Since this is my second cookie post in a row, and I have enough cookie recipes to share every day this week*, I’m officially declaring it “Cookie Love” week on Veronica’s Cornucopia! Next to dog love, this is the best kind of love there is. ;)
*Except for Thursday, of course, when I will be doing my Thankful Thursdays feature.
These are the cookies I made for The Postcard Project Cookie Swap. I had purchased a bag of Kraft Caramel Bits on sale, because I couldn’t resist the 75-cent sale price, even if I had no specific purpose in mind for them. As with the Snickers and the Sneaky Snickers Cookies, thought maybe I could use them in my cookies for the swap. My first idea was to use them in a vanilla dough with chocolate and pecans, and it turned out to be a great one! These are now in my top five favorite cookies, for sure.
I based the dough off the recipe for these blue-ribbon chocolate chip cookies and just stirred in chocolate chips, toasted pecans, and the caramel bits. I was surprised how something so simple (no browning of the butter, no toasting & grinding of oatmeal!) could be so wonderful. Soft, crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, gooey with caramel and studded with chocolate & pecans. Just soooo wonderful. If I do say so myself. :)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon real vanilla extract
½ teaspoon white vinegar*
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup caramel bits
1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped**
Preheat oven to 350 and line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpat mats to prevent the caramel from sticking.
Cream the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and vinegar together until light and fluffy, five minutes. Add the eggs and baking soda and beat until combined. Add the flour and mix just until combined. Add the chocolate chips, caramel bits, and pecans, and either stir them in or beat just until combined.
Using a cookie scoop, portion the dough out onto the cookie sheets, leaving an inch between cookies. Bake for 10-12 minutes or just until the cookies are beginning to get golden brown around the edges. Remove and leave on pan for 5 minutes before removing cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough.
*The vinegar helps make the cookies tender. You can not taste it, as the extra baking soda neutralizes its flavor.
** To toast the pecans, place them in a single layer on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring in between with fingers, until toasted and fragrant, 1-2 minutes total. Set aside to cool. Chop before using in recipe.
I wanted to share the cookies I received in this swap like I did yesterday for the ones I received in the blogger cookie swap. Amber sent me four each of three kinds in a holiday tin (I had no idea you could ship in a tin–very cool!): gingerbread cut-outs, chai snickerdoodles, and spiral slice-and-bake cookies.
And check it out–I even got a stocking with my name on it! :)
The chai snickerdoodles were fantastic–they were (were because they have long since departed this world through my belly) all-butter snickerdoodles and instead of a plain cinnamon-sugar coating, there are other spices in the mix to give them a chai flavor. I can’t even imagine how great these must be fresh from the oven! However, despite their yumminess and being Amber’s favorite, I have to say my favorite in the tin was the spiral sliced cookies. I know, I’m so boring, but I just love a good sugar cookie (much like my favorite cake is white with white icing!) and these were perfect–nice and soft with a kiss of almond. Yum! Thanks, Amber!
Katie sent me two kinds of cookies, both recipes from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. I was so tickled when Katie wrote that is her favorite baking blog because it is one of my favorites too–in fact, I think I trust Mel more than any other food blogger! Her recipes have never failed me.
Katie sent me cranberry white chocolate cookies that she adapted from Mel’s Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies with Coconut:
However, the other cookies Katie sent are the ULTIMATE and my favorite of ALL COOKIES SENT IN BOTH SWAPS. Yes, I needed caps for that statement, that’s how strongly I feel about these cookies. These are Mel’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies, and they arrived tasting so fresh, I doubt they were any better the day she made them.
Seriously, just like with the Sneaky Snickers Cookies, I have been dying to make this recipe ever since I first laid eyes on it over a year ago. But I was able to steer clear for the sake of my thighs. Do you even understand how wonderful it was to receive just six of these cookies, the best cookies perhaps of all time, and maybe, just maybe, even better than my favorite cookies, so that I could savor them without risking my health by eating an entire batch made in my own kitchen?!?!?! Thank you Katie, you rocked my world. :)
I haven’t received my third dozen yet, but as I wait patiently, I have a few cookies stashed in my freezer to keep me happy until it arrives. See you tomorrow for a cookie that is perfect for shipping!