toffee crunchers

The crunch in these Toffee Crunchers comes from a combination of rice cereal and potato chips, the flavour from brown sugar and toffee bits.

This week’s cookie is a recipe that I stumbled across in one of my cookbooks one day, and was totally intrigued by the ingredients list. Spoiler – that crunch in the title? Is from Rice Krispies and potato chips. Whaaat? Yup. So of course I flagged it and went out and actually bought the cereal and chips just for this cookie, and have been looking forward to trying it forEVER. 

Well I’m going to be honest here – after making them, I was really on the fence about posting this recipe. It didn’t turn out at all the way I was envisioning, and I suspect not at all the way it’s supposed to either. I actually almost scrapped the recipe before I even finished baking them. But they weren’t horrible, so I decided to finish them up and let my coworkers decide.

And you can thank my coworkers for the fact this recipe is being posted at all. My coworkers love these cookies. I’ve gotten a couple of “omg, this is my favourite!”, one “super-duper good!”, and an email with the subject line “These are the best cookies yet! Amazing!” Huh. What do I know? Apparently not much.

The crunch in these Toffee Crunchers comes from a combination of rice cereal and potato chips, the flavour from brown sugar and toffee bits.

A friend of mine once told me about having some cookies that contained rice krispies and how good they were, followed by his attempts to find the recipe and how every recipe he tried didn’t work out because the cereal just ended up all soggy before baking. Well this one looked promising because there weren’t really any wet ingredients in the dough. Just butter and dry ingredients.

It all came together really easily, but… the dough ended up being super crumbly. Like way more crumbly than any shortbread cookie I’ve ever made. The recipe says they’ll spread out a lot, but the first tray I baked just came out as crumbly balls of cookie that looked exactly like what I put on the tray. They didn’t rise or spread at all. They tasted great – and the cereal and chips stayed nice and crispy, but the cookies themselves were a big fat fail.

And when cookies go wrong, there are so many possible culprits. Was the butter too cold? Possibly. I thought it was okay, but my kitchen tends to be on the cold side this time of year. Was the oven not hot enough? Maybe. My oven is completely out of calibration. I use an oven thermometer to check temperature, but maybe it fluctuated too much during the baking. Who knows? It’s certainly not the first time I’ve had issues with cookies not spreading like they’re supposed to.

The crunch in these Toffee Crunchers comes from a combination of rice cereal and potato chips, the flavour from brown sugar and toffee bits.

Like I said, I was tempted to just cut my losses and make some brownies or something instead, but I wanted to try one thing first. I tried adding a bit of water to make a more cohesive dough. That totally helped – and the cookies spread out a little bit but still not much. And the added moisture softened up the crunchy ingredients. Boo.

So again, I was tempted to call it a fail and do something else. But again, the cookies weren’t horrible, and they had a bit of a crunch still (enough of a crunch that people are asking what makes them crunchy). So I packed them up and took them to work. And the rest is history. I think if I didn’t have a preconception of what this cookie should be like, I would have been perfectly happy with it. If someone else had brought this cookie in and I hadn’t seen the recipe, I would have been perfectly happy with it. So I’ll let you decide for yourselves.

If anyone tries this recipe, please leave a comment to let me know how it worked out for you! Did the dough hold together better than mine? Or did you have to add water too? Did the cookies spread like they were supposed to? I reeeeeally want this recipe to work out…

The crunch in these Toffee Crunchers comes from a combination of rice cereal and potato chips, the flavour from brown sugar and toffee bits.

toffee crunchers

<h2>toffee crunchers</h2>

Adapted from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. The original recipe says it will make about 54 cookies. I got 75 cookies using my usual tablespoon-sized cookie scoop.

ingredients

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1-1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 cups lightly crushed plain salted potato chips

2 cups Rice Krispies

1-1/3 cups toffee bits

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, baking soda, and baking powder together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Turn the mixer down to low and add the flour, mixing until just barely combined. Remove from the mixer and add in the potato chips, cereal, and toffee bits, either with a spatula or by hand. I prefer to knead inclusions in by hand to ensure they're distributed evenly.

At this point the dough should be ready to bake. I found it too crumbly to work with, however, and had to add a couple tablespoons of water.

Using a small cookie dough scoop or a tablespoon, portion the dough onto the baking sheets about 2 inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes, until lightly golden brown around the edges, rotating the baking sheet halfway through the baking time. Allow to cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing the cookies from the pan and allowing them to cool completely.

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