went off to work, and when I came home, I baked up some fabulous cookies. Let me tell you, that was a smart choice. Nothing ends off a long day at work better than freshly baked cookies. Life win.
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The texture and taste is also amazing. The sweetness of the chocolate is perfectly balanced by the addition of salt and the toffee pieces. This cookie was right up my alley, so to all my chocolate loving readers, try these. They are pretty fantastic!

Ingredients

Yield: 3 dozen cookies

14 tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1½ c. brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. coarse salt
2 2/3 c. flour
2½ c. chopped chocolate chunks, divided
1 c. toffee pieces

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream butter and sugar together for 3 minutes, until well blended. Add in eggs and vanilla, and blend again for 1 minute longer, until mixture looks paler. Add in baking soda and salt, and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds.

Switch to the dough hook attachment, and turn mixer to low. Slowly incorporate flour, mixing until evenly combined and incorporated. Add toffee pieces and 2 c. of chocolate chunks, and mix again. Chill the dough for minimum 2 hours, maximum 2 days.

To bake, preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Using a large scoop, drop cookies (about 2-3 tablespoons worth of dough) onto baking sheets and top with a few more chunks of the reserved chocolate. Any dough not being used, keep refrigerated.

Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are golden and the tops are just set. Allow cookies to cool 3-4 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

S’mores Truffles

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My dear readers! It has been almost a month since my last post! I am terribly sorry! After Paul’s birthday, I kept meaning to bake something, and write a blog post, but life kept getting in the way. Paul and I celebrated our anniversary, it was Mother’s Day, and we have been working like crazy. All things considered, I am here now, and blogging, and that’s what matters, right?
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For this baking idea, it came about in a different way than normal. This is an original recipe created entirely by me, so I can attest to its successes and failures. There are other recipes for S’mores Truffles out there, but I wanted to do something different.
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A friend of ours recently gave me a bag of Marshmallow candy melts. These melts are excellent for coating candies and truffles, and I decided to put a Sugar and Spice spin on the classic S’more combination. The truffles are actually three different layers. The center is marshmallow and graham cracker pieces melted together rice krispie style, and formed into balls. The middle layer is a decadent chocolate ganache. The outer layer is a mixture of marshmallow candy melts and white chocolate to form a nice smooth shell. I sprinkled graham cracker crumbs on the tops of the truffles to finish them.
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I didn’t know how many the recipe made, so I ended up making a ton. I mean, a TON. Almost 10 dozen truffles. Yeah. I maybe overdid it a bit. Oh well. Truffles for all! Please, feel free to halve the recipe, because I have a feeling that a lot of people are going to be gifted S’mores truffles in the next little bit.

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 90 pieces

For the center:

3 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 10 oz. bag marshmallows (I just used one whole bag of the regular sized marshmallows)
18 graham crackers, coarsely crushed

For the ganache:

2½ c heavy cream
22 oz. semi-sweet and bittersweet chocolate, chips or chopped (I used a mixture of both)

For the candy shell:

1 10 oz. bag marshmallow flavour candy melts
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped
1 graham cracker, crushed for garnish

In a large, microwave safe bowl, place chocolate for ganache. Heat cream in a saucepan or in a microwave safe liquid measuring cup, until almost boiling. Pour cream over chocolate, let sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until smooth. If chocolate is still lumpy, heat in the microwave for 10-15 second intervals, whisking after each heating, until ganache is smooth. Place in fridge or freezer to solidify and cool completely before using. Line 2-3 pans with parchment paper (depending on if you halved the recipe) and set aside.

For the graham marshmallow center, melt butter and vanilla together in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add marshmallows, stirring constantly until melted, then take off heat immediately. Add the coarse graham crumbs, and stir until evenly mixed.

Butter your hands (or spray with non-stick cooking spray), then form the marshmallow mixture into small balls. Let cool on the pans lined with parchment.

When ganache is cool and almost solid, use an ice cream scoop, a teaspoon, or your hands to wrap ganache around the marshmallow graham balls. Place back on parchment, and repeat until all ganache is used and all graham balls are covered. If ganache becomes too unworkable, place back in the fridge or freezer to solidify again. Refrigerate truffles if ganache needs to be cooled again. (I had to do this about 3 or 4 times. Again, I made 90 truffles, so it took me a while.) After all truffles are coated in ganache, refrigerate until firm.

Crush 1 graham cracker in a mortar and pestle, or with fingers, into crumbs. When truffles are coated and firm, melt candy melts and white chocolate together in a microwave safe bowl until smooth. Let sit for 2 minutes to cool. Dip truffles in the candy shell mixture one at a time, then sprinkle with the crushed graham crumbs.

**Because of the amount of truffles I made, I only had enough candy shell to dip 1/3 of the truffles completely. I drizzled the candy melt mixture over the rest of the truffle mixture. Depending on how you want your truffles, you can multiply the candy shell, or just leave it as a drizzle for all truffles.**

Refrigerate until candy shell is solid, then serve.