Peanut Butter Toffee Chip Cookies
For the most part, I have to eat pretty healthy and have a pretty strict diet. Living with Crohn’s and an Ostomy means that food can directly affect how I will physically feel. Being that I still have those rebellious tendencies, I behave most of the time and follow my diet, but sometimes, I just need to say f*@$ it and eat something I crave.
Gluten and I have a tricky relationship. On Facebook, our status would be listed as “it’s complicated.” I am not celiac, but by the order of my nutritionist I don’t eat gluten in order to reduce inflammation in my body. While you can get decent gluten-free bread or cookies, sometimes you can’t beat the full on gluten-filled treat. This is what I want (aside from sourdough bread from Iggy’s) when I have what I call a f*&@ it day.
Peanut butter is my spirit animal. I feel a deep connection to it and always have (no I am not joking); so, I look for any excuse to put it in a baked good. When you are gonna go all in on the junk food, you gotta go big and get full enjoyment. I threw in one of my favorite chocolate bars and some slightly-better-for-you dark chocolate. But there are two ingredients that you won’t think are important, but are actually key to the whole cookie.
Malted Milk powder is like the secret umami of baking. Ever have a malted milkshake? There’s that sort of salty, caramel-like flavor that is almost a little savory; that’s the malted milk. When you add it to a cookie dough or brownie batter, you get a little bit more chew, a little bit softer center and, most importantly, that rich flavor. This cookie is a whole lot of sugar and sweet so the malted milk really helps to keep things balanced.
Bread flour. This is very important. If we are going to go full gluten, we need to get our money’s worth. Bread flour is not the same as all purpose flour. Bread flour has a higher protein content than normal all purpose flour; this means you’ll get more gluten and better structure and chew. Bread flour also absorbs more moisture than all purpose flour. Since this dough is pretty wet, we want a sturdier flour. If you don’t have bread flour (and don’t want to buy it), you can use regular all purpose flour, but I would recommend using King Arthur brand. I just find that their flour bakes consistently and gets the best results (not all flours are created equal).
Alright, enough chatting. It’s time for some serious cookie time.
10 tbsps unsalted butter
1/4 cup (4 tbsps) peanut butter (unsweetened, I used chunky Teddie peanut butter)
3/4 cup (150g) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (101g) cane sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup bread flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsps malted milk powder
1/4 cup chopped toffee chocolate bar (i like heath bars)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks (I chopped up a Taza Chocolate Seriously Dark bar)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda and malted milk powder, set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the unsalted butter and the peanut butter. Melt the butters together using the double boiler method (over a saucepan of simmering water; this will take about 5 to 8 minutes depending on how cold your butter is) or in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes (i recommend covering the bowl with plastic wrap just in case there are any butter explosions).
Stir together the melted butter and peanut butter until smooth and combined. Add the salt and vanilla extract to the butter pool and whisk again until all combined. Add the sugars and whisk until all the sugars are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Add the egg and egg yolk and whisk again for 1 minute.
Whisk the egg and egg yolk into the mixture in 3 - 30 second whisking spurts, giving a minute rest in between. We want to work some air into this mixture, but don’t want to over mix.
Add the flour the peanut butter mixture and fold until almost all the flour is incorporated; add the chopped toffee bar and chocolate chunks and continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the candy is evenly distributed.
Cover the dough and put in the fridge to chill overnight. This is a very important step because we want the gluten to rest and the flavors to intensify. If you can’t wait overnight, give it at least 2 hours in the fridge,.
After the overnight rest (or 2 hours rest), remove the dough from the fridge and let come to room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 375F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Using a cookie scoop, two spoons, or your hands, scoop 2 tablespoon size balls of dough on the baking sheets. Before you throw into the oven, use the palm of your hand and give the balls a little press down, flattening them slightly.
Bake 10 to 12 minutes; the edge will be golden brown and the centers will be just starting to brown (we want a soft center).
Let cool for 15 minutes before shoveling one into your face. I recommend a glass of milk to go with one of these babies.
Note: If you don’t want to bake all the cookies (this recipe makes about 16 big cookies, 24 smaller ones), after you form the dough into balls, throw them into the freezer overnight. Once they’re frozen, put them in a plastic bag. The dough will keep in the freezer for around 2 months.