Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Candy Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

Candy Corn is addictive. Once you start eating them, you can't stop. There's something in the ingredients that makes you just crave more candy corn. So even though it's a couple weeks past Halloween (the prime candy corn holiday), I found a recipe for candy corn chocolate chip cookies that was just begging for me to make it. It was a pretty extensive recipe that took two days and multiple steps. But the end result was....messy...but delicious!

You start out by preparing the cornflake crunch. I know, cornflakes in cookies?? What insanity is this? The crunch is basically 4 cups cornflakes, 3 tbsp sugar, 1/2 cup dry milk powder, 1 tsp salt, and 10 tbsp melted butter all mixed together and then baked to sort of caramelize it.

One of the nice things about having metal measuring cups is that they also serve as good cornflake crushers.
Once the flakes are slightly crushed, add in the dry parts and mix well together.
I suggest using your hands to make sure everything is mixed well for coating. Using a spoon, the dry ingredients just sort of sit at the bottom of the bowl. After melting the butter, mix it in so that everything can coat.
Then spread out on a baking sheet, bake for 20 minutes at 275, and then let it cool for when you add it in to the cookies.
With such simple ingredients, you wouldn't think they'd create much of an aroma, but oh man, they created such a sweet smell. I don't know how to describe it, but it kind of reminded me a little of frosted flakes (one of the best cereals ever).

Now it's time to assemble the cookies!

First the dry ingredients: 1.5 cup flour, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp baking soda, and 1 tsp salt. Mix them together and set it aside.

Once you have 1.5 sticks of butter (12 tbsp butter. Yea. 12.) softened, beat that with 1 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar.
Once it's light and fluffy, add in 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla.
Then you add in the dry ingredients, and once those are mixed in, you add in the batch of cornflake crunch!

And then comes the candy corn. Ooooooh the candy corn. You only use a cup, but trust me, you only need a cup.

The recipe I was using suggested using mini chocolate chips, but I ended up going with half a cup of regular milk chocolate chips (to be honest, that was a bit of an accident. I grabbed the wrong bag and didn't realize it until I was pouring the chips into the measuring cup).

Once everything is mixed well together, you want to chill the dough for at least four hours. Now, there's a couple ways to do that, but in my opinion, the best way to do it was to scoop out the 1/4 cup sections of dough and wrap them individually so you wouldn't have to fight the dough later.

Lots of cookie dough balls...

Seeing as how it was about 10 at this point, I decided to finish the next day because I did not feel like getting up at 2am to bake cookies. I love to bake, but not that much.

So when I got home from work, I turned the oven to 375 and unwrapped the first batch of cookies. Now here is when things get....messy. The problem with the high heat is that it super destroyed the candy corn. After 15 minutes in the oven, the first batch turned out like this:
Yea. That's not pretty. They may look okay, but trust me, they weren't. I couldn't even get them off the pan that easily. There was no saving them to look like real cookies in the end.

So I decided to turn down the heat to about 325 and see if that prevented the candy corn from melting so much. I had to bake them a little longer, but it sort of helped. Not too much. The second batch at least had the cookie with the very visible candy corn piece. And I was able to get some of those off so that they still looked like cookies.

The third batch...still wasn't all that great...especially since I tried it without lining the cookie sheet. Big mistake. Trying to get those cookies off the sheet was a pain.

So in the end I had a big bowl full of cookie bits because it was almost impossible to have a total cookie survive.

But as my baking motto goes: It doesn't have to look pretty, it just has to taste good. And luckily...they tasted great. They were mega sweet so you can't eat more than like...a few sections of broken cookie, but they were fantastic all the same. Luckily I had friends to take home some, otherwise I would never finish eating them! I definitely like the idea of baking with candy corn, but I need to figure out how to keep them from melting to crystallized sugar!

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