Monday, December 07, 2009

Kookie Brittle

My husband says he always knows what's coming when he sees this scene in the kitchen. It's a bowl with a dishtowel over the top.  Sometimes it takes me two days to actually get to making Kookie Brittle so the bowl stays there a bit longer than necessary, but this is my first step.

Put two sticks of butter into a bowl and allow to come to room temperature.  I usually make two batches of Kookie Brittle, so I have a plate off to the side with two sticks of butter on it and I place one of the butter wrappers over the top.  At my house this is to discourage kitty hairs from wafting into the butter.  Kitty hairs waft ya know.

Bunny was having a grand time watching me cream together the really soft butter,  salt and vanilla.
I then added in the remaining ingredients - sugar, flour, chocolate chips (I use milk chocolate, but the recipe actually calls for semi-sweet) and walnuts.

If you are wanting to freeze the cookie dough to bake another day (which is a really good idea) then I just plop the dough into a gallon sized Ziplock bag.  In the olden days when I first started making Kookie Brittle dough and freezing it, I used to freeze it in these giant logs, like you would a slice and bake type of cookie dough.

I've since learned to flatten out that dough ball into a nice thick mat right inside the bag.  Nearly all the air is forced out and the dough is very easy to store in the freezer.  You can stack these easily, too.  I've had a dozen of these stacked in the fridge before.  When you want to bake it just rip the baggie off of the cookie dough (seriously, just rip the bag) and put the dough on your cookie sheet and let it thaw before baking.  

The next round of photos have all sorts of weird coloring.  Not sure what happend, but it was all shot in my kitchen in the same hour.  

If you decide to bake the dough right away, then this is what you do.  Plop the ball of dough on the cookie sheet.  You may have more or less than the amount shown - it all depends on how much of the dough you eat before it actually gets to this point.

My rule is, once the dough makes it to the cookie sheet no more samples are allowed.

Spread the dought out with your hands.  Your edges will end up looking like this - thin and wavy. 

I have started just tucking the edges all together so it makes a little wall.  The dough will spread out during baking, but if you tuck the edges up, the spreading seems to less dramatic and the edges won't burn as heavily. 

This is what my dough typically looks like.  I love these baking sheets.  I got them at Willam Sonoma.  They don't bend, warp or making snapping sounds when placed in the oven.  I hate that there are dark spots on them.  I've tried my best to keep them stain free, but sometimes you just gotta give in.  Stains happen and no amount of scrubbing seems to be getting them off...but I digress.

Here's a close up of that lovely dough.  I've added some chopped walnuts to the top of the dough.

At this point, you can either put the dough into the oven or you can put the whole cookie sheet into the fridge.  My butter was sooooo soft when I mixed the batter that I chose to refrigerate the dough for about 15 mintues.  It just helps keep the brittle from running too much.

Here are my two pans of baked Kookie Brittle.  I baked both of these at 350º for 15- 20 minutes.  The one on the left was baked for 15 minutes.  It was not quite as done and will be a more chewy cookie.  I love this kind.  The one on the right was baked for 20 minutes and was a lot more done.  The edges got more done, too.  The cookies will be much more crisp and will snap when you break them up.  I love this kind.

I've burnt more pans of Kookie brittle than I care to mention.  I will say though, that burnt Kookie Brittle is still pretty darn good.   I've never thrown out a batch of Kookie Brittle.

The trick is to bring the brittle out of the oven when the top of the brittle is just starting to get that light brown hue.  You can see the difference in the two pans above.  I love it all ways - raw dough, chewy, crisp and burnt! 

I've taken this Kookie Brittle out of the pan in 4 large chunks and put some parchment between.  I just cut the big cookie in half and then fold one side over the other (shown above) then I slip the whole thing into a gallon sized Ziplock.

This is another way you can store or freeze Kookie Brittle.  Since it isn't broken into too many pieces, it stays pretty flat and is easy to stack. 

I broke this pan of brittle into irregular pieces and I managed not to eat any of it before the photo.

Close up.  Goodness, you can't imagine how good this is. That little piece on top never made it to the freezer.

This bag contains all of the pieces (with the exception of that little piece) from the sheet pan.  I tossed this into the freezer.  That's where I keep all of my Kookie Brittle.   It's just easier to keep it there and it thaws out by the time you take your third bite.  (ask me how I know) 

I put the large pieces on parchment just because it's easier to slide them into the bags and slide them out.  The smaller pieces don't need parchment because they come apart easily.  Just toss them in a bag, zip it up and freeze.

I hope you make this cookie.  My mom had it written on a card in her recipe box.  The card is severly stained and splattered, the sign of a well loved recipe.  When I looked this recipe up online I found one site that said it was released in a magazine ad for Nestle chocolate chips in the 1960's and has never been published again.  I'll agree with that because I've never seen it on the bag of chips or any other print ad for Nestle.  I've been keeping my eyes peeled for it for years. 

I hate that cookie is spelled with a K, but other than that, this is a winner of a cookie.


Kookie Brittle


1 cup butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
6 ounces Nestle's Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 º F.  (although I usually cook mine at 350º) Combine butter, vanilla and salt in a bowl and blend well. Gradually beat in sugar. Add flour, chocolate chips and 1/2 of the chppped nuts; mix well.  Press mixture evenly into an ungreased baking sheet.  Make sure the sheet has at least a 1" lip.  Sprinkle remaining nuts over top and gently press into dough.

At this point you can chill it in the fridge if the dough is a little soft, right on the baking sheet.

Bake for 15 - 25 minutes.

Watch it like a hawk the last 5 minutes.  

Cool completely in pan, then break Kookie Brittle into irregular pieces. Store in air-tight container. Makes about 1 3/4 pounds of brittle, depending of course how much dough is eaten before baking.


Nancy Campbell said...

This looks awesome. Thank you, from one illegal grocery store photographer to another...

Condo Blues said...

OMG those look good. So good that while I'm eating dinner at the computer (yeah I know that's bad but my husband's doing the same at his computer so we're counting it as Family Time) I'm hungry for cookies.

jb said...

I LOVE kookie brittle I LOVE kookie brittle! I LOVE that sweetgreenbunny was helping this year!

Anonymous said...

that looks so yummy! and i love that green bunny - he is totally cracking me up!

Just Breathe said...

Thanks, I will try this.

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

Oh, this looks and sounds wonderful! I will definatley be making some of these in the coming week or two. YUMMMMMMM!

Leigh of Bloggeritaville said...

And the green bunny? Its my time to cacth up on reading since I am burning the candle at both ends. Did you buy him? I guess so? Glad you did bc hes adorable!