I guess I can start by saying that they are delicious, even though they look bad. Really, really bad.
I sent this batch of cookies off to my friend Blaine, who is living in Chicago doing a second term with the AmeriCorps program City Year. He’s doing really well for himself and we are all so proud! I was lucky enough to visit him in early July – I’d never been to Chicago before and left completely smitten with the whole city.
(Me [center] and Blaine [right] with our other college friend, Martin [left] at the Bean!)
Blaine’s birthday is today, and Nora and I cooked up a scheme (GET IT?) to both mail him cookies for the occasion. Last year, I sent Blaine some snickerdoodle cookies (his favorite), and he made his roommate open the box because he didn’t trust me not to mail him Smirnoff Ices. Clearly, ours is a friendship based on trust.
Anyhow, I saw this cookie recipe and was instantly sold. Chocolate chip cookies with marshmallows? AND there are butter-roasted, sugared cornflakes in them? Done. However, my dough had WAY too much junk mixed into it to hold its shape when it baked, and I think that was the beginning of the end for these. I did double the recipe, and I do know that these things don’t always translate into double- or half-recipes, but I can’t imagine that the issue was that I doubled it.
I started with my cornflake crunch, as per Miss Martha’s instructions. This stuff looked amazing. I did take the advice of one commenter on the Martha Stewart website and decreased the amount of butter I added; they turned out perfectly, so I can’t imagine that 18 tablespoons of butter (for my doubled recipe) wouldn’t have left me with soggy flakes.
I followed the recipe from there… creamed butter and sugar. Added eggs.
Added vanilla – this stuff is incredible! Nora made it and gave it to me as part of my birthday gift this last year. It’s just vanilla beans in some base (wtf is this stuff? I’ve never been able to guess and I’ve been too lazy to ask Nora. Maybe/my guess is that it is vodka). It has an incredible, real flavor, and there’s a ton of it. When she gave it to me (February), it had to wait several months to mature, but now it’s in full swing and it’s awesome.
Then came the dry ingredients.
Ironically, at this point, I was worried that my cookie dough was too sticky. It was almost closer to a batter than a dough. In went the flakes, the chips, the mallows. And then…the hard part began. Even trying to get these things into balls was a struggle. They fell apart the instant they were on the parchment. I did the best I could, and took Martha at her word that if you don’t refrigerate the pre-baked dough balls, they won’t hold their shape. Into the fridge they went.
When they were about to go into the oven, I was still skeptical. They smelled like heaven while they were baking, though. My whole kitchen still smelled like s’mores the morning after these cookies were baked. Imagine my dismay when they came out of the oven looking like this!
I have no idea as to what went wrong other than my theory that there wasn’t enough cookie dough to hold everything else together into cohesive cookie-shaped cookies. I did eat the crumbles from breaking the cookies that had melted together apart, and they were so tasty! Just not pretty.
So…what was I supposed to do with the remaining POUNDS of dough? Seriously, I had made a ton of this stuff, and I wasn’t about to deal with the stress and the mess of trying to make actual cookies out of all of it. So… Tah-dah!
I wondered if packing it into a brownie pan and making cookie bars out of the stuff would work better. I got out my gold pan (which you may remember I bought for my sucre ala crème challenge last fall), lined the bottom with parchment, and packed that dough in. It took about 40 minutes for this thing to bake. Also, the pan weighed like 10 pounds, haha. This stuff is dense. It came out of the oven looking and smelling amazing, though.
I let it cool overnight, but to be honest with you, it was basically rock-hard the next morning. It took some maneuvering to get a bar out of the pan, but it was delicious! I tossed the whatever-stuck-in-the-pan, and left to go camping. The cookies, however, went off to Blaine.
Happy birthday, Blaine! We love you.