Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Soft, Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Toffee and Coconut

On Sunday, I had the urge to make cookies. It felt like I hadn't had any homemade dessert in my life for a while, so I dug through all the recipes I've saved online and decided on these. Spoiler alert: they're so yummy!

Although I love oatmeal cookies, this isn't what I usually go for. Believe it or not, I've never baked anything with toffee bits before (is that weird?). These cookies are chewy around the edges thanks to the addition of shortening and a bit of cornstarch. The cornstarch is a great trick (I've used it before with chocolate chip cookies) for creating a soft texture--it has the same effect as using instant pudding mix in your cookie recipe (like these, for example). The centers are soft because of not baking them too long (we need a better term than "underbaking"). The cinnamon and dark brown sugar add tons of flavor.

Finally, I'll end with a warning: if you love eating cookie dough, you'll be powerless against these. Oatmeal cookie dough is the finest kind, and these are just the cream of the crop.

Soft, Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Toffee and Coconut
Adapted from Hershey's and Taste and Tell
I replaced 1 tablespoon of the flour with cornstarch, which helps create that soft chewy texture. The shortening and coconut also keep the cookies soft, so you can't lose with this lineup of ingredients. 

Makes 55 cookies

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, minus 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup shortening, at room temperature
2 cups (packed) dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups quick cooking rolled oats
1 cup (packed) shredded sweetened coconut
1 (8 ounce) bag toffee baking bits (like Heath brand) with milk chocolate (1 1/3 cups)

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside. Beat the butter, shortening and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until combined. Add oats and beat until combined, then repeat with coconut and toffee bits. Refrigerate at least 45 minutes and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop slightly rounded tablespoon-sized balls of dough and place on baking sheet about 1 1/2 inches apart (I used insulated baking sheets and did 16 per batch). Bake in the center of the oven until edges are set (centers will still look moist), 8 to 10 minutes (bake 9 to 11 minutes if you want the centers set). Cool on baking sheets for 3 to 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Repeat with remaining dough. I recommend freezing any cookies you don't eat on the day of baking. Defrost at room temperature.


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