Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

In the UK, there’s no Thanksgiving, so that means the moment Halloween is over, it’s all Christmas all the time. I’m still a hard core Thanksgiving junkie, so I’m not quite ready for trees and lights and snow. I am, however, always ready for cookies.

I don’t know if they do Christmas cookies here. I think they’re more into mince pies and fruit cake. I’m definitely sticking with cookies.  And I think there should be mountains of them. My mom used to make chocolate chip cookies, snickerdoodles, chocolate-dipped peanut butter cookies, and more fudge than humans should eat every year at Christmas. I’ve never had the time or the space to be quite so zealous, but cookies for Santa are still a requirement at my house. Even on years when there are no kids around. 

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’ve made the chewy cookies of your dreams. Smashed up toffee bits and chocolate chips come together in a thin, buttery cookie for optimal crispy chewy awesomeness. Toffee Chocolate Chip cookies are where it’s at.

This is a basic cookie dough. Nothing too tricky. If you can’t get already busted up toffee bits, dump your larger toffee pieces into the food processor to get them into smaller, crunchable pieces. You’ll also need to be patient with the cooling, or you’ll end up with busted cookies because the toffee has glued them to your parchment. Just wait for them to cool completely, then you can peel the paper off and never stop eating.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Who cares what holiday is coming down the pipe. It’s time to eat Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields 36
Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies are a sweet chewy dream.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup butter, softened
  2. 1/2 cup shortening, softened
  3. 1 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/4 granulated sugar
  5. 1 egg
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  7. 2 cups all-purpose flour
  8. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  9. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  10. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  11. 2 cups chocolate chips
  12. 6 ounces toffee bits
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and both sugars with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in your egg and vanilla until combined.
  3. In a separate container, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. With your mixer on low, slowly add your dry ingredients and beat until incorporated.
  4. Fold in in your chocolate and toffee.
  5. Scoop your cookie dough onto your baking sheet leaving about two inches in between. These cookies will spread quite a lot, so give them ample room. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until they just start to brown around the edges.
  6. Let the cookies cool on the pan for about five minutes, and then remove the cookies, still on the parchment paper, to a cooling rack. The toffee will be very sticky, so it's easier to remove them from the paper once they're completely cooled.
Notes
  1. To be honest, I didn't really measure the chocolate chips and toffee bits. Follow your heart.
Adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook - 25 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
Caramel Toffee Cheesecake from Awesome on 20

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake from Awesome on 20

I have no excuse for making this caramel toffee cheesecake for you. Other than the fact that it’s completely awesome and baking makes me happy. Also, you need to know these things for life. Cheesecake is important. 

I’ve been making this caramel cheesecake for a couple of years now, and wouldn’t you know, when I finally had the chance to take it’s picture, it decided to crack like Hermione after 50 exams. There was a flux capacitor-shaped void in my cheesecake like I’d never seen. But you know I believe you have to work with what you got, and that you shouldn’t be wasteful, especially with something as precious as cheesecake. So what do we do? We fill that canyon with a river of caramel, that’s what.

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake from Awesome on 20

Cheesecakes are notoriously finicky. You should have all your ingredients at room temperature before you start mixing, which I almost never remember to do. They should also be baked in a water bath, but I don’t own a roasting pan, so my pan doesn’t fit inside anything else. I put a cake pan full of water in the rack underneath, but I don’t know if it actually helps. They also need to cool very slowly. Alton Brown says to just leave it in the oven with the door ajar for a couple of hours. Maybe I’ll try that next time. Really, I’m so lazy, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened to me before.

That’s why I always have a topping in my back pocket to cover a cheesecake. This one was going to get a layer of caramel anyway, so it just got a bit extra. Normally I would have just put the toffee bits in a ring around the edge, but just throw in a bit of extra crunch to hide your flaws. It’ll be fine.

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake from Awesome on 20

Life is never perfect. Accentuate the positive, put make up (or caramel sauce) on your flaws, and eat cheesecake. It will all be beautiful.

*I like to use the same caramel sauce as this pumpkin caramel cheesecake, but you can really use anything you love.

