Happy belated Father’s Day! Instead of working on this post yesterday, we spent most of the day and night with my family celebrating Father’s Day. But, have no fear! There is still a recipe for you this week!
When I was growing up my parents shared kitchen responsibilities. They both cooked, together and separately, depending on how everyone’s busy schedules each night. From a young age my siblings and I were involved in meal preparation too. We would get cookbooks for kids from the library and, in the summer, the kids got to choose and make one dinner during the week (with supervision, of course). Granted, they were not elaborate, or probably even very good meals, but we were proud of what we made and learned a lot of skills from those experiences. The kid’s cookbooks stand out vividly in my memory, but my love for baking came even before we looked at any picture-filled pint-sized cooking guides.
My dad taught my brother, sister and I to be creative from a young age. He told us about all of the inventions he made as a kid and encouraged any creative ideas we had. One of the ways I was encouraged to use creativity was with my good ‘ol Easy Bake Oven. I mixed together desserts from those crappy little packages made for the toy light bulb oven and very proudly served two bite-sized “treats” to my family of five for dessert (my perception of how many people those tiny pans served was a bit off). When I got old enough and graduated from the Easy Bake Oven to the real oven, my dad was the one who taught me to bake and to love the process of baking.
We often made oatmeal chocolate chip cookies together, with me carefully putting the butter into the mixing bowl and him demonstrating how to crack an egg. After so many years of cookie-making together we both know the recipe by heart now. Working together, we can make over 100 cookies in 40 minutes, start to finish. Talk about a good team.
These oatmeal toffee chip cookies still have the oatmeal from our traditional cookie recipe but provide a much nuttier flavor throughout the entire dessert. The toffee and little bit of sweet chocolate add a great crunch and butteriness to each bite while the oats ramp up the texture and make the cookie more substantial. Brown sugar replaces all of the granulated sugar and adds depth while enhancing the toffee flavor even further. These cookies are so easy to whip up and offer a great twist on typical oatmeal cookies. No matter the cookie, these, our usuals, or a new recipe, I can thank my dad for encouraging my creativity to try new things, experiment and enjoy the wonderful baking process.
I’m so blessed to have such an encouraging, loving father. I have learned so much and continuously learn more and more every day from you, Pops. Happy belated father’s day to the best dad in the world!
Oatmeal Toffee Chip Cookies
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup oats (not quick cooking)
2 teaspoons baking soda
½ sea salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¾ cup butter, room temperature
1 ¼ cups brown sugar (I used a combination of dark and light)
2 teaspoons vanilla
½ cup toffee (or Heath bar) bits
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer combine the butter and brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in the egg and vanilla.
Add in the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until just incorporated into the wet ingredients. Fold in the toffee/heath bar bits. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes (if you bake them right away your cookies will spread all across the pan).
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper and place golf ball-sized cookie dough balls on each sheet, with room between them for spreading. Bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. The edges will be brown but the centers will still be soft and may not look all the way done. Let them cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.
This dough can also be frozen for ready-to-eat cookies at any time. To do this, freeze the cookie dough balls on a baking sheet. After they are completely frozen, transfer to an airtight bag or container. When you are ready to bake, follow above directions and increase baking time by a few minutes. Keep an eye on them as baking time in different ovens may vary.