Ashley a la carte

I have always been a toffee person. Crispy or melt-in-your-mouth, toffee has always been my sweet of choice. So you can imagine my horror when I discovered that Panera Bread had discontinued their toffee nut cookies. For some reason, toffee had seemed impossible to make and completely out of the question with my kitchen skills. But when I happened upon a bag of toffee bits on a trip to the grocery store, I decided to give my kitchen skills a run for their money with a browned butter toffee chip cookie.
Brown butter has always been my mother’s weapon of choice on vegetables, as a drizzle to top off a cake, or to add a smoky, deep flavor to turkey or steak. For me, the smell of browning butter always reminded me of sweet, thin caramel. However, making brown butter has always been my weak spot. I definitely did not inherit my mother’s skill on the stovetop (though, I excelled in the oven), but I loved the deep flavor and soft texture that it could add to cookies.
I finally decided to try it. I started out with a cup and a half of butter in a light pan. My recipe told me that it should have browned in about eight minutes, so when I hit the 10 minute mark and didn’t see the browning that I was supposed to, I got nervous. Around the 18 minute mark, I finally saw the bubbling, and the smell of nutty, toasted butter filled the air. I knew it was ready. After removing the butter from the pot, I moved it to a smaller container and let it solidify. If I did it again, I would be more careful about mixing the butter and sugar together and allowing it to get fluffy but not separate. Overall, the toffee cookies turned out wonderfully, adding a chewy texture to the already soft cookie. The browned butter added a nutty, deep flavor that complimented the toffee taste perfectly.