Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Turning an epic fail into epic cookies!

"I have not failed.  I've just found 10,000 ways that don't work." -Thomas Edison 

Last week, I set out to make a birthday treat for one of Matt's friends.  This is the friend with whom I discussed his epic Butterfinger pie at length.  The crust was the one component he couldn't seem to get right and, turns out, neither could I.  Despite months (true story) of research and what I thought was a fool-proof recipe, I ended up with a pie plate full of a Butterfinger and pretzel mixture that was molten hot but hard as a rock.

Note to self: Theoretical research is only good when you can back it up with practical application.  [insert sound of firmly smacking one's own forehead here]

I was a bit panicked since I waited until the night before the birthday celebration to get to cookin'.  Mistake #1, right?

Anyway, when I took the pie plate out of the oven, I realized that there was no way that I'd serve this to neither people I liked nor people who preferred to not eat dessert with a chisel.

It was at about this time when Matt called on his way home from coaching, greeting me cheerfully, "Hi wife!"  What he heard after such a sweet hello was, well, not as sweet.  It was me flipping the flip out about aforementioned failed pie.  Multiple times, he told me to both calm down and offered to stop by the store and pick up anything I needed.  "No, no.  I just... it won't... I don't know what to do," I huffed.  "Katy, we'll figure it out when I get home.  Don't worry."

"Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently." -Henry Ford

Matt arrived home to find me crouched over the computer, frantically Googling.  When I noticed him, I shrieked, "I need your opinion!"  I literally dragged him over to the computer and showed him the three recipes being considered finalists for his friend's newest birthday dessert.  He picked without hesitation.  "The cookies.  Definitely the cookies."

Less than an hour later, I was saying the same thing, though the words sounded a bit muffled and a few crumbs may have fallen out of my mouth as I talked.  "Definitely the cookies.  Definitely!"

These Butterfinger cookies were like the fortunate result of a multi-cookie collision on Fifth Avenue.  In other words, they were totally delicious!  At first, they're slightly crunchy on the outside, but instantly chewy on the inside thanks to the oats that softened and puffed during baking.  Then, the chocolate wave hits you, both semi-sweet and milk with that unmistakable peanut butter flavor from the Butterfingers.  Finally, like finding a once forgotten $5 bill in your pocket, the crispy snap and pop of the Rice Krispies surprises and delights the heck out of ya.

One bite and Matt gave the cookies his signature seal of approval: the phrases "sh-- yeah!" and "you know" were uttered multiple times.  Success after all!

Once again confident in my baking abilities and as calm as I could (ever) be, I happily delivered the cookies to the birthday boy.  I could barely squeak out an apology about the Butterfinger pie before everyone started reaching for the cookies, which they happily deemed epic and delicious and all things wonderful.  And, as it turned out, cookies were a much more party-friendly dessert than a frozen pie.  It's like I had been a beneficiary of divine sugar intervention and learned how to think on my feet and perform under pressure.

"Failure is the best way to learn." -unknown 

One year ago: Chocolate pudding dump cake
Two years ago: Apple crumb pie

Crispy Butterfinger Cookies
(adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod)
-makes roughly 30 cookies

A few notes: These cookies are a delicious and creative way to use up Halloween candy.  I imagine other candy bars would work just as well, like Snickers, Milky Way, or Reese's Cups.  If you try another kind, leave a comment on how the cookies turned out.  Thanks!

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup old fashioned oats
1 1/4 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped Butterfinger candy bars (about 7 fun size bars)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of a stand mixer, combined butter and both sugars, beating until creamy and smooth, about 2 minutes.  Reduce speed to low and add in egg and vanilla, beating until combined.  Slowly add the flour mixture.

Turn off stand mixer and get out a trusty wooden spoon or rubber spatula.  Stir in oats, chocolate chips, and Butterfinger chunks until evenly distributed.  Finally, carefully stir in the Rice Krispies, being careful not to overmiz and crush the cereal too much.

Scoop dough into balls, roughly a tablespoon each, and place on prepared baking sheet.  Bake cookies for 10 to 12 minutes, or until edges are just slightly golden; the centers should still be soft.  Allow cookies to cool 2 to 3 minutes on the baking sheet.  Move cookies to a wire rack and cool completely.

Store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

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