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JOY OF BAKING

Chocolate-toffee butter cookies

December 10, 2008
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Makes 5 dozen

This year's winner was alto Debbie Owen, a 10-year veteran of the Handel and Haydn Society Chorus. Owen is the library teacher at Hudson High School. She called her recipe "Swallowed Up in Victory." The original recipe, published in Cook's Country, won the magazine's Christmas cookie contest in 2006. It was submitted by reader Mary Hay Glass.

2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened but cool
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup Heath Toffee Bits (without chocolate)
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2/3 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk them to blend.

2. In an electric mixer, beat the butter and brown sugar on medium speed for 3 minutes or until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla.

3. On low speed, add the flour mixture in 2 additions, and mix until blended.

4. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand. Stir in the toffee bits.

5. Divide the dough in half. Roll 2 logs about 9 inches long and 1 1/2 inches wide. Flatten the logs into 2 1/2-inch-wide rectangles. Wrap rectangles in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 1/2 hours or until firm.

6. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

7. With a long knife, cut the dough 1/4-inch thick. Transfer to baking sheets, leaving 1 inch between them. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned around edges. Cool cookies completely on the sheets. Bake remaining cookies.

8. Transfer the baked cookies to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. In a heatproof bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, heat the chocolate chips, stirring occasionally, until they melt. Stir in the oil and mix until smooth.

9. Holding one side of the cookies, dip a part of each one into the chocolate or drizzle the chocolate over the cookies with a spoon. Sprinkle pecans on top. Let the chocolate set about 1 hour. Adapted from "Cook's Country"

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