It’s safe to say that I typically do not post recipes here in time for the holiday at hand. Thanksgiving is full of good food around here, and I never seem to make any pre-turkey day trial dishes; I’m a big fan of winging it with new things, and it’s safe to say that most things Thanksgiving are tried and true repeats from our families, and our friends’ families.

As for Halloween, I suppose you could say that I’m whatever the equivalent to Scrooge is for this season – and it’s not that I wouldn’t fancy a grown up costume party or a creative Halloween jack-o-lantern if I really thought far enough in advance. But I don’t, and so the weeks slowly roll by and by the time I can say “expelliarmus“, the holiday has come and I am costume-less, decoration-less, and for those rug rats trampling up to my door this year (as I just know they will), candy-less.

The other night, I found my cupcake papers from some Halloween cupcakes I did manage to make a couple of years ago. Halloween food must have been on the brain, because on the way home from work Friday night, I remembered a recipe for a cookie involving candy corn that sounded pretty fantastic. Well, let’s just say (or maybe just look above) that I must have royally screwed something up in my hastiness on Friday night. The dough on the other hand? Not bad, as I probably tossed back a few tablespoons of it intermittently between chugs of wine and Chinese take-out.

Needless to say, the recipe sounded so good that I was compelled to try again, insisting that I must have added too much butter, or too little flour, or done something to make these cookies melt all over the place in boredom, sorta like my general feelings about Halloween anyway.

So I measured carefully Saturday morning. I used the recommended chocolate chips instead of the toffee chips that sounded so much more awesome. I made sure to chill the dough for at least 3 hours, and I tossed the ice-cold sheet of cookie dough into the oven, set the timer (yes, the timer!), and watched them like a hawk this time around, so that there’d be no surprises, no jaw-dropping or exclamations of “what the hell is wrong with your cookies??!!!” from the husband.

And even so, I ended up with thinnish mounds of cooked dough with glowing slivers of melted candy corn all over my baking sheet. But this time, they were at least edible, at least chewy, and at least worth sharing. This time, I didn’t prefer the raw cookie dough (ok, maybe that’s a lie, because I’m sort of a fan of raw cookie dough) to the baked version.

I brought them over to a friend’s house, and we happily ate them following a dinner of chicken pot pie and a night of board games and horror movies (because how would Halloween exist without such things?!). I still felt pretty annoyed about the recipe, considering its’ source, but I finally read a few reviews online and learned that clearly, candy corn is made to melt at high temperatures. I deduced that while I certainly could have screwed up something the first time around, there was no way to prevent the oozing of candy corn the second time around.

And either way, the taste is still there, even though the cookies are certainly a sight for sore eyes. But every bite is reminiscent of the season (super duper sweet, just like Halloween should be), perhaps a little crunchier than intended, maybe a little less dressed up than expected. Scrooge-like? Well, I won’t argue there, but don’t let that turn you away because in this case, there is much more to enjoy if you look past that craggy exterior.

‘Momofuku’ Chocolate Chip-Cornflake Cookies (with Candy Corn)
Adapted, barely, from Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar via Food & Wine, October 2011; makes ~18 cookies

time commitment: 4 hours (1 hour active time)

printable version

I can’t believe I’m posting a recipe that took me twice to get right, and the second time wasn’t even right, really. But I’ll tell you why – this recipe has so much potential. The cornflake crunch is out of this world and by far the best part about the dough cookie. You can easily adapt this recipe and after Halloween substitute other candies or dry ingredients in for the candy corn (I think the original momofuku compost cookie that this was adapted from uses pretzels or potato chips?). Here’s a link to the reviews of the recipe (you probably have to click rate and review on the recipe page) on F&W so you won’t feel like a douche if you get runny cookies, like me. And here’s a link to another blogger who made these cookies, but made tons of substitutions and hers look way more ‘together’ (and what adorable pictures!). I swear there’s way too much butter in this recipe but I just don’t care enough to try a third time. If you do try out this recipe, let me know how it goes, and if you change anything I will definitely add some updates on this site.

cornflake crunch
4 c slightly crushed cornflakes
1/2 c dry milk powder
3 T sugar
1/2 t kosher salt
8 T unsalted butter, melted

1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1 1/4 t kosher salt
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 t vanilla extract
2/3 c chocolate chips
1 c candy corn

Make the cornflake crunch. Preheat the oven to 275 F and line a baking sheet with parchment or silpat. In a large bowl, toss the cornflakes with the milk powder, sugar, salt and butter until coated. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake until golden and fragrant, about 17 minutes. Let the crunch cool completely.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter and sugars at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. At low speed, beat in the dry ingredients, then beat in the Cornflake Crunch, chocolate chips, and candy corn. Mound 1/4-cup scoops of dough 4 inches apart on 4 parchment–lined baking sheets. Push dough together tightly and flatten just a little bit. Refrigerate until the dough is cold and firm, at least 2 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 F and position a rack in the center. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 15 minutes, until browned around the edges but still a bit pale in the center. Let cool completely on the tray, then serve. [If you do have candy corn the “melts” out of the cookie and candies, tear that off once the cookies cool. The spreading should lessen if you chill the cookies in a nice, tight, ball.]

7 thoughts on “Scrooge-like

  1. Oh man, cookie failure must be going around. I was attempting black forest cookies and had a similar issue. Glad to hear the second attempt was worth it… I haven’t been brave enough to try again.

  2. Jennifer says:

    thank you for posting something that isn’t perfect, so that I know I’m not the only one who has bad days in the kitchen. I bet they still tasted amazing though!

  3. Susan Wetzel says:

    I don’t take you for a Scrooge type person! Glad you found out that measuring and accuracy sometimes works out better! It makes me feel better since as you know that’s me. Love, Susan

  4. Honeybee – glad I’m not the only one! and, sorry ’bout your issue too🙂

    Jennifer – you’re welcome! they were still good, just not pretty at all.

    Susan – ha ha! Measuring does work better for baking – I’ll give you that! And yes, Chris is JUST like you in the regard, as you know😉

    Caroline – I’d love costumes if I had a cute little Nora to dress up!

  5. EB says:

    I love that you posted a recipe with ‘potential’ instead of something perfect. Kind of more fun that way… costume or no costume…

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