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~Nestlē Toll House Sea Salt, Caramel, Pecan Cookies~

IMG_6304When it comes to Toll House cookies, aka, chocolate chip cookies in general, there are two kinds of people:  those who add nuts (usually pecans or walnuts), and, those who do not.  I'm a nutty kinda gal.  My husband is not a nutty kinda guy.  There's more.  Our grandson is allergic to nuts, so, nuts of any kind are not in the cards when I'm baking cookies for him.  So, while today's cookies are chocked full of lightly-toasted crunchy pecans, it is not unusual to find my cookie jars (four, small apothecary-type jars at our coffee bar) full of nut-free Toll House cookies either.

What the heck is a baking truffle?  Had I been asked this question a few short weeks ago, I'd have been at a loss for an answer.  That said, it's one of the best new-to-me inventions in quite some time. I don't refer to myself as a consummate baker, but, I do keep my cookie jars (four, small apothecary-type jars at our coffee bar) full of homemade cookies at all times.  For the most part, it does take Joe and I a bit of time, a two-to-three weeks, to eat them all, but, when the jars are empty, I bake cookies again, and, I'm always in search of a new recipe or twist on an old one.

IMG_6184 2Hello Nestlē sea salt and caramel baking truffles.  Just reading the label made my mouth start to water. I've always loved milk-chocolate-covered soft-caramels, and, when sprinkled with a touch of sea salt, all the better.  Nestlē's baking truffles, which resemble tiny candies rather than teardrop-shaped chocolate chips, are:  soft caramels enrobed in Nestlē's signature semi-sweet chocolate.  I bought eighteen nine-ounce bags.  I've got plans for these, starting with cookies.

Nestlē Toll House Cookies made w/Nestlē sea salt caramel baking truffles + pecans.  Need I say any more than that?

IMG_61812 1/4  cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached, all-purpose flour

1  teaspoon each:  baking powder, baking soda and salt

1  cup salted butter, at room temperature, very soft (2 sticks)

3/4  cup granulated sugar

3/4  cup firmly-packed dark brown sugar

2  teaspoons each: pure chocolate extract and pure vanilla extract

2  large eggs, preferably at room temperature

18  ounces Nestlē sea salt & caramel baking truffles (2, 9-ounce bags)

6  ounces rough-chopped and very light-toasted pecans

IMG_6265 IMG_6265 IMG_6265~ Step 1.  Using a chef's knife, rough chop the pecans and place them on a small (toaster-oven-sized) baking pan.  Roasted on center rack of 325º oven until fragrant and barely browned and very lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely, about 10-15 minutes.

IMG_6234 IMG_6234 IMG_6234 IMG_6234 IMG_6234 IMG_6234 IMG_6234~Step 2.  In a small bowl, stir together the dry ingredients:  the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and, salt.  In a large bowl place the butter, both sugars, and both extracts.  On high-speed of hand-held electric mixer, beat until creamy, about 3 minutes.  Beat in the two eggs, about 1 minute.  Lower mixer speed, add the flour and gradually incorporate it into the mixture, until a smooth, sticky dough forms.

IMG_6275 IMG_6277 IMG_6283~Step 3.  Using a large rubber spatula, fold in the baking truffles and pecans. Using a 1 1/2" ice-cream scoop as a measure, drop cookies, well-apart, onto each of 4, parchment-lined, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans (15 per pan).

IMG_6287 IMG_6287~ Step 4.  Bake, one-pan-at-a-time on center rack of 325° oven, 13-14 minutes, until light-golden. Remove from oven and use a small spatula to transfer to a wire cooling rack, to cool completely, prior to storing in an air-tight container.

Patience people.  Cool cookies.  Then, ready your glass of milk:

IMG_6315Crispy, chewy, thin, delicate, &, full of oozy-gooey semi-sweet chocolate & caramel flavor + crunchy pecans too:

IMG_6298Nestlē Toll House Sea Salt, Caramel, Pecan Cookies:  Recipe yields 5 dozen 2 1/2"-round cookies.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; small baking pan; hand-held electric mixer; large rubber spatula; 4, 17 1/2" x 12 1/2" baking pans; parchment paper; 1 1/2" ice-cream scoop; wire cooling rack; small spatula

6a0120a8551282970b026be4192589200dCook's Note: The Nestlē Crunch Bar -- creamy milk chocolate chocked full of crunchy-crisped rice.  It, along with the Reese's peanut butter cup (milk chocolate and peanut butter) is at the top of my "favorite candy bars list".  As with several other favorites, for an adult activity, I prefer to chop up said candy bars and bake cookies with their bits and pieces -- I prefer a cookie to a candy bar and I adore a candy bar in a cookie. Try my ~ Milk-Chocolate-Lovers Nestlē-Crunch-Bar Cookies ~.

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2020)


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