Crispy, Salty, Sweet


 Last weekend I needed a dessert to bring to a friend's house for an informal dinner party.  She has a little boy, so I wanted nothing too fancy.  No tarts, nor tea cakes...I needed something that if it happened to get thrown on the carpet by a 2-year-old, there wouldn't be a huge mess... and ideally could easily get picked up and eaten again.  Also, to please another guest who will remain nameless, I needed something that might go well with a little after dinner sip of Pappy Van Winkle bourbon. I needed something that could merge the and bourbon...I am always up for a challenge.  
Using some of my favorite foods for inspiration (cereal and dark chocolate) and remembering the massively adored Cornflake Cookies from the acclaimed Momofuku in NYC, I decided to create my own salty crunch cookie.  I adapted a recipe from Food52 below.  

Now, some of you may stop reading here, thinking that you are really much more of a fluffy bundt cake or perhaps a sweet fruit tart type of person (Mom).  You think that you really are not a "cookie with cereal bits" baker, and I mean haven't make Rice Krispie Treats since you were 10 years old.  I agree 100%, so do as you wish, but I would at least bookmark this page. The cookies are surprisingly delicious.  They are salty, sweet, crunchy and chocolaty all at the same time.  And the best part is that there is room to adjust some of the ingredients for a "choose your own adventure" creation.  Go as Whole Foods or as Walmart as you prefer.

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon (the best part) with 2 teaspoons cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup cereal of your choice. I used Multi-grain Cheerios for their light crispy texture and slight sweetness  
  • 1/2 cup crushed salted pretzel pieces (or other salty snack food)
  • 1 cup chopped chocolate, or chocolate bits of any sort.  I used a small bar of Valrhona dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional(If you don't use nuts, you may want to add more cereal, snacks or chocolate to compensate.)

  1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.
  3. In another bowl, beat butter and sugars at medium-low speed until just combined. Increase speed to medium and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add egg, vanilla, bourbon and cream and beat on medium-low until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl again.
  4.  Add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated and smooth.  (For this step you can use a wooden spoon to mix by hand) Gradually add cereal, pretzels, chocolate and nuts, and mix until well incorporated, so that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed. 
  5. Scoop 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and then roll it between your palms into a ball.  Place cookies on prepared baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart, about 12 per sheet. Freeze at least 10 minutes, or refrigerate 30 min before baking. (Otherwise they may spread very thin.)
  6. Bake one sheet at a time until cookies are light golden brown, 13 to 16 minutes. Let cool completely before gently moving cookies to wire rack. They will be fragile!
  7. Share.

I have a list of other cookie recipes that I need to test for this celebratory season, but I am pretty sure that I will be making another batch of these for the upcoming holiday.  So... if I will be seeing you then, you will likely get a freshly baked taste.


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