Admittedly, it’s been a few thousand years since Santa made an appearance in this household. Okay, I’ll admit that he used to show up, along with a Christmas tree or two, when the kids were little. I have fond memories of our late-night hours on Christmas Eve, scrambling to assemble everything, ably assisted by Baba and Grandpa Ed.
Henry and I still laugh over that massive GI Joe aircraft carrier which was situated next to the bucolic Care Bears village. Suffice it to say that within a couple of hours, the Care Bears were targets of the missiles next door. Oh, the joy of having boys…
Perhaps I should mention that I had not yet converted to Judaism in those days.
If Santa still visits your house, perhaps you need to cut him a break this year. I mean, how many Oreos can he face? Do him (and yourself) a BIG favor and make these toffee crunch cookies instead. I made them today and I confess that I consumed a few more than I should have. (Oh hell, I think I devoured about 6 of the damn things – so much for my 17-Day Diet). Yep, they are THAT good – crunchy, crispy, buttery and brown sugar-y. Serve a few to Santa, hoard a few for yourself and keep some of the dough in your freezer so you can bake them off whenever you need a fix. You will thank me for this!
Happy Holidays from my sweet dogs. Lucy and Roxy (top 2 white dogs) have health issues right now. I'm just happy to have them here for one more holiday.
TOFFEE CRUNCH COOKIES (adapted from Jeannie Eddy)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs (I used extra-large)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose, unbleached flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 10-oz. bag toffee candy chips (like Heath Bar)
1 cup regular oatmeal
1 cup sweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup whole, blanched and skinned almonds, chopped
Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, beat until creamy, then add both sugars and the salt. Beat until well-combined and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down bowl several times. Add eggs and vanilla and continue to beat until mixture is well-combined and creamy.
Add flour and baking soda. Mix on low speed until just combined. In another bowl, stir together the toffee chips, oatmeal, coconut and almonds. Add this to the mixer and blend briefly to combine.
Place the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a round. Wrap well and refrigerate for at least an hour until dough is chilled. Scoop dough into balls (I used a 1-inch ice cream scoop) and place on a baking sheet. Freeze until ready to use.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350-degrees. Place balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing 2-inches apart. Bake for 12 – 14 minutes, or until just golden. Remove from oven, cool slightly, then place cookies on a baking rack to cool completely.
Yield: 100 small cookies (using a 1-inch scoop)
• These things are GREAT! Santa will love you, I promise!
• The chopped almonds are crucial to this recipe. Don’t be tempted by slivered almonds. The chopped-up ones give these cookies great texture and crunch.
So here’s the thing about Christmas and Chanukah. We sort of celebrate both. Henry was out last night at a Christmas party (first night of Chanukah) while I stayed home, lit candles and watched “A Very Glee Christmas.” Oy veh. Oh, and I also decorated a VERY small Christmas tree which now resides on the buffet in my dining room. Don't tell my kids ...