It's hard to improve perfection.
Halloween candy, for example. There's something about this seasonal treat that sets it a few notches higher than the average Milky Way, or heck, even a Milky Way Midnight. Halloween candy comes in a diverse cluster, filling a plastic bag with bright colors and foreign treats. It can leads us down the road to the more evasive candies, like Caramel Apple Tootsie Roll pops or Rolos. I rarely eat candy, and when I do, I stick to the classics. Enter Halloween, and it's fun-sized buffet of everything from malted milk balls to dark chocolate Kit Kats.
That being said, after a week of dipping my hands into the pile of plastic and sugar, I was ready to think outside of the box. And I was reading Paris Letters, specifically the chapter when she's quotes Hemingway and says that if we ever feel stuck, all we need to do is "write one true sentence." Okay!
1. Halloween candy is good.
And then I wrote another.
2. Chocolate chip cookies are good.
BOOM! Halloween candy + chocolate chip cookies + a sprinkling of salt (because salt makes everything sparkle) = Candy Bar Cookies that sing like the sirens and taste like a fancier version of childhood.
I made these on a late Saturday afternoon, after two yoga classes and a walk that was was too long to be doing with a yoga mat strapped to my back. I felt all zen-like and was super into the idea of hanging out in the stillness of the kitchen for a few hours. The sun sunk down early, and I opened a bottle of red champagne and began chopping the cold chocolate.
When I poured the candy out onto the table, the made an adorable clunkthudclunk and lay splayed out like a painting. The snickers cut quite nicely, revealing flat squares of nougat, peanuts, and caramel. The Butterfingers were another matter, and flaked, sprinkling the cutting board in a sweet orange powder. Said orange powder ended up being an entirely new ingredient within the cookies, giving them a hint of salty, peanut-y-ness throughout. No complaints whatsoever.
The resulting cookers were like a party; lots of candies invited and I want to hang out with all of them. Snickers and Babe Ruth dominate as beer pong partners, and Milky Way makes sexy eye contact with Hershey's. Whoppers instigates a game of strip poker, and all the candies squeal, remove their wrappers, and then I eat them all. (!!)
The base cookie recipe comes from Crepes of Wrath, and it's perfect. Crispy edges, soft interiors, and a delicate balance of salt and butter. I ate them at the kitchen table, breaking the edges off and dipping them into a glass of milk. It was cozy and fun and I've never more like a child and a grownup at the exact time.
Salted candy bar cookies
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups chopped fun-sized candy bars
fleur de sel or sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Use a chef's knife to chop the candy bars into small, 1-inch chunks and set inside. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat the melted butter and sugars until incorporated. Add in the egg, mix until combined, then the egg yolk, and mix until combined. Add in the vanilla and mix.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add it to the sugar mixture and use a large spoon or rubber spatula to mix until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold in the chopped candy bars.
Line a baking sheet with parchment parchment paper or silpat, and scoop out 2-tablespoon sized balls onto the sheets. Sprinkle a bit of salt onto each cookie. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until just lightly golden and set. All to cool on the sheets for a few minutes before removing.
I find this whole thing is a bit easier if the candy bars are refrigerated beforehand. I made these using Hershey's, Milky Ways, Reeses, Butterfingers, Snickers, Whoppers, and Take 5.