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!