Monday, May 9, 2011

Crunch Time Cookies: Diane Mott Davidson

I posted this last month on Mystery Fanfare, but it's another of those great cross-over posts... my mystery and chocolate worlds collide. Mystery author, Diane Mott Davidson wrote a book called Dying for Chocolate, so, of course, I'm fond of her titles, books and recipes!

Diane Mott Davidson has been called the "Julia Child of Mysteries" and indeed she is one of the first mystery writers to put recipes in her books. One of my first memories of Diane Mott Davidson was meeting her at Malice Domestic where she was handing out samples of her chocolate chip cookies in the bathroom. Setting aside, they were terrific. Over the years, Diane has written over 14 Goldie catering novels. Her latest is Crunch Time, and the main recipe is "to die for".

Here's a video of Diane talking about the book. The recipe from Diane Mott Davidson is on the HarperCollins author website. And, yes, it's delicious!

Davidson is on tour, so check your local bookstore to see if she's coming to a location near you! Enjoy the video! I did!

Crunch Time Cookie Recipe
by Diane Mott Davidson

1 cup pecan halves
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ cup softened cream cheese
1 cup dark brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups rolled oats
8 ounces (1½ cups) semisweet chocolate chips
4 ounces (2/3 cup) toffee bits (Heath toffee bits or “Bits o’ Brickle”)

In a wide frying pan, sauté the pecans over low heat, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, or until the nuts begin to change color, and emit a nutty scent. Turn the nuts out onto paper towels and allow them to cool, then chop them roughly and set aside.

Sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until the mixture is very creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat very well, until the mixture is creamy and uniform. Add the granulated sugar and again beat very well, until you have a uniform, creamy mixture. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla.

Using a large wooden spoon, stir in the dry mixture just until combined. Then stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and toffee bits, blending only until thoroughly mixed.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and put it in the refrigerator until completely chilled, three hours or overnight.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, take the bowl out of the refrigerator and allow the batter to warm slightly while the oven is preheating.

Preheat the oven to 375°. Place silicone mats on two cookie sheets.

Measure the batter out by tablespoonfuls, two inches apart. Place no more than a dozen cookies on each sheet. Bake, one sheet at a time, for 9–11 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are very brown and the centers are no longer soft.

When you remove a cookie sheet from the oven, place it on a cooling rack for 2 minutes, so the cookies can set up. Then use a pancake flipper to remove the cookies to cooling racks, and allow to cool completely. Store in airtight containers or in zipped freezer bags. These cookies freeze well.


ChrisS said...

I just tried this recipe today after my mom found it in the book. I found that the cookies spread too much and break up easily if you use the amount of dough they recommend. I switched to using a heaping teaspoonful (a teaspoon like you eat with, not a measuring teaspoon) and they were more managable.

Janet Rudolph said...

Thanks, Chris, that's the fun of baking... always making adjustments :-)

NJ Kinder said...

Glad I saw your post Chris. Making those cookies right now!