Ten weeks from today we board a plane for Nicaragua, with no official return date. Ummm… yikes! I am filled with equal parts excitement and fear. I can’t wait! This is going to be the adventure of a lifetime!
And then… what have we gotten ourselves into?! We’ve agreed to rent a home there, that we haven’t even visited or seen photos of!
No really, we are super excited. But we are human, and have all the other feelings that go with moving too.
Our friends have lots of questions, and understandably so. What about the bugs? And the heat? Are you sure it’s safe? Why are you going for so long? Won’t you miss all your friends and family here? What will you do without air conditioning? A dishwasher? and (gasp) Target? 😉
And then there’s one question that makes me laugh every time: How will we survive without your cookies?
Dude! Which will you miss more — me or my cookies?! Wait.. don’t answer that!
They really aren’t difficult to make, and I’ve shared the recipe plenty of times, but I guess not a lot of folks make time to prepare home-made cookies anymore. 🙁 I know break-and-bake cookies are easy, and store-bought cookies are convenient, but there really isn’t anything quite like a chocolate chip cookie warm from the oven… Even the otherwise-sullen-and-silent boy down the street smiles broadly when offered one.
So when I started bringing cookies (another gasp) made from scratch to a party or event, almost eight years ago, it was quite the novelty. But pretty soon, I wasn’t allowed to bring anything except these cookies to any event, and some of my friends’ kids even started calling me the cookie lady.
Now, in honor of my impending departure — as well as today being National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day — I am sharing the recipe with you all. While I’m away, I’m hoping a few of you might find the time to brighten your home/school/neighborhood/office with some of these yummy treats.
Heath Bar Chocolate Chip Cookies (makes 5-6 dozen)
- 4 sticks unsalted butter
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1½ cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 4½ cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 bag chocolate chips
- 1 bag milk chocolate toffee bits
- A few hours before you want to bake, set the butter sticks on the counter to soften. This is a really important step. If you melt the sticks in the microwave, your cookies will be flat and too crunchy. The best butter is that which has softened slowly on the counter, but is still slightly firm. If you forget to soften ahead of time, and absolutely must bake immediately, you can soften partially in the microwave, but be careful! Don’t soften it so much that it turns to liquid. (Call me a butter Nazi if you want, but it really makes a difference!)
- Preheat your oven to 350°.
- Place the four sticks of softened butter and both types of sugar into your mixing bowl. Mix on medium high until combined. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until well incorporated.
- Next, add one cup of flour to the bowl. Before turning on the mixer, add one teaspoon of baking soda, and the salt, on top of the flour. Mix until combined. Scrape the sides with a spatula.
- Add another cup of flour, and remaining teaspoon of baking soda. Mix until combined. Scrape the sides again to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Add the third cup of flour. Mix until combined. Scrape the sides again to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Add the final cup and a half of flour. Mix until combined. Scrape the sides again to make sure everything is incorporated.
- Pour the chocolate chips and milk chocolate toffee bits into the bowl and mix until combined. (Be sure to use milk chocolate toffee bits, for just the right blend of chocolate and toffee…)
- Use two spoons to drop rounded spoonfuls onto your cookie sheets. Bake at 350° for approximately 12-13 minutes, or just until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on the cookie sheets for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack for final cooling.
After the cookies have cooled, store (if the kids don’t devour them first) in airtight container. Or, place in freezer bags and freeze in two-dozen batches. (From frozen, cookies will thaw in a warm spot for about an hour and taste the same as they did right from the oven.)
Here’s a printable version if you’d like to keep a copy for yourself: print a PDF of this recipe.
P.S. For an extra special summer treat, sandwich softened vanilla ice cream in between two of these cookies, then wrap in aluminum foil and freeze. I’m making a bunch of these to sell at this weekend’s yard sale, to raise some extra dough (ha ha) for our projects in Nicaragua.