Chewy Oatmeal Cookies with Toffee, Coconut, and Walnuts

INGREDIENTS:

  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup hot water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar (or 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar plus 1 tablespoon molasses)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ¼ cups rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup toffee bits–use recipe below or use store-bought
  • 3/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, pecans, or macadamia nuts

METHOD:

  1. Preheat oven to 135°C.
  2. Combine ½ cup raisins with hot water in a food processor and blend on high speed for about 1 minute or until very smooth.
  3. Combine raisin puree with the vegetable shortening, butter, egg, brown sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl.  Mix until smooth.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour with the oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Pour dry mixture into the wet and mix just until combined.  Stir in the toffee bits/chunks, coconut, and walnuts.
  5. Roll 3-tablespoon-sized portions of dough in your hands and press to 1/2 –inch flat on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.  Leave about 1 ½ inches between dough discs.
  6. Bake at 135°C for 18-20 minutes.  Be careful not to overcook.  Cool on pan for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to finish cooling.  Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
If you like the idea of the white chocolate & Craisin version, omit the toffee, coconut, and walnuts; and add 1 cup white chocolate chunks and 1/2 to 3/4 cup dried cranberries (aka Craisins).
Toffee
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped roasted almonds (optional)
  • 1/2 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 1/4 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  1. Line a square Pyrex pan (8X8) with parchment paper or non-stick foil. Set pan on a cooling rack or stovetop. (You will be pouring the lava hot sugar into this later, so you want to make sure it’s on a heat-proof surface.)
  2. In a heavy saucepan heat butter and sugar to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil over medium heat until it reaches 150°C on a candy thermometer. Stir in the chopped almonds, and immediately pour into the prepared pan. Allow to cool completely. If you’re in a hurry, pull the parchment paper/foil out and place directly on a cooling rack. The glass pan retains heat and causes the toffee to cool more slowly.
  3. When completely cool, break apart into about 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch pieces.
  4. You will probably end up with more than 1 cup of toffee in the end. Store the remaining  bits in an air-tight container and use in another recipe or for ice cream topping, or just as it is.

English Toffee

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds or macadamia nuts (roasted unsalted)
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds or macadamia nuts (roasted unsalted)
  • 3/4 cup packed Light Brown Sugar
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 9 ounces chocolate, melted and tempered (Milk Chocolate)

METHOD:

  1. Line a square Pyrex pan (8X8) with parchment paper (I suppose the non-stick foil might work as well…). Spread coarse nuts in bottom of pan. Set aside.
  2. In a heavy saucepan heat butter and sugar to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil over medium heat until it reaches 150°C on a candy thermometer. At that point immediately pour and spread over the nuts. Allow to cool 5-6 minutes.
  3. With a bench scraper, cut toffee while it is still soft into 16 pieces. Allow to cool to the touch, and break apart. Set on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. Over a double boiler, melt chocolate until it is 2/3 melted. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted. Place finely chopped nuts in a shallow pan.
  5. Using two forks, completely coat each piece of toffee with the chocolate. Toss in the finely chopped nuts until coated. Return to parchment paper to cool and set.

Makes 16 yummy chunks.

Note: An easier alternative to coating individual pieces is to just pour melted chocolate over the cooled, uncut toffee and sprinkle with nuts. Then when the chocolate has set, break toffee into pieces.

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