Cinnamon Toffee Softies
On a weekly basis, when I’m perusing the aisles of the grocery store, I inevitably end up in the cookie and cracker aisle (because it’s right by the dairy section…), eyeballing all they have to offer. I’m not a huge sweets person (I prefer salty or savory snacks), but there are times when I see a pack of Oreos and I feel like I can’t resist. I do, however. No matter how strong the urge is. I always tell myself, “I can make cookies at home” and not only is it usually cheaper, it’s better and I can customize them the way I like! Plus, if I’m going to eat sweet things, cookies aren’t my go-to. I’d rather have candy. Neither one of them are particularly heathful, but if you’re gonna splurge on junk food, why not splurge on what you like?
Thing is, last week, I had a small chocolate cookie from work and it sort of roped me in to wanting cookies. Bad. So what happened when I ended up at the grocery store the next day and I found myself in the cookie aisle? Absolutely nothing! Nothing sounded appealing, at all. Oreos, Chips Ahoy, Nutter Butters (and I love me some super processed peanut butter cookies…), Pecan Sandies, graham crackers… nothing. NOTHING. No store sells anything like my bakery’s chocolate love cookie and it’s way too many individual little ingredients I don’t normally have on hand to make a big batch for myself. Leaving the cookie aisle a little bummed, but a little happy that I don’t have to pay those awful prices too, I walked over to the baking aisle (for flour) and found the Heath Bits’O Brickle Toffee bits mixed within the semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, and cinnamon chips. They’re one of the ingredients we use in the cookies at work, and are coincidentally one of my favorite things about that damn chocolate cookie. I bought a bag. I had no idea what I would do with them, but in the cart it went!
When I got home, I started thinking about what I could make. Peanut butter cookies with toffee bits, sugar cookies with toffee bits, chocolate chip cookies with toffee bits. The list could go on forever. What I decided on was a snickerdoodle type cookie, sans the “topping” of straight cinnamon and sugar. I say snickerdoodle type because it uses cream of tartar, which gives the whimsical sounding snickerdoodle its noteworthy bite.
For those not in the know, or whoever never worked with cream of tartar before, it is a powder that forms in wine barrels during the fermentation process. It is a byproduct of the tart fruit that acts as the primary acid of the wine. Thus, cream of tartar is an acid. In fact, it’s actually one of the major components in making up baking powder. However, in dry form, it will not react with baking soda; that process is reserved for the actual baking process in the oven, to ensure that both items will cause a steady, even rise in the baked good. Cream of tartar is also used to stabilize egg whites to make them more heat resistant and more stable; it reduces the leeching of color from boiled vegetables; and can prevent sugar syrups from crystallizing. It can also be combined with lemon juice or white vinegar to make a paste to clean brass, aluminum, or copper, as well as light stains on porcelain. And when mixed with hydrogen peroxide, can clean some rust off hand files. So there’s that.
I have never used cream of tartar in anything but snickerdoodle cookies, and while they’re not my favorite type of cookies, I enjoy that tangy bite it provides. That bite plus the crispy little bits of brickle ended up being a wonderful combination. I brought in a small bag of them to work and the women on the Sunday shift agreed they were awesome. The Fellow™ also took some to work and they loved them as well.
We’ll put this one on the repeat recipe box for sure ;)
Cinnamon Toffee Softies
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 cup Heath Bits’O Brickle Toffee bits
1/2 teaspoon salt
1. Cream room temperature butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add sugar and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, toffee bits, and salt. Add in three batches to the wet ingredients. The dough ends up being a bit crumbly, which is okay.
3. Preheat oven to 375º. Line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone mat. Scoop small amounts of dough and form into balls. I weighed mine at 33 grams per cookie. Place on the parchment lined tray, with minimum 1 1/2″ between the dough. Flatten ever so slightly. A quick press down with your flattened out fingers works best. Bake for 15 minutes. Bottoms should turn a light golden brown and the tops should be cracked (like the photos).
4. Let cool on tray for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack for another 10 minutes.