Friday, August 8, 2008

To dunk or not to dunk...

When it comes to cookies, I believe that people fall into two distinct groups: the dunkers and the non-dunkers. My father's side of the family fall into the first catagory. That side of my family is Pennsylvania Dutch. As a small child I remember my grandmother on my dad's side telling me that it was very "Dutchy to dunk". And boy was that true! They are all big dunkers. They dunk way more than just their cookies. Pretty much everything sweet is plunged into some a liquid of some form. My mother, who was raised in California and transplanted to PA when she married my dad, was mystified by this practice.

I learned to dunk at an early. Taught by my grandmother and father, I was an expert dunker by the age of two, or so my mom says. Apparently I wouldn't eat a cookie if I didn't have any milk to dunk it in. I do clearly remember at the age of 4 or 5 of going to spend the day playing at a friends house. Her mom gave us some Oreos for a snack and no milk. I really wanted to eat it but with on milk, I wasn't sure what to do. I must have looked perplexed because my friends mom asked if something was wrong or if I didn't like Oreos. I told her I needed milk to eat my cookies. She told me I took after my father and handed me a glass of milk.

If you are a dunker, you also learn quickly what kinds of cookies can stand up to be dunked. If you're using milk, you can get away with most any cookies. Coffee or hot tea are a bit trickier. You definitely need a good sturdy cookie. Although some cookies are better than others for dunking, your timing is everything. You have to leave the cookie in the milk long enough to soak up some of it up, but not too long. Dunking your cookie too long will have disastrous consequences. The soaked cookie could break off and sink to the bottom of you glass. Or possibly just as your about to bite the cookie, it breaks and falls to the floor, or worse, on your lap. Horror! Now not only have you lost you cookie but your lap is covered in soggy cookie.
You non-dunkers may wonder why we bother. True we could just eat our cookies with our milk. But those of us that fall into the dunker category understand why we do it. It makes the cookie and the dunking beverage of choice, come together in a way they never could alone. It's all about that perfect bite. So to dunk or not to dunk which do you do?

Oatmeal Toffee Cookies
(about 4 dozen)

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temp.
2 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp.
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp dark rum or rum extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups quick-cooking oats
1 1/3 cups (8 oz bag) Heath Bits 'O Brickle Toffee Bits
1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate pieces(optional)
Preheat oven 375°F.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix in vanilla extract and rum.

Add flour mixture and mix until flour is just incorporated. Mix in oats chocolate and toffee bits.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto a parchment line cookie sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Allow to cool for 2 minutes on cookie sheet then transfer to cooling rack.

This is a an excellent cookie no matter how you choose to eat your cookies!


Nora B. said...

I'm a dunker! I even dunk my toast in my coffee....

This toffee oaty cookies sounds like a winner.

Grace said...

i've been known to dunk a cookie in milk from time to time. my favorite part of the whole process is drinking the leftover cookie-flavored milk--someone should bottle that and sell it. :)

Anonymous said...

No dunking for me, unless it is an Oreo and an ICE cold glass of milk!

Camille said...

I'm a dunker! I've always dunked my cookies. Is there really any other way to eat them?

Toffee and delicious!

Kristen said...

Hmmm - Oreos are a must dunk, but I don't dunk other cookies.

I had a friend who used to take a glass of milk and whenever he would have cookies, he would just stuff the cookies in the milk and then eat it with a spoon. Ick.

Jerry said...

I dunk only crunchy cookies to soften them, if they are soft and chewy, I just take one huge bite!

Shivawn said...

Oh I'm such a dunker.. My favourite cookies are those little cinnamon flavoured ones you get with tea/coffee over here in Ireland - they're called Lotus Biscuits I think. They absorb hot tea perfectly... mmm :o)

But the no. 1 dunking cookie is the Tim Tam.. Ask any Aussie or New Zealander and I'm sure they'll drool like Homer Simpson.. mmm... chocolate...mmm :o)

noble pig said...

I have to admit I am not a dunker. I like the milk unlittered with crumbs. He-he.. But I love cookies and these sound delicious!

giz said...

This is a highly dangerous dunking cooking - oatmeal, toffee bits - oh yeah, it wouldn't last long with me around for absolute certain.

Maria said...

I am a dunker! And I love toffee! Can't wait to try these with some milk!

Cynthia said...

I'm a big time dunker :)

Half Baked said...

Woohoo lots of fellow dunkers! I knew you all were out there:)

Rosie said...

Hands up here I'm a dunker too lol

Toffee and oatmeal cookies mmmmm.... so delicious!

Rosie x

karen said...

I'm not really a cookie dunker, I hardly ever have milk in the house so I've adapted to not doing it. the toffee sounds good. :)