It is hot in Utah. The other day it was 102 degrees outside and of course that was a day I wanted to bake. I try not to turn on the oven when it is roasting outside, but I came across a recipe for Chocolate Toffee cookies and immediately turned on the oven.
If you are a chocolate lover, these are the cookies for you. They are super rich! They remind me of brownies, but in cookie form. The toffee melts in with the chocolate and adds extra goodness to these cookies. Make sure you have a cold glass of milk nearby; you will want a few swigs after downing a couple of these chocolaty gems.
The house may have been a sauna, but oh well. These cookies were worth the heat!
As most of you know we have been participating in She’s Becoming Doughmesstic’s Penny Pinching Pantry Raid Challenge. The goal was to only spend $100 on food for 4 weeks in July-that included groceries and eating out. Yesterday was the last day and WE DID IT! We passed with flying colors too. We only spent $26.34 on food for the entire month!
So how did we do it? We didn’t starve, I promise! We love food and eating good food. We used what we already had in our pantry, fridge, and freezer. Some days we had to be creative to come up with a tasty meal, but it was fun. I did continue to buy milk and produce, but that was about it. Luckily, I had milk coupons and found great deals on produce.
My dad and Josh’s mom came to visit and they both spoiled us a bit. They treated us to a meal out and purchased some groceries for us. Some of you may consider this cheating, but I promise we didn’t beg them to and they do this all of the time when they visit. We have great parents:)
We had extra mouths to feed this month. Besides my dad and Josh’s mom, our friends from Colorado stayed with us for a weekend, with their five kids. Our family friends from California also came to visit. Friends and Josh’s brother joined us for a couple of meals during the month. We love entertaining and I wasn’t going to let the food challenge change that.
We made sure we had plenty of food for our guests-we made them special breakfasts-whole wheat waffles, pancakes, banana bread, etc. We grilled out a lot-using the chicken and fish we had in the freezer. We made homemade pizza, baked our own bread, created new pasta dishes, salads, and sandwiches. We actually did a lot of cooking. I didn’t stop baking either. We had to offer sweet treats to our guests:) I just used the ingredients I had on hand.
Eating out wasn’t too much of a temptation. I always pack our lunches for work and we usually make dinner at home. I know Josh wanted to eat out a couple of times and I had to put my foot down, but he really was a good sport.
All said and done, I think we did a good job. I don’t know if I will stick to a $100 food budget every month, but I certainly will try.
Chocolate Toffee Rounds
Recipe from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 TBS unsalted butter
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp salt
¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup toffee bits ( I used chopped up Heath bars)
1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (or line with parchment paper) two baking sheets.
In the microwave or in a saucepan over very low heat melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring until smooth. Set the mixture aside to cool to lukewarm.
In a medium-sized bowl, beat together the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, and salt. Beat in the melted chocolate, then stir in the flour, toffee bits, and chocolate chips.
Drop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes or until the tops are cracked and dry, but the cookies are still soft to the touch. Don’t overbake these; they’ll become firm as they cool.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a rack to cool completely.