It’s happened several times since that day I decided to bake my way out of self-pity. Things happen, or they don’t, and suddenly I’m swimming in thoughts of doubt and self-loathing. Such a completely unnecessary and useless place to be. Rather than take residence in that spot I reach for the butter. The process is for me – the creaming of sugars, stirring in of eggs and flour, and the folding in of chocolate – but the cookies are not.


Somewhere in that process of taking raw ingredients and combining them in a way that after they meet a hot oven they come out smelling sweetly intoxicating, I forget what got me here in the first place and I am content to have created. I am eager to share and better for the smiles that result from that sharing.

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I’ve called it Random Acts of Cookies. I wrote about it before and the response from all of you was so encouraging that I wanted to keep the sweet movement going. And today, along with the help of some very dear friends, I’ve come bringing some tools to entice you to bake with us and share with others.

Sally J Shim of Shim + Sons and her partner Joke Vande Gaer of Tokketok have created stunning gift tags and recipe cards for us. Also, if you head over to their collaborative site, SHIMTOKK you’ll find more fun downloads and ideas on how to package your cookies to give. Pretty great, right?! I couldn’t be more honored and happy to have these ladies a part of our movement.

Crazy big thanks to Sally and Joke for their incredible talents and for their willingness to work with me on this. Also, to you for encouraging me to continue with the movement. Thank you.

Now, let’s bake and share.


6252442013_4e34ef2693_bI may have added more chocolate to this batch. I’m okay with it if you are.

Click on the links below to download for yourself. The first is the recipe card and the other are tags you can use to package your cookies. Also, I’d LOVE for you to share your Random Acts of Cookies stories. Join me on Facebook and tell us all!


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Chocolate Chip Toffee Bars

I requested chocolate chip cookies often as a child and often my mom would respond to such a request with perfectly crisp and toffee-like cookies. On occasion she would skip the scoops and dump the dough straight into a pan and opt for bars in place of cookies. I didn’t mind one bit. I took this idea and tweaked it slightly – more brown sugar for even more toffee flavor, cream cheese for a subtle tang, and espresso powder to make that chocolate really pop.

1 stick (4 oz) butter, soft

½ cup (4 oz) cream cheese

1/2 cup white sugar (4 oz )

1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed (12 oz )

2  eggs

2 tsp vanilla (1/4 oz)

3 1/2 cup All Purpose flour (1 lb. )

1 1/2 tsp Baking soda

1 tsp kosher salt

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder

12 oz chocolate, chopped or 1 bag chocolate chips (bittersweet, if you can find them).

Spray a 10” square cake pan with pan spray. Line the bottom with parchment then spray again.

Pre-heat the oven to 350*F

Cream the butter, cream cheese, and the sugars until very light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes on medium high. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Continue mixing while adding the eggs one at time. Make sure each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla. Scrape down the bowl with a spatula. Combine the flour, soda, powder, and salt in another bowl. With a whisk to combine. With the machine on low, slowly add the flour. Mix until just combined, taking care not to over mix. When the flour is just about combined add the chocolate. Turn off the machine and finish mixing by hand to prevent over-mixing.

Bake at 350* for 35-40 minutes, until the center is just set and the edges are deep golden.

Let cool in the pan.

77 Responses to “Random Acts of Cookies – revisited”

  1. Charity O

    Nom Nom! These are in the oven now! I’m off sugar… But taking them to a ladies cook n’ book group! One friend just passed the bar exam. So we are going to pass the (cookie) bar!

  2. Diana

    couldn’t get these out of my mind after seeing the pictures so I HAD to make them today. super yummy but not as pretty as yours. I had a hard time spreading the batter in the pan so the top ended up looking rough and jagged. Any tips on how to get a smooth top?

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      @Diana – A couple ideas. Spray an offset spatula with non-stick spray and use that to flatten or cut a piece of parchment to fit the top of your pan, lightly spray the parchment, place on top of the batter then carefully press in batter to form an even surface. I hope that helps!

  3. Diana

    Thanks, Ashley! Will try your suggestions for the next round. In the meantime, my husband and I have finished half the pan already =P I guess that’s what happens when you’re snowed in!

    • Ashley Rodriguez

      @Diana – Glad you liked them! I managed to eat a batch of cookies, nearly an entire quiche, a homemade loaf of bread, and more cookies. So you are not alone in your snowed in eating habits. :)

  4. HTK

    This is the best chocolate chip cookie recipe in the world, bar none- the flavours are perfectly balanced and the texture is so comforting, so seductive. Thank you so much for sharing this Ashley!

  5. what is the diet solution

    Hello! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website
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  6. pia

    this recipe looks fabulous! and i love sally’s works. unfortunately, i am not able to download the pdf file. i was wondering if you can help! these are perfect for christmas.

  7. Lisa

    Love your tags! I can’t get it to download. Is there anyway you get send me the file?

    Thanks so much!


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