Magical Marvelous Memorable Cookies

By • January 1, 2011 • 184 Comments



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. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil. 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. 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.
  6. If cookies be the food of love, bake on!
Jump to Comments (184)

Tags: Addictive, Buttery, salty

Comments (184) Questions (2)

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about 12 hours ago MS LADY J

I was at my sisters and she turned me on to this site. We used pretzels, dark chocolate, regular granola and dried cranberries...I don't like nuts in food...oh my God! These were the best things I have ever tasted...on my way to store now--so I can make my own stash for my house. Thanks for this recipe!

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about 11 hours ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm so happy you enjoyed making these cookies.

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8 days ago therunnerbean

These are quickly becoming a new favourite! Last night I used up some Nutella granola stashed in the freezer, stale pretzels, and fragments of a dark chocolate Christmas tree. I didn't chill dough before baking because I like thin, crispier cookie edges. I smushed them down with a fork and hit them with some fleur de sel before baking. Infinitely customizable, irresistibly delicious, incredibly easy to make... THANK YOU!

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8 days ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

So glad you are enjoying this recipe. I love reading about all the combinations people have tried.

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12 days ago Tamar

I only signed up now and it looks promising

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about 1 month ago Mukhwana Kenneth

mouth flooding...!

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about 1 month ago Alex Simons

Check out my food blog:

http://alwayscookin.blogspot...

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3 months ago Can I have a bite?

I've made these twice now and they are amazing. I skipped the nuts (because my husband doesn't like them) so upped the pretzel and granola. Everyone loves them. I'm thinking about trying them with Cap'n Crunch and Fritos.

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3 months ago Cherie L. Bachorski

Starlene, Hey there! First off, wanted to say what a pretty name!
Yes, it was an excellent cookie recipe! I*m going to take a run, with your "tweak's! I like the 2 stick*s of butter (I cannot ever get enough). FOOD52 has some excellent recipe's!

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3 months ago starleen

Perfect! I love this recipe! I wanted a crispy, buttery, slightly dense cookie that wasn't super sweet, and these have become my go to cookie recipe. I have made these three times in two weeks! The recipe is very flexible and you could tweak it in infinite ways. I increased the butter to two sticks, only used dark brown sugar and reduced it to one cup, and increased the salt by half a teaspoon. I used honey almond coconut granola, Ghirardelli 60% cacao bittersweet chips, and big pieces of walnuts. I know, not adventurous at all, but a decadent spin on a beloved classic. I can't wait to try other ingredients--white chocolate chips, lemon zest, almonds? Dried cherries and pistachios? Thank you for this wonderful recipe!

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3 months ago Cherie L. Bachorski

Yummy! Makes my mouth water, just looking! Thanx!

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3 months ago Brooke

These look fabulous. I love this site. I love the look of these cookies and my kids are gonna love eating them.

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3 months ago paige

Does anyone know if I would be able to freeze the cookie dough for

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3 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm not sure what the end of your question was, but you can definitely freeze the dough in a ziplock bag (squeeze as much air out as you can) for at least a couple if weeks.

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3 months ago Laura

I just made these cookies for the 1st time today and they are simply amazing. I used honey-almond granola, pretzel pieces and chopped Heath Bar - along with some cinnamon for an extra hit of flavor. I took the suggestion of creaming the butter and sugar together for 6-7 minutes to produce a fluffier cookie and I refrigerated them for 30 minutes prior to baking. They did not spread too much and had a flavor to die for ... This recipe is definitely one of my new favorites! Thank you!!

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3 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Laura, I'm so happy you liked them. Thank you for letting me know.

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4 months ago Bignanc

I didn't have any salty snacks so I used some quinoa flakes - actually used too much 1 cup instead of ½ cup and thought they wouldn't
be as good. But they turned out thicker and were crisper when they cooled. They were excellent. Next time I might try with a mix of butter and coconut oil.

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4 months ago lama

as an egg substitute, i use trader joe's flax seed meal. mix one tablespoon with three tablespoons of water, and let it sit a few minutes. i've used it in batter breads with success, and in these cookies (: they don't lend to rising, but work for keeping things together just fine. i wouldn't suggest using it for recipes which require more than a couple eggs, or for those whose serving sizes are sizeable.. the flax seed gets your insides goin' (in a healthy way).

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5 months ago Kathleen Boston McCune

For those who can't eat eggs because of an allergy of eggs, an egg substitute doesn't work since that is made of egg whites. I too am allergic to eggs and find that 1/10th of a tsp. of guar gum and 1 TBS. of yoghurt or sour cream work in most recipes.

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5 months ago Nishita

Hi! Can you please tell me the substitute for egg? I'm not allowed to use egg! Please revert. Thanks

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5 months ago Jackie

Use an egg substitute. You will find them in the egg case, usually right above the egg cartons.

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5 months ago Pattuy

Drbarb, I have a newly diagnosed dieabetic husband...what about all that sugar? Looks yummy! Patty

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5 months ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Yup, this really isn't a treat designed for someone who has to limit carbs.

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5 months ago Jackie

Use a sugar substitute like Truvia, which measures exactly like sugar.

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5 months ago Tabatha Livingston

I believe the dried cranberries add so much to this as well.

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5 months ago kamana

Made these cookies using a mix of several leftover cereals...my grand kids visited and all like different cereals and, naturally, I spoil them. For the salty part, I used some party mix stuff. Added dried cranberries and reduced the nuts quantity. Served them to my mahjong sisters (a very critical bunch!).... they all want the recipe!