ciabatta!

Fresh out of the oven!  The recipe’s from Peter Reinhart’s excellent Artisan Breads Every Day.

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peanut butter chocolate toffee cookies

I love browsing in the baking goods aisle in my local grocery store.  I particularly love looking at all the different kinds of baking chips — semisweet, bittersweet and milk chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, cinnamon chips, and on and on.  Among my favorites are Heath Toffee Bits.  There are two varieties — Bits O’ Brickle, which are just the toffee bits, and Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits, which are pretty much chopped-up Heath Bars.  I found this recipe on the back of the bag of the latter.  Ordinarily, I prefer not to bake with shortening, but I decided to bake them as written to see how they’d turn out.  I was concerned that substituting butter for the shortening would produce cookies with too much spread and that were too thin.  And they are pretty thin, even with the shortening.  Maybe next time I’ll try them with the butter and substitute baking powder for the baking soda (baking soda contributes to spread).  One more thing: the recipe cautions to be careful to not overbake the cookies. However, the cookies looked a bit raw at the 8-minute mark so I baked them for another minute or two.  Even then, I thought the centers were a bit iffy.  I had to cool them on the baking sheet for longer than the recommended 2 minutes as well; they were just too soft and fragile to move at that point.
The verdict on the cookies?  Thin and chewy, with crisp edges — I love how the peanut butter and chocolate toffee bits play against each other. Give them a try!
Heath Bits Peanut Butter Cookies
Makes about 3 dozen cookies. 
1/2 cup (95g) shortening
3/4 cup (202g) creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups (284g) packed light brown sugar
3 tablespoons milk (I used 1%)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups (181g) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups (8 oz. pkg.) Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits
Preheat oven to 375°F. Beat shortening, peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Add egg; beat just until blended. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually beat into peanut butter mixture. Stir in 1 cup bits; reserve remainder for topping. Drop by heaping teaspoons about 2 inches apart onto ungreased cookie sheet; top each with reserved bits. Bake 7 to 8 minutes or until set. Do not overbake. Cool 2 minutes. Remove to wire rack. Cool completely.