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Cookie Time!

Tonight I made cookies for my bf and some of his co-workers.  Just something I like to do occasionally.  I tried a new recipe, Caramel Cashew Cookies.

First I made pralines.  I tripled the recipe. Here's the water, sugar, and cream of tartar together.
Heating it up. 
Wipe down the crystalized sugar with water.
You have to watch it when it starts to turn to caramel.  It browns quickly, so once it starts to brown remove it from the heat right away.
Add the nuts.
Here it is after it's hardened.
Chop it up and add it to the batter.  Yum!  Lookin good.
I love using a cookie scooper... it makes all of the cookies uniform.
Flatten them and sprinkle chopped cashews on top.
Here they are finished.
The recipe didn't make as many cookies as I thought so I threw together chocolate toffee cheater cookies.  I call them "cheater" because they use cake mix and they're so quick to make.  
You can literally throw them together in minutes. 
I liked how it looked alternating the two cookies. 
Caramel Cashew Cookies
(I modified this recipe from the 1972 Gourmet magazine)
Cashew Praline
1/2 C sugar
2 TB water
1 pinch cream of tartar
1/2 C chopped roasted cashews
1/2 C softened butter
1/3 C sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 C flour
Making cashew praline: In a heavy skillet cook sugar, water, and cream of tartar over high heat.  Wash down any undissolved sugar on the sides with brush and water. Remove from heat once it turns a light brown. Quickly stir in chopped cashews. Pour pralines onto a buttered piece of foil and spread it into a thin sheet.  Let cool and once it is hardened, chop coarsley.
Making cookies: In a bowl beat butter and sugar until creamy.  Beat in egg yolk and vanilla.  Stir in flour.  Add chopped pralines.  Drop the dough by heaping teaspoons onto a lightly buttered baking sheet about 2 inches apart, flatten slightly and sprinkle with chopped cashews.  Bake at 350 for 14 - 16 minutes.  Let cookies cool and transfer to a rack to cool completely.
Cake Mix Cookies *these are super easy*
1 (18 oz) box of package cake mix (in my case devils food cake)
1/3 C vegetable or canola oil
2 eggs
1 C nuts, chocolate chips or whatever you prefer (in my case chocolate toffee chips and mini chocolate chips)
Place the first 2 ingredients in a bowl and mix together.  Stir in extra ingredients.  Drop the dough by heaping teaspoons on to a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Let cookies cool and transfer to a rack to cool completely.  Grab a glass of milk and enjoy! 

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