Finally a post on cookies on Cookie Shutter! Well worth the wait. Now that I have an oven, I'm on a frenzied baking spree! These praline cookies are thick and chewy, choc-a-bloc with crunchy bursts of praline and melty gooey chocolate chips. The absolute best way to enjoy these cookies - eat one while it's still warm, straight from the oven with a glass of cold milk. (and you're sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for the rest of the cookies to cool down). You're now in cookie heaven.
This recipe is from a book titled Spectacular Desserts from Better Homes and Gardens. It's a fairly old book that I picked up at a library sale. There are basic recipes on how to make good bittersweet chocolate sauce, home made creme fraiche and extravagant ones like the 5 layered mango butter cream cake that uses a whole pound of butter, just for the frosting! Sometimes, you find the best and winner recipes in old forgotten books......
These cookies are delicious - especially if you're looking for a splendid twist in your favourite chocolate chip recipe. Just make the praline and use in your recipe along with the chocolate chips.
If you don't have pecans you can use walnuts, almonds or cashew nuts instead. Makes almost three dozen regular sized cookies. Lots to share and perfect for the festive season!
Difficulty level - easy
Cooking time - 30 mins
Makes 3 dozen regular sized cookies or 18 large cookies
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 cup chopped toasted hazelnuts or pecans(you can use almond/cashews/walnuts)
1 cup or 2 sticks butter, softened
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 ounces semi sweet or bitter sweet chocolate chips
Grease a large baking sheet with butter. Set baking sheet aside.
For praline, in a heavy medium saucepan stir together 1/3 cup sugar and water. Cook and stir over medium-high heat till boiling.Then Cook for 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 minutes more until syrup is a deep golden brown. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup nuts. Immediately pour onto the prepared baking sheet. cool completely on a wire rack until firm.
When firm, transfer the praline into a heavy duty plastic bag. Using a rolling pin, crush the praline into small pieces. Set aside.
For cookies, in a large mixing bowl beat the 1 cup butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed about 30 seconds or until softened.
Ad about half the flour, all of the brown sugar, 1/2 cup sugar,eggs, vanilla and baking soda. Beat till thoroughly combined, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Then beat or stir in the remaining flour. Stir in crushed praline and chocolate chips.
Scoop the dough using a cookie scoop one at a time, 4 inches apart onto a cookie sheet. Flatten slightly. Bake in 350 F for 13 - 15 minutes or till edges are lightly browned. cool cookies on the cookie sheets for 1 minute. Then remove cookies and cool on wire rack.
Note - The praline can get a little tricky - it actually went from sugar to syrup and back to sugar on me. Just keep at it - stir away and it'll suddenly caramelize into a golden hue. At this stage work quickly as the caramel tends to burn. There's another way to make caramel and it requires no water; here's a fantastic post by David Lebovitz on how you can do this easily.
Don't fret if you don't have an electric mixer - use a hand whisk/spoon to cream the butter. Takes a little longer but totally do-able.