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My grandfather used to say, "You know you've made it when you can buy a Brooks Brothers suit." This philosophy helps explain why my father has such an attraction to finely made menswear, and to Brooks Brothers in particular. As if to pass on the family motto, over the holidays my father took me to the flagship store on Madison Avenue. We walked past beautifully decorated Christmas trees, perfectly wrapped presents, and heavy oak furniture. It was like being in Greenwich, except that the owners of the house were nice and actually paid me attention.
When we took the elevator up to menswear, I got a little teary eyed. Standing there was like being in my father's closet. I wanted to run and hug every argyle sweater to my chest. I wanted to lace the striped ties between my fingers and brush up against the crisp collars of the shirts. Instead I watched as a couple of young banker types whacked golf balls at a large screen.
Last week, when I saw the recipe for these Tweed Cookies, they called out to me in the same way as those piles of sweaters did over the holidays. Just say the word "tweed" and I can actually feel the rough scratch of my father's jacket against my cheek.
But I promise that even people who aren't cluttered by a nostalgia for roughly woven three-ply yarn will love these cookies. It's hard not to—they're a buttery shortbread imbued with finely diced pieces of chocolate covered toffee.
These cookies are so exceptional because they are buttery in not just one, but two ways. The base is a buttery, vanilla-scented shortbread that tastes, as the name would imply, akin to vanilla birthday cake. The toffee adds the buttery flavor of caramel, and they both meld well with the smooth milk chocolate. A final hint of salt makes the flavors really stand out.
Viva La Chocolate Toffee Shortbread. My new family motto?