Wednesday, 4 March 2009

My first COOKIE CARNIVAL: CHOCOLATE FUDGE COOKIES with TOFFEE and DRIED CHERRIES (rum raisins actually..)

I joined the cookie carnival last year, but after receiving so many recipes, I have yet to try out the recipe and post it on my blog.. This time round, I took the step to kick the procastination and join my first cookie carnival.. This time round, the recipe was special... It had toffee in it! I loved Mrs Field's Butter Toffee cookie, so this was a must try for me..

But Toffee isn't an easy to find ingredient, so I had make it.. And since I had a jar of rum soaked raisins, i decided to used it up in this cookie to add a twist and alcohol in cookie adds a new twist to the cookie..

I mended the recipe to suit family's preference for sweentess.. Toffee and chocolate are already sweet, so the cookie dough needed less sugar so that the cookie wouldn't be too sweet... Home made toffee had its problems too.. They spread alot in the oven because they melt.. So it makes the cookie really fragile.. So I had to add the toffee last and add it to the centre of the cookie... Kate of cookie carnival described the cookie as crisp on the outside, soft and chewy in the middle and downright gooey if you get to them still warm. these cookies are great for picnics and crowds and the dough can be frozen until you need it. the contrasting flavours and textures: rich, dark chocolate; sweet, crunchy toffee; and chewy tangy sour cherries, make these totally addictive--and a step up from the average chocolate cookie. make sure the cherries are plump and soft, not dry and hard. i like to make these pretty much fist-sized, but you can make them smaller if you wish. (don’t fool yourself; it just means you’ll eat more of them.) adjust baking time accordingly if you reduce the size of the cookies.
Well, it is definitely how she described except that rum raisins really made the cookie special.. The taste of rum was really strong, yet not too strong like alcohol thanks to the cookie dough sharing the alcohol.. And home made toffee really made the cookie fragrant and irresistable..

INGREDIENTS
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup tightly packed dark brown sugar (I used 1/2 cup)
3/4 granulated sugar (I used 1/2 cup and2 tbsp)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup plump, moist, dried sour cherries (I used 1 cup of raisins which was soaked in meyer's dark rum overnight in the refrigerator)
8 oz. bitter or semisweet chocolate chopped into chunks about the size of the cherries
1 cup English toffee pieces for baking such as Skor Bits (I cooked the toffee with the recipe from this site:http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/159/English-Toffee skip the almonds if you dun want too many things in the cookie.. I did..)

(I added an additional 1/2 cup of white choc chips)

INSTRUCTIONS


1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees. line two heavy baking sheets, not non-stick, with parchment paper and set aside. sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together into a bowl and set aside. in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and both sugars until light in colour and fluffy, about 2 minutes. add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl. beat in the vanilla. stir in the flour-mixture in 3 additions, blending just until the dry ingredients are moistened. i find this part of the job easier with a wooden spoon, rather than a mixer, as i can see better which parts of the batter need more attention without overmixing. stir in the chunky ingredients and mix until they seem evenly distributed. (the dough may be frozen at this point fo r up to 4 months: wrap the dough securely in plastic wrap, then in a plastic freezer bag. thaw the dough in the refrigerator without removing its wrapping before portioning the cookies and baking.)


2. drop the batter by heaping tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets and place them in the center of the oven. if you have a large, evenly tempered oven, place the 2 sheets in at once, on two racks positioned close to the middle of the oven. switch the position of the trays once during baking. if your oven is small, or tends to have hot or cold spots, bake one tray at a time so the cookies bake evenly.


3. bake the cookies for 15-18 minutes, or until barely set in the center and just firm around the edges. rotate the sheets once or twice. cool the cookies on the tray for 3-5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before storing. (feel free to eat them at any point.) run the hot tray under cold water to cool it, dry thoroughly and repeat with remaining dough. store the cookies in airtight containers, layered between sheets of parchment or waxed paper for up to 5 days.


This was a whole lot of fun and I'm glad to have participated! :D



3 comments:

Jin Hooi said...

well done !! your cookies look great !!!

Cheese, Cake, Cupcake, Chocolate, Cinnamon, Claire, Clementine, Cookies and Cream said...

Thanks alot!! :D

Anonymous said...

Bravo, what necessary phrase..., a brilliant idea