Magical Marvelous Memorable Cookies

By • January 1, 2011 236 Comments

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Author Notes: Shakespeare proclaimed music the food of love, but in our family, it’s cookies. From the time my daughter could climb up on a stool and stir chocolate chips into batter, we baked. We created baking experiments for her science projects, and baked cookies and cakes for dinner parties and school functions. My stepsons married women who are both accomplished bakers. Blended families can be...complicated... but baking is the language of our family connection--- chocolate chip cookies, apple pie, brownies, meringues--… a connection that often feels like a miracle.

I am the oldest of four children, and we—my two sisters, my brother and I—are as close as people who live in four separate US states can be. We were all together for the Christmas holidays, and my sister Linda and I decided to (what else?) bake cookies.

Linda is a first grade teacher. For Christmas every year, her students give her boxes of candy, bags of pretzels, tins of popcorn. One of her good friends made delicious homemade granola, which we thought would make a great cookie. We decided to make our version of “compost cookies" by adapting a recipe for crispy oatmeal cookies and using some of her leftover snacks and candies. These cookies are fun, flexible, not fancy but really delicious—qualities I try to bring to all my cooking. My brother-in-law David (Linda’s husband) couldn'’t get enough of them, and my husband proclaimed them “best cookies ever.”

This weekend, at my daughter-in-law’s request, I’ll be making them for my grandson’s first birthday party. In our family, cookies make miracles. - drbabs
drbabs

Food52 Review: There is a lot to love about this recipe. First of all, it is not bossy. DrBabs gives us the ratios, and then she tells us to pick a salty snack, some candies, some cereal, some sort of nut, and cinnamon or other spices if we are so inclined. I like that. I like that these are pantry cookies because you are sure to have enough this and that to be able to make cookies without a trip to the store. My version had the following; crushed pretzel dipping sticks, a handful of leftover Reeses Pieces, some Ghiardelli semi sweet chips, two granola sample boxes from our last race expo (we don’t really eat granola but they were free!), cinnamon and walnuts. Out of the oven they are chewy with a great sweet and salt combination. After they cool they become the perfect crispy friend to an ice cold glass of milk. The only direction that I flat ignored is in step 3: Restrain yourself from eating the raw cookie dough—that’s just crazy talk. - aargersiaargersi

Makes 24-30 cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 3/4 sticks (7 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granola (or other cereal)
  • 1/2 cup crushed salted pretzel pieces (or other salty snack food)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, chopped chocolate candies, or a small bar of good dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or other nuts, optional
  • (If you don't use nuts, you may want to add more cereal, snacks or chocolate to compensate.)
  • You may want to add a little cinnamon, allspice, cardamom, or whatever you fancy. We didn't because we wanted the taste of the granola to come through.
  1. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
  2. In another bowl, beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed until just combined, about 20 seconds. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 1 minute longer. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again.
  3. (For this step you can use a wooden spoon or your mixer on slow speed.) Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add granola, pretzels, chocolate and nuts, and mix until well incorporated, ensuring that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed. Restrain yourself from eating the raw cookie dough.
  4. Scoop dough into balls, each about 1 1/2 tablespoons, then roll between palms into balls. Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart, 8-12 per sheet. Freeze at least 20 minutes, or refrigerate at least one hour before baking. (They will still spread a lot.)
  5. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
  6. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are deep golden brown, 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Let cool completely before gently moving cookies to wire rack. They will be fragile, especially on the edges.
  7. If cookies be the food of love, bake on!

Tags: Addictive, Buttery, salty

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Comments (236) Questions (3)

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4 days ago cocos cooking

These cookies are my new favorites. Thanks for the inspiration! I have only one quibble -- and yes I know you should read the entire recipe before you begin cooking -- but I have gotten tripped up by this more than once now.
Why would a recipe say to preheat the oven in step 1 if in step 4 it says to let the dough rest 20 minutes to an hour? Makes for a hot kitchen and wasted resources.

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4 days ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Gosh, that's one of my pet peeves, too. I'm surprised I didn't notice it; I've made these so many times. Thank you for letting me know. I'll edit the recipe.

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2 months ago Food Lover

Yummy!!

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3 months ago shozgirl

Made this for a writing group and big hit! Did not have "granola" so used a cup of oatmeal/sunflower seeds/chopped walnuts instead. Thinking I could use some grape nuts too for texture. The crunched pretzels make it and they are so crispy and not too sweet. Going to make more for a BBQ tomorrow! In my convection oven they were definitely done at 12 mins. Thanks for this great recipe!

