It’s hard to believe that we are into week #7 of the “12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies” challenge. I have been pretty strict about sticking to theme of cookies, but other bloggers have done some very interesting desserts such as this Pumpkin Crunch Cake , or this Cinnamon Chai Pie , Peppermint Patties, or my all-time favorite (wink, wink) Butterballs. You should seriously check out all of the other great recipes. Everyone can find at least 1 recipe that they would love to share with their family during the holidays.
There is only 1 key player in my kitchen, well, besides me (ok, I’m not really this cocky, but it just sounded like the right thing to say) – so, the key player in my kitchen is my Kitchen Aid mixer…KA for short.
Have I ever told you the story of how I obtained my KA mixer? Ok, even if I have told some of you, it’s worth telling again. I just love this story because it was one of the luckiest things that has ever happened to me. Here goes…a few years back I was unemployed. I wasn’t down on my luck or having a hard time making ends meet, but I was doing some odd jobs here and there to make some extra money while I was searching for a job. It just so happened that my dad was on a home buying spree (he buys rental properties), so he had a ton of apartments and homes that needed to be prepped for rehab and/or cleaned prior to occupancy. I agreed to help my dad clean up some of these places – I almost said I “volunteered” to help, but that would indicate that I was helping for free. Let’s just say…it was almost free!
During this time my father purchased the infamous house owned by Gabby (this is not her real name). Gabby was a hoarder and her house was piled high with stuff. She would buy things from QVC and then never open it or use it. She had multiple ice cream makers, blenders, tapes, records, etc. She had so much stuff that my father had to rent her house back to her after he purchased it just to give her and her family time to finish cleaning out her home. Finally, the day had come for her to move, and she had barely made a dent in her mess. I can honestly say…I have never seen anything like this. It appeared as though her and her family had thrown their hands in the air and said “Forget it!” Trust me, I would have done the same thing, and I wanted to as soon as I saw the mess that they had left for us. By default, everything left in the house or on the property became the property of my father. If you have ever owned rental property, you know that this isn’t necessarily a good thing. People generally leave things that no one wants.
After many days of cleaning we finally made it to a back storage room in the basement. I’m fairly certain that this room had been inaccessible for at least 20 years. There was nothing in this room to indicate that there was anything in there that was made prior to 1990, and I think that’s a stretch. I found a Bugs Bunny toothpaste dispenser:
I also found an old Eeyore cookie jar and a bunch of random mail from the 60’s. But, the find of the day came when I looked on the back of one of the bottom shelves and spotted something beautiful. I knew what it was as soon as I saw it. It was a Kitchen Aid mixer! It still had the tags on it! It was clearly from the 60’s and had never been used. All of the attachments were still there including the 2 bowls. There was also a grain grinder that was still in the box. I think I jumped around and did the happy dance for an hour. Of course my dad let me have it – I don’t think he knew what he was letting me take. Oh well, thanks dad!
My KA mixer gets used almost every day. It is one of the most versatile kitchen tools I have ever owned. I know, people say…”I have a mixer that is just as good as a KA.” All I have to say to them is, your mixer probably works great for you, so keep using it. But, once you have tried a KA, you will truly understand why it’s the #1 player in MY kitchen.
Now, on to the cookies. I was all set to make a white chocolate chip cookie with toffee pieces. I had everything laid out on the counter, when my oldest daughter begged me to make something with regular chocolate. I really wanted to use my white chocolate chips (I love white chocolate), but I gave in to her chocolate craving and used my dark chocolate morsels instead. Although, I did still use the toffee bits in some of the cookies.
So, due to the last minute change in plans, I went straight to the back of the Toll House Morsel bag for a recipe. Seriously people, you cannot go wrong with their recipes. I haven’t used one yet that I didn’t really enjoy. For this recipe it calls for sifting the dry ingredients together (minus the sugars). I love sifting stuff together…I think it looks cool. Yes, I know I’m a dork!
I also like creaming together the butter and the sugar. I l-o-v-e butter! Add in a little sugar and you have pure heaven!
Finally, the recipe calls for melted chocolate.
Wow! This is a winning combination. I am in love with these cookies. I made them with and without the toffee bits and both versions are OH-SO-GOOD! I brought a container of them to work with me and they were gone in 5 minutes. I must admit that the chocolate and toffee were my favorite, but a chocolate lover will like either one. Enjoy!
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Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies with optional Toffee Bits
Adapted from: Nestle Toll House Jumbo Dark Chocolate Cookies Recipe
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup dark chocolate morsels (divided into 2/3 cup and 1 cup)
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Heath toffee bits (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degree. Prepare a large cookie sheet by covering with parchment paper or lightly spraying with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
In microwave safe bowl, add 2/3 cup dark chocolate morsels and heat at 70% power in microwave for 40 seconds. Stir and heat an additional 20-30 seconds at 70% power until chocolate is melted. Set aside.
In large bowl of stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add in the melted chocolate and mix. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until well combined (about 1 minute).
Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix just until combined. Finish mixing in the 1 cup of morsels and optional toffee bits by hand.
Drop by large tablespoons onto prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 17-18 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack. Once cooled, store in an airtight container.