Barbara Fairchild's Spicy Roast Chicken
Amy Scattergood's Carrot and Pomegranate Soup

Barbara Fairchild's Chocolate-Toffee Cookies


Behold, the chocolate-toffee cookie. Isn't it a darling? All creviced and cracked and filled with nubby surprises? There are 26 more of those at home and I'm finding it very difficult to share them with anyone. Anyone at all.

The structure of this cookie is pretty amazing: just a half cup of flour to an entire pound of chocolate. When I first read the recipe, I rubbed my eyes a few times. Would I really go to the expense of purchasing a pound of chocolate (not to mention run to every bodega in my neighborhood looking for those darn toffee bars) if the cookies would end up melting all over the pan?

I trusted my gut. And Barbara. It's a good thing I did. The cookie batter was gorgeous - a bowlful of chilled fudge, practically, doled out on baking sheets (I couldn't bring myself to make 1/4 cup cookies as instructed in the article - who can eat half a cookie and save the rest for the next day? Just make a smaller cookie and eat it all at once. No?).

It tasted a bit like a brownie with that delectable shattering crust - the structure is the same, I suppose. But a brownie studded with melty, buttery chips of toffee bars (not to mention those toasty walnuts - though I'm more of a brownie-cookie purist: no nuts for me. So if I made these again, you get the picture.).

With the week I've had (work, work and more work, a trip to the ER with Ben, bad dreams about my work - did I mention the work? - and a bit of a family crisis in Italy) - baking these cookies was the closest I came to therapy. Eating them is helping, too.

Chocolate-Toffee Cookies
Makes 27 cookies

1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 pound bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups (packed) golden brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 (1.4-ounce) chocolate-covered English toffee candy bars (such as Heath or Skor), coarsely chopped
1 cup walnuts, toasted, chopped

1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl; whisk to blend.

2. Stir the chocolate and butter in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove the mixture from the heat and cool to lukewarm. Using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs in a large bowl until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in the chocolate mixture and the vanilla. Stir in the flour mixture, then the toffee and nuts. Chill the batter until firm, at least 45 minutes and up to one day.

3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large, rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Drop the batter by ice-cream scoopfuls onto the baking sheets, spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart. Bake the cookies just until dry and cracked on top but still soft to the touch in the center, about 15 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets. (The cookies can be prepared two days ahead; store in an airtight container at room temperature.)