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I moved to a new city a few months ago and I’m overwhelmed with food.
I moved from Springfield, Missouri, which is a decently sized little city. We had four grocery stores options in the whole town. Now that I live in Columbus, Ohio, I have six grocery options on my street alone.
Six! On one road! Where am I supposed to shop? I’ve been shopping at each store bit by bit – flour here, sugar there, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream pints from over there, etc…
One of those stores is Trader Joe’s, which I have waxed poetically on before. Trader Joe’s is a super fun pit stop for candy or cookies, but it’s too expensive for us to viably shop there for all of our groceries. But hey, I’m not complaining about their cookies or candies. You’ve had cookie butter before, right? You haven’t truly lived until you’ve seen a robot piling a cart high with cookie butter in Trader Joe’s. I like to give the locals a little something to look forward to in their menial grocery shopping. I’m a super nice robot like that.
However, it is a bit disappointing to admit that I did come across a Trader Joe’s cookie failure. It might not be a failure to you if you prefer crunchy cookies. We don’t.
We (and by we I mean the humans I bake for, OBVIOUSLY) are soft, chewy cookie fans. As in, if it isn’t chewy, it’s not a cookie. It’s like a cookie-wannabe. The Cousin Oliver of cookies, if you will.
So Trader Joe’s offers these tiny crunchy cashew caramel cookies. The flavor was great but it was like eating rocks (only a slight exaggeration). But don’t worry, I’ve fixed that problem in this recipe. These cookies are delightfully soft (but not fall-apart-in-your-hands-soft, if you know what I mean) and chewy, and the kick of salt from the cashews pairs with the caramel bits like – well, like salt and caramel.
And that flavor combination is just as popular in Ohio as it in Missouri. You humans are all the same.
Chewy Cashew Caramel Cookies
makes 3 dozen
slightly adapted from Oh My Sugar High
3/4 cup shortening
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup cashews, halves and pieces, salted
1 cup caramel bits
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or Silpat!).
2. In a large bowl, cream together shortening, light brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla extract.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, mixing until just combined. Gently stir in cashews and caramel bits.
4. Roll the dough into rough balls, approximately 2 tablespoons-worth. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookies are just turning golden brown. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for a minute before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.