Monday, September 24, 2012

A Dangerous Secret

I admire secret keepers.  Probably because I'm not one.  Don't get me wrong, if you tell me something in confidence, you can trust me not to pass it on, especially if it's personal and private.  That's different though.  I don't consider closed conversations the same as "telling a secret".  Neither are hurtful stories about someone else "secrets".  That's gossip, which I make sincere efforts to stay away from.  I'm also not referring to crucial information that endangers others if shared.  That falls under the category of "Top Secret".

A secret is something that isn't completely secret.  It's "I know something that you don't", said with a sparkle in your eye, a little wink, sly smile, or silly snicker.  The first thing someone does with a true secret, is spread around word that she has it.  A secret is something that can be shared, and wants to be shared, but wont be.

Examples of Secrets 
surprise parties
delicious recipes
special gifts
magicians tricks
the ending of a movie or book

There are more I'm sure, but those are a few that come to mind right now.  Secrets are fun.  They don't hurt anybody, and are light at heart.  I can't be trusted with them.  Secrets burn inside me, like little rays of sunshine ready to burst out at any second.  I just don't like keeping great things to myself!  I probably wont give away the ending of a book or movie, because I don't want to ruin the reading or viewing experience, but I'll be dying to talk to you about it, and will let you know that under no uncertain terms.  I also wont spoil a surprise party (assuming I can get there on time- always a risk for me!) but I'll be very excited, and will probably have to keep my distance from the surprise-ee for a week or so prior, knowing I'm not cool enough to keep from grinning ear to ear everytime I see her, or asking stupid questions, such as:

"So, I heard it's your birthday on Friday, I forget where I heard that.  Have any big plans that night?  Why do I ask?  Oh, no reason.  [more silly grinning] Just . . . wonderin' . . ." 

I know.  Nerd.  Can't help it- it's in the blood.  Acting cool has and never will be something I do.

Another reason I struggle with secrets, is I love good news!  I love it, and I have to share it!!!  Everything great and wonderful I know and love, I want everyone else to know and love too!!  That's one reason why I keep this blog.  I have things I want to share, but don't have much opportunity to as a busy stay-at-home-mom.  My circle of day-to-day contacts is pretty small.  My blog is my outlet, where I can practice my composition skills, and remind myself that I know things worthy to contribute to the outside world.  Truly, I have no secrets.  Everything that makes me happy and has formed my life, I want the world to know.  I want everyone to know, so anyone can have the same happiness.

So- what's my secret tonight, you ask?  The chocolate chip cookie- perfected.  If I was cool, I'd just bring a plate of these to various church functions and friendly gatherings, and allow people to marvel at how amazing my cookies are.  When asked what I do to make them so incredible, I'd just smile, wink, and say, "It's a secret!"

Of course that will never happen.  I'm an uncool person with no secrets, and a desire to share the wealth!  (My wealth anyway, at my own will and discretion.  Not to be confused with crazy liberals currently in office who want to share everyone else's wealth, unwisely and without their permission! Vote for Romney in November!!!)    

I have already shared this once.  As soon as I made my first batch, I posted a picture on facebook.  Sometimes life is too sweet not to share- and this was literally the case.  So now I'm adding this to my blog, and then to Pinterest!  The world can and should know about these cookies; these yummy, addicting, dangerously delicious, cookies.

Homemade Chocolate-Toffee Cookies

For this first batch shown in the picture, I chopped up a bar of Belgian chocolate, but that was a bit labor intensive, so since then I've used dark chocolate chips.  Truly, this is your basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, with a bag of Heath bits dumped in with the chocolate chips.  But to be thorough, here's my exact recipe.  

1/2 cup butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
1 bag Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate Chips
1 bag Heath Bits 'O Brickle Toffee Bits

Preheat oven at 375 deg. F.  Cream shortening, butter, and sugars together in mixer.  Add vanilla, and eggs, one at a time.  Add salt and baking soda.  Add  flour, in approximately half cup increments, mixing until smooth each time.  Dump in toffee bits and chocolate chips, and stir with a spoon or spatula.  Spoon heaping tablespoons onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper***, (I have one of those cool cookie-dough scoops, that looks like a mini-ice cream scoop spoon) and bake for 9-11 minutes, depending on your oven.  Cool for 1-2 minutes on cookie sheet, then move to cooling rack with spatula.

***I know the parchment paper thing seems a tad persnickety, but the melted toffee bits will stick to your cookie sheet, you'll be grateful you used the paper, trust me.  

The toffee bits for the most part melt into the cookie, giving it a very satisfying, chewy texture, and extra sweetness, countered by the bitterness in the dark chocolate.  I love them.  If I wasn't already married, yes, I would, indeed, marry them.  But I am married.  So I eat them with my husband, and if we're feeling especially generous, we share them with our kids.  Sometimes, however, I will admit when they have asked, we have let slip the phrase, "Much too good for children."

10 points if you can guess that movie quote.  It's one of our favorites.  If no one can guess I'll have to post it.  I just can't keep a secret.


  1. These cookies look amazing! We will have to try them. And I definitely know what movie the quote is from. That was my favorite book for a good portion of my life :)

  2. Yes, all very nice, but where are the birthday pictures?

  3. I love this post and the little political input as well. Can't wait to try out the secret recipe!

  4. Ooh I must try these out! And I LOVE that phrase and that movie... but I can't think of the actual name of the film. I also love when the kid eats that huge chocolate cake :) Matilda?