Aside from getting to see new sights and meet new people, the best part about traveling abroad is tearing up the aisles of the local grocery store in search of foods not sold in the U.S. Whenever life takes me to anew country, I beeline for the supermarket and load my cart up with whatever catches my eye. Nutella in every shape and form, chips (or crisps as the locals might say) in new and exotic flavors, candy bars with weird names and textures, and, of course, local cookies. This recipe is based on England’s famous Hobnob cookies, which use oats to create a buttery, almost granola bar appeal. We cover them in chocolate and coat them with bits of toffee to plus up their otherwise wholesome existence.
For the toffee bits:
Line a half-sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and salt, and whisk to combine.
Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture thoroughly boils, darkens to the color of peanut butter and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 5 minutes.
Pour the mixture onto the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread into an even layer. Let cool for 30 minutes.
Break the hardened toffee into shards. Transfer to a food processor or plastic bag and crush into pea-size bits.
For the chocolate toffee hobnobs:
Heat the oven to 325 F. Pan-spray or line two half-sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
Pulse the oats in a food processor until broken up into a coarse meal.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar and honey on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes until well-combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the oats, milk and vanilla, and beat until smooth.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt, and paddle on low speed just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
Using a 1/2-ounce cookie scoop (or 1-tablespoon measure), scoop the dough onto the prepared pans 2 to 3 inches apart.
Bake at 325 F until flattened and evenly browned throughout, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool the cookies slightly on the pans.
In a microwave-safe medium bowl, melt the chocolate and oil in the microwave in 30-second spurts, stirring after each, until smooth.
Dip the top of each cookie into the melted chocolate. Lift and gently shake to allow any excess to drip off. Return to the sheet pan and repeat with the entire batch.
Sprinkle the crushed toffee bits over the top. Let the chocolate set for about 2 hours, cementing the toffee bits in place. Speed this up by popping the cookies in the fridge or freezer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Transfer the cookies to a plate or an airtight container for storage. At room temperature, the cookies will keep fresh for 3 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.
Reprinted from “All About Cookies” Copyright © 2022 by MomoMilk, LLC. Photographs copyright © 2022 by Henry Hargreaves. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.