Caramel Toffee Cheesecake
Serves 10
Smooth, rich cheesecake covered in a lake of caramel and topped off with crunchy toffee bits
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
18 hr
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
1 hr 15 min
Total Time
18 hr
For the crust
  1. 9 graham crackers
  2. 44 grams (1/4 cup) sugar
  3. 64 grams (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
For the cheesecake
  1. 46 grams (1.5 ounces) sour cream
  2. 46 grams (1.5 ounces) heavy cream
  3. 532 grams (18 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  4. 26 grams (2 tablespoons) butter, melted
  5. 160 grams (2/3 cup) sugar
  6. 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  7. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  8. 3 eggs, room temperature
For the topping
  1. Approximately 1 cup of your favorite caramel sauce
  2. Approximately 1/2 cup toffee bits or 2 Heath bars, chopped
For the crust
  1. Assemble your 9-inch springform pan and cover the bottom and outside with foil to make sure no water creeps in once the pan is in its water bath.
  2. Give your graham crackers a good smash in the package, then dump the whole sleeve into your food processor along with the sugar, and whiz to sandy bits.
  3. With the processor still running, slowly pour in the melted butter. Mix for a few seconds until combined.
  4. Dump your crumb mixture into a 9-inch springform pan and press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the pan.
For the cheesecake
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 and put a kettle of water on to boil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream and heavy cream until relatively smooth. Set aside.
  3. Put your cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium low with an electric mixer for a few minutes until smooth.
  4. Add the butter and continue to mix on medium low until smooth and incorporated. Next add the sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla, beating until smooth after each. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each. Finally, blend in the cream mixture. Give the bowl a scrape, and turn your mixer on again for about 30 seconds to make sure everything is nice and smooth.
  5. Pour your cheesecake mixture over your crust. Place your foil-covered pan in a roasting pan. Carefully open your oven door, pull out the rack in the middle, and place the roasting pan on it. Pour the water from your recently boiled kettle into your roasting pan until it's about halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. Very carefully push the rack back in and close the door.
  6. Bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes or until the cheesecake is just slightly wobbly in the center.
  7. Remove the whole roasting pan from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool, still in the water, for about two hours. Keep your fingers crossed for no cracks.
  8. Put some plastic wrap right on the surface of your cheesecake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.
For the topping
  1. After your cheesecake is thoroughly chilled, top it with your favorite caramel sauce. Use as much as you need to make it look pretty. Sprinkle on your crunchy bits. Use as much as you like.
  2. You can serve it immediately, but if you chill it again for another hour or two, your caramel won't be as runny.
  3. Serve your friends this cheesecake, cracks and all. I assure you, they will smile.
Adapted from Wild Yeast
Adapted from Wild Yeast
http://awesomeon20.com/
Better Than Sex Cupcakes from Awesome on 20

Better Than Sex Cupcakes

Better Than Sex Cupcakes from Awesome on 20 This weekend, I was lucky enough to donate some treats to a really cool event, a production of The Vagina Monologues, at the First Unitarian Church of Honolulu. The event included food, music, and a Better Than Sex Bake Sale. The whole thing benefited a local transitional home for women and children escaping domestic violence. 

I’m not even sure how to write about domestic violence without getting angry. There’s not much in the world that’s more upsetting than when people hurt each other while saying they love each other. It breaks my heart, and I’ll take any little opportunity to help empower women to be strong or men to be kind. 

Better Than Sex Cupcakes from Awesome on 20

I hope people paid a bucket of money for these cupcakes today. They were certainly delightful. A lovely light devil’s food cupcake drenched in caramel and condensed milk, topped off with a creamy, fluffy vanilla frosting and crunchy bits of toffee. Are they actually better than sex? Well, they’re certainly swoon-worthy. I’d eat a pack of them if I could.

These better than sex cupcakes do take a bit more effort than the traditional 13 x 9-inch cake version. They start out simple with a basic devil’s food cupcake. You can make them from scratch or use a box mix. The caramel and condensed milk mixture gets injected into the cupcakes with a small round piping tip. It’s pretty messy. I think my entire kitchen, not to mention my arms and face, may have been coated in sticky sweetness. But once everything was settled and wiped down and it was finally time to eat, it was all worth it.

Better Than Sex Cupcakes from Awesome on 20

So, boys and girls, be kind to each other, and when you feel angry, just eat a cupcake. It might be better than. . . well, you know.

Better Than Sex Cupcakes
Yields 22
A sweet, caramel and condensed milk soaked chocolate cupcake topped off with fluffy vanilla frosting and toffee bits. It just might be better than sex.
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Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
40 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. For the cake;
  2. 1 recipe of your favorite Devil's Food Cupcakes, I used Duncan Hines cake mix (plus 3 eggs, 1 cup water, and 1/3 cup vegetable oil)
  3. 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  4. 1 cup caramel sauce
For the frosting
  1. 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup milk
  3. 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temp
  4. 1 cup granulated sugar
  5. 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  6. 1/4 cup toffee bits
For the cupcakes
  1. Prepare your cupcakes according to your favorite recipe or package instructions. Allow cupcakes to cool.
  2. Poke four holes in each cupcake with a chopstick or other round object.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, stir together condensed milk and caramel sauce. Transfer this mixture to a piping bag or a zip top bag. You can just snip the tip off, but the mixture will be very runny. I highly recommend using a small round piping tip. I used a Wilton #5.
  4. Insert your piping tip or bag into each of the four holes in each cupcake and squeeze the mixture in. This can be very messy, so plan for drips.
For the frosting
  1. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, whisk together flour and milk. Continue to whisk and heat until the mixture becomes thick like elementary school paste. Pop this into the fridge to cool for about ten minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar together on medium speed for about five minutes. You want the mixture to be very light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.
  3. Add the milk and flour mixture, and beat on medium for another three minutes. Your frosting should be very fluffy, almost like whipped cream.
  4. I used a Wilton 1M tip to pipe my frosting on. Hold the bag straight above the cupcake and squeeze for five seconds, then pull straight up.
  5. Sprinkle with toffee bits. Take the first bite when no one's looking, just in case it really is that good.
Adapted from Center Cut Cook
Adapted from Center Cut Cook
http://awesomeon20.com/
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