Sometimes creativity comes at the oddest moments. When these cookies were baking, The Artist and I were surprised at the aromas perfuming our home. Intense, caramel-dominant notes, with a hint of some spice we couldn’t identify. But there wasn’t any spice in the cookies – just the power of browned butter, brown sugar, and molasses!
These cookies come out of the oven rich, chewy, and packed with flavor from the browned butter, brown sugar, and molasses. The toffee bits enhance the caramel and the chocolate chips make these clearly near the top of the list of CC cookies I’ve made. I could have eaten the whole batch, but it was late and we were headed out early the next morning. I wrapped them up and planned on photographing the finished cookies later.
When I portioned the dough, I used a medium ice cream scoop and as they baked, they flattened out into 4-inch thin cookies. While absolutely delicious, they weren’t the most attractive cookies I’ve baked. This is where creativity kicked in.
As The Artist and I drove up to Napa for the day, my mind was spinning … how could I plate the cookies to make them appealing in my photographs? I’ve learned a lot of tricks in the 5+ years of doing Chocolate Mondays and gotten pretty good at making my chocolate creations fun and festive. But flat, lumpy cookies are pretty challenging.
We wandered around Yountville, grabbed lunch at Bottega, and picked up some baked treats at Bouchon Bakery. A quick stop at Koller Chocolates for some special Tour de France truffles (The Artist is a passionate cyclist) and then back down the Silverado Trail to Napa and the Oxbow Public Market. This was a trip to pick up some things we can only get in Napa and enjoy a beautiful day before the summer temperatures rise again next week.
While we chatted about other things, my mind was pondering my photography challenge. It is remarkable how the brain works even when we aren’t aware of it. How many times have you gone to sleep trying to figure something out and you wake up with the perfect solution? It always amazes me.
That happened to me yesterday. Somewhere during our day in Napa, I came up with an idea … why not turn the flat cookies into the base of an ice cream sundae? Bingo! These are like an open-faced ice cream sandwich, but one with fudge sauce drizzled over the top to make it look like a sundae without a bowl.
When I got home I stacked 3 cookies, dropped a scoop of ice cream on the top and finished it with warm chocolate sauce. Doesn’t it look scrumptious! This is one dessert that everyone in your family will love – kids and adults alike. And I have to tell you … these cookies were born to be served with ice cream. Uh huh, you betcha, this is a winner combo! Hurry up, get in the kitchen and make these Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookie Sundaes today!
Have a delicious week and Happy Chocolate Monday!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Always use a stainless steel pan when you are browning butter. A dark pan will not let you see the color as it changes and you may end up with burned butter instead. If you are using heavy duty pans that conduct heat well, take it off the pan earlier than you think you should, allowing the heat in the pan to finish the browning for you. You can always put it back on the heat if you need to.
Use a gluten-free flour blend and be sure the toffee bits and chocolate you use are gluten free.
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks / 6 oz) salted butter, cut into chunks (preferably European-style)
- 2-1/3 cups (280g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp molasses (do not use blackstrap)
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla paste or extract
- 1 to 2 tsp water, if needed
- 1 cup toffee bits (Hershey’s brand is gluten-free) or similar product
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks
- Vanilla ice cream
- Hot fudge sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set the bowl from your standing mixer next to the stove.
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat. When it starts to foam and sputter, swirl the pan often, keeping the butter moving. Swirling the pan moves the foam aside and lets you watch what is happening beneath it. The sputtering is from the water in the butter. Once that has boiled off, watch more carefully. Gently move the foam aside occasionally to judge the color of the butter. When the butter turns deeper golden, starts to smell a little nutty, and you see brown bits at the bottom of the pan, remove from the heat and pour into the bowl of your standing mixer. Set aside to cool.
- While the butter is cooling, in another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Add both the sugars to the bowl with the cooled melted butter. Beat until well combined and you can comfortably hold your hand on the bottom of the bowl, about 3 to 5 minutes. The butter needs to be cool enough that it won't scramble the eggs! Add the whole egg, the yolk, molasses, and vanilla, and beat until well combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the dry ingredients, a little at a time, and beat on low until fully incorporated. Scrape the bowl often to be sure you have all the ingredients fully incorporated. Add the toffee bits and chocolate chips and beat until just combined.
- If you want rounder, soft cookies, chill the dough for about 1 hour before baking. For flatter, wider cookies, bake immediately.
- Use a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to portion the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving at least 2 inches between to allow for spreading. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown, spinning and swapping the sheets, front to back and top to bottom about halfway through.
- Remove from the oven, leave the cookies on the pan for a couple of minutes to firm up before transferring to a wire rack to cool thoroughly.
- Place 1 or 2 cookies on each serving plate, top with a scoop of ice cream and drizzle with warmed chocolate sauce. Serve immediately.
- Yield: about 2 dozen 3- to 4-inch cookies
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I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the way these cookies look. In fact, I would happily eat half a dozen just like that! I am a sucker for a good chocolate-chip cookie, and one with added toffee makes all resistance futile. 😉
I’m the same way Carolyn, and boy oh boy did we love them! My father-in-law told me again today how much he enjoyed them … a passive way of asking for more? I’ll bet that’s a yes, LOL.