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3 months ago Kelly Fleming

wondering if i could substitute the pretzels with potato chips instead,,,???any thoughts

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3 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yes, definitely.

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3 months ago Stephanie Choma McNabb

I made these cookies last night and omitted the cereal and pretzles, added 3/4 cup oats because I wanted more cookie, less 'stuff' - the result is my new favorite chewy, crispy chocolate chip cookie! This was exactly the consistency I was craving. Thanks for the recipe!

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4 months ago Nikki

Just made these cookies - used Frosted Flakes and salted pretzels. I was impatient and baked some of the fresh cookie dough while the rest chilled...delicious! Nice combination of crispy and chewy. Can't wait to try the chilled dough and compare results. Thanks for the recipe!

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4 months ago Georgetta Vann

What recipes do you have for Type II Diabetics?

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4 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Georgetta, there really isn't any specific nutrition information on the recipes at this site. However, the community is always happy to help. There was a question about recipes for people with Type II diabetes on hotline. Here's the discussion: https://food52.com/hotline... Feel free to post your own question if this isn't what you're looking for. I hope this helps.

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5 months ago myob

So flexible! I used pretzels, cheerios, and hazelnuts. Since I only had 1/2 cup chocolate from a chopped up bar, I used chopped dried cranberries to make up the difference. (I thought I might see the cheerios in the baked cookies, but didn't.) The cookies are absolutely delicious, and I will try making them with different combinations in the future. Thanks for sharing this great recipe!

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5 months ago Jules

I have just signed up. These sound a little like some 'kitchen sink cookies' I made a while back which everyone loved, but with a little more structure in terms of ratios. I think it was beginners luck last time, and this will be a great help. Jules

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6 months ago Brenda Phillips-White

Just signed up, your recipe sounds interesting, I probably would change some of the ingredients, looking forward to some more of your recipe.

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6 months ago myob

Should the pretzels and cereal be crushed to a powder, or left in recognizable bits?

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6 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Either way works, but I prefer when they're recognizable.

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6 months ago nicci

Tried these and loved them! I used pretzels, a combination of chocolate chips, cap'n crunch cereal (that I needed to use up) and some chopped pecans. Delicious! Light, crispy and addictive. Thank you!

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6 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so glad you liked them. Thank you!

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7 months ago Toby M Waitt

I didn't want these cookies to be "fragile around the edges" as I wanted to bag some up for little Christmas gifts, so I added about a cup of coconut. Phew, they came out perfectly delicious; soft and crunchy!!! Oh, I was able to use 1-1 gluten free flour, too!

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6 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Great!

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7 months ago Ron Loftus

These are truly snackable munches.. Wonder what wonder we would experience if we added THC & CBD ??

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6 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Interesting idea. You must live in Colorado!

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7 months ago Jacque

I was chasing a recipe from site to site, each site showing recipes from other sites. Somehow I found myself on FOOD52. Looking at some of the recipes I became very interested, read some of the comments and realized what a friendly circle of women I I had stumbled upon. I registered and look forward to being part of the circle.

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7 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

How nice of you to add this comment to my recipe!. This is a wonderful community of people who like to cook (men, too!) and we do our best to support each other. Have fun!

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7 months ago chefdianetx

These are wonderful -going to use different flavors of those preztel crackers next time.

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7 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so glad you liked them. I've used the plain pretzel crackers but not the flavored ones. Where in TX are you?. I'm in Austin.

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7 months ago starleen

Hey drbabs--I'm in ATX, too!

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6 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Starleen, a bunch of us Food52 people in Austin get together periodically. Message me privately if you want to join us.

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7 months ago LeadingLatte

This sounds fantastic Dr. Babs, can't wait to throw it into my holiday cookie rotation. Was thinking of throwing in some chopped dried cherries too because I'm always a fan of "everything but the kitchen sink" cookies. :)

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7 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Sounds great!

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7 months ago Nancy

I have just subscribed and I cannot wait to make these cookies. Looking forward to exploring your site. You came highly recommended.

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7 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I hope you enjoy the cookies and Food52.

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7 months ago Pam

I have just subscribed to FOOD52, it looks interesting and I am looking forward to many yummy recipes and helpful hints. Let the fun begin!

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8 months ago Angel Bonomo Paduano

This is in response to the e mail I received, I do not like the recipes I viewed or the site and since have unsubscribed.