Tuesday, March 9, 2010

52 Cookies - Chapter 10

Subtitle:  "So this coffee walks into a bar..."
My favorite blog to visit is that of Ree Drummond, aka Pioneer Woman.  I first learned about her blog sometime last year.  I read about it in a magazine and then I saw it referenced in the Columbus Dispatch food section in an article about food blogs.  Finally, I checked it out.  I liked the conversational manner in which she wrote, loved the vividly clear step-by-step photographs she included with her recipes, and anxiously awaited her daily multiple posts.  And then.  She wrote a cookbook.  It went on my Christmas wish list immediately.  I read the thing in less than 24 hours.  The recipes are not for the faint-of-heart, nor are they heart healthy.  She blogs from Oklahoma on a cattle ranch where, if you work hard enough, you really don't have to worry about your caloric intake.  She blogs about a myriad of things, but most notably, she blogs about food, photography and homeschooling her 4 children.  She has a tremendously large following to the point of calling her a celebrity in the "blogosphere."

This week's cookie recipe comes from her website, not her cookbook.  When I saw it, I knew instantly that this would be the next cookie I wanted to try out.  They are called Coffee Toffee Bars.  They are very good and I would guess they'd taste even better with a nice little scoop of coffee ice cream too.  Sometimes, there is no such thing as too much of a good thing.  This is one of those cases!  If you look very closely, (sorry, I don't have a high powered lense to zoom in) you can see those little specks in the cookie.  That is instant coffee granules.  Mmmmm!  The house smelled amazing while these were in the oven.  If I had to make these over again, I think I might split the chocolate chips in half and add some Heath bar bits to give it a true toffee flavor.  I just didn't taste "toffee" and wonder why it's in the name.  Whatever you call it, you'll definitely call them delicious after you've had a bite.  Or two.  Or three!

Coffee Toffee Bars
Here's What You'll Need:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract (I used vanilla since I didn't have almond)
1 Tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour - approximately
1 cup chocolate chips

Here's What You Do:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Cream the butter and brown sugar.  Add in the almond or vanilla extract, coffee granules, baking powder and salt.  Mix to combine your ingredients.  Add the flour with the mixer on low until the dough is stiff.  I ended up using only 2 cups of flour.  I lined a 9x13 pan with foil and then sprayed with cooking spray.  Press the dough into the bottom of the pan.  Now, sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly on top.  Go ahead and press the chips down a bit into the dough.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Mine were done in 20 minutes.  Allow it to cool completely on a wire rack.  Lift out of pan with the foil and cut into squares or bars or diamonds or octagons.  Whatever your little heart desires!

I made these tonight while dinner was in the oven.  It was totally spontaneous - a word that generally does not enter my vocabulary.  Kevin had taken Owen outside to get some fresh air and exercise because his 4 year old little body was getting cranky and needed some space.  A neighbor girl was over and playing with Jenna, while Evan was doing his nightly reading requirement.  With "free time," what's a girl to do but bake cookies?!

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