English Toffee Cookies & Pigs

EnglishToffeeCookiesWhen I was a young girl, a local grocery store used to offer “FREE Cookies” to kids. I’m sure your grocer has something similar, but this is where I developed my intense love of “English Toffee Cookies”. Well cue the waterworks, the grocer that I frequent either doesn’t make them anymore, or everyone loves them as much as I do. So, I set out to make them from scratch… because that is what a woman with a cookie obsession does. She. Bakes. Cookies.

This cookie is a basic sugar cookie with plain toffee, (not milk chocolate coated toffee) bits inside, rolled in sugar and baked until the edges are only slightly golden. In cookies, cream of tartar is often an ingredient of *option because it can make a cookie crisp, and some folks don’t like that.  If you are transporting these cookies, using cream of tartar will make them more structurally sound and easier to toss in a bag (they won’t bend/break easily.)

FarmDaySowsThis weekend we enjoyed quite a bit of time outdoors with pigs. We have some mama sows ready to farrow (pig birth) this week, and sadly I’m traveling to Chicago to attend #BlogHerFood15 (a food blogging conference) and will miss the arrival of some pretty anticipated litters. We’ve got chairs/cots and bedding in the farrowing house for the kids (barn is away from house and late-night deliveries are all we seem to have) so no one will miss out on the action. Just me. Waaaaa.

We also put up some straw on Sunday, for bedding for the mama sows for the colder months ahead. When we wean the sows and move them out of our farrowing barn (which is heated and they never want to leave their crate in there), we need bedding because they are housed outside. Not ideal, as we’d like everyone to be indoors all year. I just take these few ‘perfect weather’ weeks in, because when snow drifts are covering most of the lots and pasture we have for the pigs, it isn’t so idyllic.
The bonus plan of maintaining straw for bedding:  a great workout, and more of a reason to indulge in a few cookies.
But this little girl seems to swipe the cookies before I can get my hands on them. (She likes them warm, I prefer them completely cooled… even better the next day.)
If it were up to this guy, we wouldn’t make cookies… because he prefers cookie dough.
Speaking of Cookie Dough… she’s due next Sunday. I’m hoping to make it home for her litter’s arrival.
Butcher pigs are back, these are the gilts that made the cut as breeding animals. Everyone else is in our freezer, or the freezers of our butcher pig customers.
Sassy is still… well… Sassy and was recently bred. She likes apples, and also likes trying to chomp your hand off while going for a bite. My husband is much braver with the big sows than I am. Much. Braver.
We’re coming up on the time of year when we wished we could have barns for all of our sows. Bucking snow drifts is fun for no one and hinders production of course. These sows enjoy themselves most in their farrowing crates, warm and out of the elements, and fear of predators. Coyote hunting season is here… well at least I know the coyotes are as I can hear them every night. Keeping in mind that the show pigs we have are merely our hobby, the amount of work it takes to raise pigs outdoors is so significant and I’d like to offer a big pat on the back to anyone that is doing it and making a nice profit to support their family.

Wait, why are you here? Oh, the COOKIES! (And if you need cookie baking tips, My Top 7 Cookie Baking Tips are here.)

English Toffee Cookies
By: Cristen
4 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup of vegetable shortening
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups of toffee bits (you can find these next to the chocolate chips in the baking aisle)
1 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl combine flour, soda, salt and cream of tartar. Whisk well. Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until combined. Add vanilla, mix until combined.
Add dry ingredients from other mixing bowl to wet ingredients. Mix only until combined.
Stir in toffee bits until evenly mixed.
Scoop cookie dough with 4 oz ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure. Make balls, roll in extra sugar. Place onto a Silpat lined baking sheet. Pat into a thick disk, the cookies will bake more evenly this way.
Bake no more than 8 on a sheet pan at a time, for 13-15 minutes or until edges are very slightly golden.
*If you want chewier cookies, omit cream of tartar and bake for only 13-14 minutes.
*If you want nicely crisp cookies, add 1/2 tsp cream of tartar and bake for 14-15 minutes.
Store in an airtight container. Will keep for 5 days, if cookies last that long in your house.
They don’t in mine. :)

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1 Comment

  • Reply Beth Ann November 2, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Oh yum. I am officially craving these. Thanks for another great recipe.

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