Where's the hilarity in that? So when it was my turn I'd try to make the message I passed on as far as possible from the original. With me playing the game, the last person, instead of relating some lame tale of a lady's shopping excursion would say, " Twelve tiny trolls tripped while teaching tinikling in tight togas." There, much more amusing.
Of course, not everyone saw it the way I did. They'd back track the message and pinpoint me as the source and scold me for not playing right. Well, why play right if it's not fun?
I'm kind of like that with recipes that are passed on to me. I like to play with them and tinker a bit. I'll do a cookbook recipe exactly as written, but for some reason, a recipe from a blog or that a friend gives me, I need to tweak it a bit to make it my own.
Recently I had the privilege of joining a great group of women to make scones for our church's Easter services. Two thousand scones, give or take a few. We had a great assembly line going. My job was to transfer weighed globs of dough to the ladies who were patting and cutting. When all of the dough was weighed out I moved to the other end of the line and drizzled lemon icing over the baked scones.
While I was icing I got into a conversation with the lady next to me. We discovered that we're both bake-aholics and love Taste of Home. Several years ago Taste of Home had a cookie recipe contest and they published all the best recipes, all except for the winning one. That irked me. But Judy, the nice lady co-icing with me, told me how she had ordered many boxes of the winning cookie recipe mix from Taste of Home and then had baked over 200 batches of cookies to try to reproduce this recipe. Then she offered to send her version to me!! Wow!
I was blown away by her generosity and by the cookies. I didn't feel quite right making them straight from her recipe and posting it that way, as that was her work. Also, I didn't have a few of the ingredients. So I played telephone and changed it up. But just a bit.
These cookies are different from any cookie I've made before. They're not a standard chocolate chip cookie with something different added or substituted. They are moist, with crunchy, chewy bits, redolent of butter, and with a palate teasing aftertaste that makes you reach for another one to figure out what that elusive flavor is. My husband said that the dough was fabulous eaten with a spoon and was almost better than the cookies.
The original recipe called for some artificial flavors, but I chose to pump up the flavor with a trick from my low-fat days, browning the butter. This delivers a more intense butter flavor with no change to the calories or consistency.
Enjoy my version of the prize-winning cookies then play with it and make it your own. Then pass it on.
Lynn's Butter Brickle Munchers
3/4 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
2-1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/16 tsp anice extract
3 cups flour
1/2 Tbsp baking soda
1/2 tbsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup Hershey's Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits
2/3 cup Pecans, toasted and minced
1 Cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
1- At least 3 hours ahead of time, brown the butter by melting it in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat. Adjust the heat so the butter boils very gently but steadily. Cook, uncovered and stirring frequently, for 4 to 6 minutes, until foaming subsides and butter turns golden but not brown; watch carefully to avoid burning on the bottom. Immediately remove pan from heat, stirring for 30 seconds. Set aside to cool slightly then place in the refrigerator until firm.
2- Allow browned butter to come to room temperature. You want it softened, but not melty. As the browned butter chills, it will separate into layers. Don't worry about this, just chuck the whole thing into a large mixing bowl with the brown sugar and cream them together until fluffy.
3- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one.
4- Add the Vanilla, almond extract and anice extract and beat well.
5- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cocoa powder. Add the flour mixture gradually to the butter mixture with the mixer on Low speed, mixing just till the flour is incorporated.
6- Stir in the toffee bits, pecans, and the chocolate chips.
7- Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake at 375 deg. F for 9-11 minutes, just till set and very lightly browned. A little moist looking in the center is OK. Cool on the baking sheet for 3 minutes then remove to wire rack to cool. Store in an airtight container. They can be frozen.