Sunday, October 16, 2011

Caramel Turtle Cookies

I love chocolate chip cookies. That's an undeniable, solid fact.
I baked big, fat chocolate chip cookies three days in a row last week, all of which I have gobbled up after lunch (and dinner... and umm.. breakfast too). 
But I don't like just any old chocolate chip cookie..
Wait, let me fix that. I like any chocolate chip cookies, but I don't fall in LLLOVE with all of them.
There are lots of things to consider when you're choosing THE ONE.
Crunchy vs. Soft
Thick vs. Thin
Chewy vs. Cakey
Crisp vs. Ooey Gooey
Chocolate chunks vs. Specks of mini chocolate chips
Nuts vs. No nuts
I could go on forever, but my criteria is simple.
1. Soft, but not cakey
2. Loaded with chocolate chips
3. Thick
4. No nuts
That's all I ask for.
How come none of my chocolate chips turn out that way? It's so frustrating.
These caramel turtle cookies are a little twist to chocolate chip cookies, because I added some caramel bits and nuts to it.
I know, I know, I hate nuts in cookies, but these were requested by my mom, who loves anything with nuts in them, so I reluctantly grabbed a bag of some forgotten macadamia nuts and poured them into my precious cookie dough.
And surprisingly, they were perfect! Even the nuts gave them a great flavor and a nice crunch. I think I didn't mind the nuts because the tops of these cookies were crackly and crunchy anyways.
The inside is soft though, so I munch-munched until I realized it was 11pm. 
Hmm... I'll walk 10 miles tomorrow.

Caramel Turtle Cookies

Makes 1 dozen 5-inch cookies
Recipe adapted from My baking addiction
1 cup minus 1 tablespoon cake flour
5/6 cup bread flour (1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup caramel bits (I used Kraft)
1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Combine both flours, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until very light, about 5 minutes. Add the egg and mix well. Stir in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Mix in the chocolate chips, caramel bits, and chopped nuts.
Using a regular ice cream scoop, scoop a generous amount of dough and place on the cookie sheets. I got 9 on one of them and 3 on the other.
Bake until golden brown but still soft, about 18-20 minutes. You might want to switch the two cookie sheets  during baking for even browning. I didn't, so 9 of them were golden brown while 3 of them were a tad bit pale:( Cool completely on a wire rack, then store in an airtight container.

For smaller cookies, you can use a heaping tablespoon instead of an ice cream scoop, and bake for 12 minutes.

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