Friday, June 22, 2012

60 Years Young (and English Toffee Cookies)

Two Saturdays ago we celebrated this guy:

That's my Dad and he turned 60 this month.  60, and boy has he lived so fully all 60 years of that life.  What an inspiration, and someone I admire to my very core.

My Dad is one awesome dude.  He is first and foremost a family guy.  That is the heart and soul of his being. He is also a giver.  He gives of his time freely and without hesitation.  Along with that, he seems to have an unlimited amount of energy which is infectious and inspires others to give just a little bit more.  He is a writer, a joker, a hard worker, an A+ waffle maker, inspiring, optimistic and absolutely unconditionally loving.  And all of these qualities were highlighted by the 80 guests that showed up for his birthday party to celebrate him!  There were friends from all walks of his, friends that went back to his high school days, former co-workers, neighborhood friends, church friends, friend friends, fellow writers...certainly I am missing some.  There was a beautiful toast written by my sister that brought tears to everyone's eyes.  The whole day  was a complete joy.

Oh, and there were cookies.  Lots and lots of cookies.  No one likes cookies more than my dad (although my husband and sister are close runner ups), so we had a cookie bar with 4 different kinds of cookies baked by my niece Paige, my sister Tessa and yours truly.  We made Peanut Butter, White Chocolate Macadamia Nut, Brown Butter Chocolate Chip, and Toffee cookies.  They were all delicious and perfect for the occasion, but the Toffee cookies were the ones that received the highest compliments.  Before I share the recipe, here are a few photos my dad doing what he does best...enjoying and loving his fam.

Photo credit: A Better Story Studios

I love you Dad!  So glad I could celebrate #60 with you!!

English Toffee Cookies
Adapted from Cookin' Canuck

Makes about 3 dozen

2 1/2 cups (350 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (310 grams) granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup for rolling dough
14 tablespoons (195 grams) unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup Heath bits

Preheat oven to 350F.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add butter and 1 1/2 cups sugar.  On medium speed, beat for 5-7 minutes, or until the mixture is very light and fluffy.  Beat the eggs in one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition.  Add vanilla and mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing until just combined after each addition.  Add the heath bits and mix on low for another 30 seconds, or until the bits are thoroughly incorporated.

Place additional 1/2 cup of sugar in a shallow bowl.  Roll the dough into 2 tablespoon sized balls and roll in the sugar.  Place dough balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper about 1 inch apart.  Bake on middle rack of the oven for 14-16 minutes, or until lightly golden brown around the edges and slightly puffy in the middle.  Allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes then remove to a wire cooling rack.  These are amazing warm, right out of the oven, so next you should definitely...

Eat it!!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Featured Co-Host on Momma's Meals

I’m so excited to be working with Tammi as a Featured Co-Host over at Momma’s Meals. Tammi is the Momma and Cook behind Momma's Meals. Every Friday she has what’s called “Featured Friday’s”. So every Friday she has someone new to Co-Host with her. This week Tammi asked me and I graciously accepted. All she does is choose a recipe from my yummy collection and makes it in her own kitchen for her and her family. Then she posts pictures and comments about it! Sounds fun doesn’t it! Be sure to visit Tammi at Momma’s Meals where she posts lots of new recipes and writes about being a SAHM to her daughter Madison!! Let’s see what Tammi has cooked up from my collection...head on over to Momma's Meals!

Happy Friday everyone!  Hope you have a fabulous weekend!