Before you think me a “Grinch”, I thought I better get to it and crank out some Christmas goodies. It’s not that I didn’t have intentions to make these sooner – it was simply that like so many of us this time of year, I was swamped with holiday tasks. But finally, all of the presents are wrapped, and the shopping for Christmas dinner is finished. Today was for cookies. I narrowed down my never-ending list to 6 goodies – and I managed to crank out 5 of them. These are the two best recipes from today’s efforts – and I’ve already eaten so much of both, I doubt I will need sugar again for a week. They’re addictive, I tell you.
The first is a toffee. Toffee is one of my favorite candies – and at the risk of blasphemy, I love it even more than chocolate. This toffee, though, not only has buttery, caramel-y goodness, it’s also topped with chocolate and sliced almonds. Need I say more? I will definitely be sharing this stuff, because if I leave it around the house, I’ll eat it all. No kidding.
The second is a gluten-free ginger, molasses, and chocolate chip cookie. Ginger and molasses cookies are also among my favorites – they’re something I make every year. This year, I wasn’t about to let a little thing called a “gluten-free diet” interrupt this tradition. These are also kicked up a notch, with chopped bittersweet chocolate chips, both ground and freshly grated ginger, and rolled in turbinado sugar, so they sparkle. That sugar adds so much to the cookies – a bit of sweet crisp on the outside before the cookie gives way to a soft interior. Honestly? I don’t miss my old cookies – this version is superior in every way.
If you have time left in your hectic holiday to squeeze in these delicious treats, I recommend that you do. Of course, the holidays aren’t the only time that these are welcome – personally, I’d be happy if these were shared with me anytime! Happy Holidays to you and yours.
Toffee, adapted from The Kitchn
1 lb unsalted butter
3 T water
2 c sugar
1/2 t sea salt
1 t vanilla
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (or chocolate chips)
1 c skiced almonds
In a large cast iron skillet, melt the butter, water, sugar, and salt over medium heat. Stir with a wooden spoon constantly, trying to keep the sides of the pan clean. Once at a boil, continue to stir rapidly, until the mixture is a deep golden caramel color. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
Pour mixture into a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Allow to cool slightly, about 5 minutes, and sprinkle chocolate over the toffee evenly. Wait for another 5 minutes or until chocolate looks glossy, and with an offset spatula, spread chocolate out in an even layer. Sprinkle nuts over chocolate and lightly press in. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until firm. Break into pieces.
Makes 4 lbs.
Ginger Chip Teff Cookies, adapted from 101 Cookbooks
1/2 coarse turbinado sugar
6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
1/2 c almond flour/meal
1 c teff flour
3/4 c potato starch
1/2 t xanthan gum
1 t baking soda
4 1/2 t ground ginger
1/2 t sea salt
1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 c blackstrap molasses
2/3 c light brown sugar
1 T freshly grated ginger
1 large egg, well beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place turbinado sugar in a small bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond meal, teff, potato starch, xanthan gum, baking soda, ground ginger, and salt.
Heat butter in a saucepan until just melted, and remove from heat. Add in molasses, brown sugar, and fresh ginger. If the mixture is hot, let it cool down a bit. It should be just a bit warm. Add the egg and whisk in. Pour this mixture into the flour and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate.
Scoop out 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls of dough and roll in turbinado sugar. Place on parchment-lined baking sheets a few inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the cookies have puffed up and are fragrant. Makes 4-5 dozen.