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« Coconut Nutmeg Pudding | Main | Vanilla Cupcakes »
Friday
Jun012012

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

For the month of June, I've decided to go vegan. It's more of a personal challenge to myself than a moral or ethical decision. Growing up in meat and potatoes country, I've never struck issue with eating meat. Both sets of my grandparents were farmers and ranchers, raising crops and cattle and working off the land. The farm was my second home when I was younger. Rooting around the big red barn and watching cattle through barbed wire fences was a regular pastime. I was raised on meat from my uncle's farm. He made a homemade sausage so good that my family would freeze it so we could enjoy it every month of the year.

You could say, in a way, that farm life is in my blood—that meat is in my blood.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Even so, I've always been curious about veganism. It's intimidating to me, honestly. I rely so heavily on dairy and egg products in my everyday life, typically grabbing a yogurt and an egg sandwich for a meal. Part of the reason I wanted to challenge myself with a month of veganism was to force myself to explore new foods, eat more fruits and vegetables, and get cooking in the kitchen. I wonder how my body will feel after a month without consuming any animal products. I fear I will have a hard time eating enough protein.

A year and a half ago, I was a vegetarian for a few months. It wasn't necessarily a conscious decision so much as it was a necessary one. Living in Montreal, Quebec, was expensive and I simply couldn't afford the high price of meat as a poor college student. However, becoming a vegetarian in a big city was almost effortless. Becoming a vegan in North Dakota, where grocery stores only hold three packages (not brands or types) of tofu will be an entirely different story. Vegans are few and far between in meat and potatoes country. I'll certainly be out of my element, but that is just another difficult part of the challenge.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Over the last week I've slowly been emptying my cupboards of "forbidden foods." I've finished the milk, eaten the yogurt, consumed the cans of soups, and said my goodbyes to my dear friend, butter. Despite my best efforts to clean out the cupboards, I still had a shelf of soon-to-be banned baking supplies. These cookies were born out of the last of the forbidden foods, featuring toffee pieces and chocolate chips.

As I experiment with this new lifestyle over the next month, I have a promise I want to make to you. I am going to do my best to continue to keep my foods approachable, delicious, and to use familiar, everyday ingredients you already have in your kitchen. My baking and recipes may be vegan, but they don't need to shout it from the rooftops. I'll keep you updated on this journey of mine—I can only wonder how it will play out.

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

These toffee chocolate chip cookies are an "everything but the kitchen sink" cookie, featuring a little bit of this and that. Oatmeal, chocolate chips, toffee pieces, and chopped almonds come together to create a crunchy, hearty cookie that just begs to be dunked in a glass of milk. These cookies are dangerous when lying around the house. You might find yourself sneaking three or four in a day's time.

One Year Ago: Roasted Cherry Dark Chocolate Brownies
Two Years Ago: Lemon Tarts

Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yields about 2 dozen cookies

8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup old fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sliced or chopped almonds
3/4 cup chocolate chips (I used miniature chocolate chips)
3/4 cup toffee pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar. Add the egg and continue mixing until well blended. Stir in the vanilla extract. Fold in the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until mixed. Stir in the almonds, chocolate chips, and toffee pieces.

Drop by the tablespoon onto a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. The longer you bake them, the crunchier they will get. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes before transferring the cookies to a cooling rack. These cookies have a tendency to stick to the baking sheet if not removed promptly.

Reader Comments (16)

This sounds like a cool challenge! I love looking at your recipes, but to be honest, I look at the ingredients and cringe, knowing I will never make the dish. It would be cool to see some healthier, lighter options without all the egg yolks, butter, white sugar, etc. I was also expecting that your June 1 cookie recipe would be vegan.
06.1.2012 | Unregistered CommenterViktoria
I'm really bad when it comes to cookies. I eat sevral in one sitting, then I get up, and then I come back for more. I just have a cookie weakness. And these cookies look really amazing. I've seen a lot of recipe that call for toffee bits. Maybe it's the world's way of telling me to go buy some :P

