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Chocolate chip cookies are by far my favorite cookie. Perfect in their simplicity, chocolate chip cookies evoke feelings of warmth. They are my “go to” cookie to fill the cookie jar. Excellent for doling out to munchy boys and their friends. But sometimes that simple chocolate chip cookie needs to get a little dolled up. Sometimes, you just need to take chocolate chip cookies to The Next Level.

This is another recipe originated with my Grandma. I seem to be going through her recipe box, lately. These chocolate chippers have a whole lot of “extras” going on inside. The end result is a flavor party that is every bit as homey as a plain chocolate chip cookie,only jazzed up a bit for a night on the town.

Make these cookies, today!

Next Level Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 C. unsalted butter, softened

¾ C. granulated sugar

¾ C. packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ C. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 C. milk chocolate chips

1 C. dried cherries

1 C. toffee bits

1 ½ C. old-fashioned oats


Hooray! A cast of ingredients shot!  I can’t say that I’ll remember to do this every time, but I must say it’s makes me feel more “official” when I do.

Start in the usual cookie fashion by creaming together the sugars and butter until light and fluffy.

Add the egg and vanilla extract, and stir until well combined.

Dump in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix on low until well incorporated.

Stir in the oats until a soft dough forms. Now it’s time to get busy with all of the little bits that go into the cookie: milk chocolate chips, dried cherries, and toffee bits.

Speaking of toffee–have you made your own butter toffee, yet? You really should. It beats that pants off of store bought toffee. I make my own toffee because I can skip all those pesky almond ingredients that are found in store bought toffee. Yay for Son #2! However, if you don’t have to worry about nut allergies, the packed Bits o’ Brickle or a couple of toffee bars will do just fine. You can find them in bags near the chocolate chips.

If you go the make your own or candy bar route, then put several toffee slabs in a zippered bag, and roll over it a few times with a rolling pin.

Be careful not to turn it completely to dust–a few chunks of toffee make life interesting.

Dump in the milk chocolate chips…

…and the dried cherries. The dried cherries really make this cookie! Their tart little bite cuts the sweetness quite nicely. If you can’t find dried cherries in your area, sweetened dried cranberries will do in a pinch.

And last, but certainly not least, pour in the toffee bits. Stir all of the bits into the dough on low speed, until evenly distributed.

Divide the cookie dough into 3 equal parts, and put each portion onto a sheet of plastic wrap.

Use the plastic wrap to help mold the dough into logs, about 2 inches in diameter. Refrigerate the logs for at least an hour. This cookie dough is very soft, and the cookies spread a lot while baking. The longer you refrigerate the dough, the less the cookies will spread.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Unwrap the cookie dough logs, and slice the dough into 1/2 inch wide slices. The sharper the knife to cut through all the delicious chunks in the dough, the better.

Place the slices 2-3 inches apart on a baking sheets that has been lined with a baking mats, or parchment paper. The baking sheets must be lined, or the melted toffee will cause the cookies to stick.  Like irrevocably. Just look at all those yummy chunks of goodness in that cookie dough!

Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and the centers are set. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes. These cookies are thin & chewy, so they need a little extra time on the baking sheet to be firm enough to hold their shape when being transferred to a wire rack to completely cool.

Tower O’ Yum! I love how thin and chewy these cookies are. They really pack an unexpected punch of flavor with the chunks of creamy milk chocolate, the tangy bite of dried cherries, the buttery toffee finish.

Make Next Level Chocolate Chip Cookies the next time you’re feeling sassy and want a little more than “just a cookie.”

Next Level Chocolate Chip Cookies

http://comfortablydomestic.com

Yields 3-4 Dozen

1 C. unsalted butter, softened

¾ C. granulated sugar

¾ C. packed brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 ½ C. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 C. milk chocolate chips

1 C. dried cherries

1 C. toffee bits

1 ½ C. old-fashioned oats

  1. Cream butter and both sugars together in the bowl of a stand mixer, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla, stirring until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix on low speed until incorporated.
  4. Stir in milk chocolate chips, dried cherries, toffee bits, and old-fashioned oats.
  5. Divide the dough into thirds, and place on individual pieces of plastic wrap. Roll each portion of dough into a log, and wrap in the plastic wrap.
  6. Refrigerate the 3 cookie dough logs for at least an hour. Longer is better.
  7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with silicone baking mats, or parchment paper.
  8. Remove cookie dough logs from the refrigerator, and slice into ½ inch rounds. Place dough slices onto prepared baking sheets, at least 2 inches apart. These cookies spread a lot, so try not to crowd the baking sheet.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for 9-12 minutes, or until edges of cookies are golden brown, and centers are set.

10.  Allow cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. (Note: These      cookies are thin and chewy, with a lot of “stuff” in them. It is important to let them “set” on the cookie sheets after baking.)

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