A few weeks ago my pal Katie told me about how she was attempting to make a friend an ice cream cake with his favorite ice cream, Ben & Jerry’s Coffee Heath Bar Crunch. I thought that sounded ambitious and delicious, I am a faithful Ben & Jerry’s addict ever since Will made me share a pint with him our first week of dating, destroying my veganism with 16 ounces of dairy heaven. But Katie decided the whole cake thing was not her jam, so being the cookie master she is (I’ve eaten many of her delicious creations) she figured out a way to turn it into a cookie recipe.
I didn’t try one of hers, but after she posted the recipe on her blog, I decided to be the hero at a friend’s birthday in Joshua Tree over the weekend. I don’t really know these friends well, and winning people over with baked goods is my go-to move. Once people were well liquored up, sunstroked and full of desert magic happiness (real thing that happens) – I busted the cookies out of the fridge to the cheers and tears of my fellow party goers (ok maybe not that dramatic but people were pretty excited). They were a hit, but I only got to eat one of them, so naturally I had to make them again this week for a care package I’m sending to a friend. And save half for us, duh. Guys, these cookies are a flippin’ revelation. I would dare to say they rival the most popular blog post I’ve ever posted recipe, and they are so much easier. BUT! They are not for the faint of heart – they are very sweet, and if you don’t like toffee, keep on movin’ (literally, we can’t be friends,this is awkward.)
Let’s do this thing. But before you start I must give you a few tips: cook them nice and big (I put 9 on a pan), and store them in the fridge because they are 100x more delicious out of the fridge.
Espresso Toffee Crunch Cookies by Katie Wilson
(adapted from Ambitious Kitchen’s brown butter cookies, which are life changing)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 T instant espresso powder (you can add slightly more at the end for a heavier coffee flavor)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (this is adjusted, as I always have salted butter on hand. If you use unsalted, up to 1/2 tsp)
2 sticks butter, browned and cooled (see instructions below)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg plus 1 yolk
1 T greek yogurt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4 cup toffee pieces (you want these)
First, brown your butter: heat slowly in a pan over medium heat. Whisk as you go and watch carefully. After a few minutes, the butter will foam and then recede, turning a carmel brown color. It will smell sort of nutty. Don’t let it burn, but be sure it’s actually browned (not just melted) – when you pour it out of the pan and into a bowl to cool, it should be a rich, burnt sienna color. Let the butter fully cool before you start – 20 minutes on the counter should do it.
Meanwhile, mix together all your dry ingredients (flour, espresso powder, baking soda and salt). In a separate bowl, combine your brown butter and sugars thoroughly. Add the egg, yolk, yogurt, and vanilla and stir until smooth. Gradually mix in your dry ingredients about 1/2 cup at a time. Stir in the toffee bits and chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Taste liberally. Add more espresso powder if you’re into that sort of thing, but be sure to mix well.
Stick the whole shebang in the fridge for at least an hour. Preheat the oven to 375. Roll loosely rounded balls of dough (make sure you get all those chocolate chips in there – sometimes I’ll dot the tops with a few extra) and drop 2-3 inches apart on your pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. The cookies should look slightly undercooked in the middle, but they will set up within a few minutes of removing from the oven.