And good luck with your vegan adventure! I know I would litterally starve to death because I'm such a meat person. I'm sure my water drinking habbits would sky rocket, but I would probably only live off of potatoes and ketchup (God I hope ketchup is vegan o.O) But again, good luck. It should be an interesting experience.
These sound so tasty! Yum!
This gets me so excited! I'm vegan (mainly for ecological reasons, but it's taught me a lot about compassion) and I still peruse your blog just because it's so darn pretty. And now maybe I'll want to make something of yours! Hurray, hurray, can't wait to see what you create!
06.1.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmelia
If anyone can make vegan taste (and look) good, it'll be you. Good luck this month! Cookies look delish, I think I have toffee bits hiding around here somewhere.
06.1.2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobin
If you're worried about getting enough protein, look into quinoa. It's a grain-like, rice-like item that you cook similarly to rice as a side dish. It's almost like a couscous and goes well in room temperature salads like this recipe I got from a friend for Quinoa and Black Bean Salad (add the cherry tomatoes and/or chopped colored bell pepers) Here's a link to her recipe:
https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1rkDZ0rOUGQ5xmN2a3N_YlVL61GhCS4SnfMiEmn7iG0I
06.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterJo Wishnie
Awesome!! I eat mostly vegan and love it. Look into buying Earth Balance Butter (I like the Vegan + Soy Free Version--I buy it at Whole Foods). And there's a lot of Vegan dark chocolate out there to satisfy a sweet tooth. Good luck and I can't wait to see your vegan recipes!
06.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlena
Good luck with the vegan challenge! I was vegetarian for eight years but now can't imagine my life without meat. Baking will definitely be a challenge, but an exciting one :-)
06.2.2012 | Unregistered Commenterthelittleloaf
These look absolutely delicious! I plan to make these soon.
xoxo, B
06.2.2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda
Saying goodbye to butter? Torture that must have been! Looking forward to your vegan adventures. More so, because I just don't think I have the strength, or would ever have any, to give up my beloved meat!
06.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmrita
Hey girl, I did something very similar, (actually started out as a weight loss jump start) a few years ago, I would devote one week to eating vegan, then I did an experiment and ate vegan for 40 days during Lent. It was challenging but helped me find so many new foods and BAKING TECHNIQUES! I'm not vegan, but many of my meals end up that way just by trying to eat healthy in general.

Side note, don't worry about the protein. Beans, quinoa, nuts, tempeh, and lentils are all loaded with complete proteins, and many veggies have more than you'd think. Don't let tofu be your only protein for a month.
06.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterMolly
I have a severe dairy allergy so I buy tons of vegan items. My family often finds that the vegan food items taste better than the "regular" stuff. My kids LOVE Enjoy Life chocolate chips and if you can find coconut milk ice cream is the worth every single penny!!

Earth Balance butter is the best for cooking but for spreading I like Smart Balance light. ***only the light is dairy-free.

Good luck!
06.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterVicki
Being a vegetarian even in Fargo was very difficult - vegan is even worse. That being said, I'm a very minimalist person and tuna and chicken are my Achillies heel for cheap, semi-healthy, quick meals. These cookies look pretty good though - I'll try making them this weekend and for funzies, I'll use soy milk (which I already prefer over regular milk anyways) and egg substitute to see how that goes.

There was a vegetarian/vegan group in Fargo back in 2008 where I randomly showed up to two of their communal events. You could check them out. Or not. They're a very unique group of people - most of them are regulars at liberal protest things in Fargo. But they're still active apparently.
06.4.2012 | Unregistered CommenterChris
That is great idea. Ive never thought about this kind of challenge but will give a think.
And fingers crossed for You.
Greetings from UK.
06.5.2012 | Unregistered CommenterOla
I just made these, they came out very good.
I used walnuts instead of almonds, and I used a few less minutes in the oven as I like my cookies softer.
Thanks for the recipe!
06.6.2012 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
Quick and easy recipe for breakfast!
06.8.2012 | Unregistered Commenterwaka network

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