Friday, July 30, 2010

Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies

Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies - made July 25, 2010

One of my online fitness buddies, Tanya, posted this recipe and coincidentally I found it on the back of the Heath Bits package I had in my baking drawer that I needed to use up. Tanya is a self-admitted peanut butter and chocolate fiend and has been posting a lot of food porn in her journal lately. I, a self-admitted baking addict, seize on any opportunity to try new recipes recommended by people who can appreciate sweets, desserts and good baking.

In case you've never seen toffee bits before, here's what's generally available at the grocery store. There are two kinds - one that's milk chocolate toffee bits and are essentially Heath Bars chopped into pieces (pictured below). The other is just toffee bits without the milk chocolate. The latter is harder to find, at least in my local grocery stores. I've been able to find them when I visit my sister in Southern California so I admit to stocking up on them in the infrequent times I go down for a visit.

This recipe made for a good dough to work with, meaning it wasn't too soft or sticky. I portioned the cookie dough into dough balls using my ice cream scoop which has gotten more use with cookie dough than with actual ice cream, placed them in a plastic lid that was originally supposed to be a cover for a pie pan, and put them in the freezer to firm up before I put them in a ziploc freezer bag marked with their name, oven temp and baking time.

These turned out pretty well. I'm not as into peanut butter as Tanya is so I can't rhapsodize over them but if you like peanut butter, chocolate and toffee, this makes for a nice variation from the usual chocolate chip cookies. I substituted butter for the shortening for better taste and preferred texture - these didn't spread too much and were nice and chewy when properly (under)baked. I baked them off Sunday night to bring into a couple of work meetings on Monday. If you have to go to work on Monday and you have to be in meetings, let there be cookies.

½ cup shortening
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
1 ¼ cups packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups (8 ounces) Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits, divided

1. Heat oven to 375˚F.
2. Beat shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add egg; beat just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually bet into peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup toffee bits; reserve remainder for topping.
3. Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet; top each with reserved toffee bits. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until set. Do not overbake. Cool 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

About 3 dozen cookies

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