Mr. Good Cookies, less-affectionately known as Use-Up-That-Leftover-Halloween-Candy Cookies

To help wash the bitter taste from your mouths after yesterday’s post about broccoli rabe, I have a very sweet cookie recipe for you. It’s about time, after all – I’m just about the only food blogger who hasn’t devoted every day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s to dessert, which is shocking based on my relentless sweet tooth.

I’m calling these my Mr. Good Cookies, because I used a combination of Mr. Goodbars and Hershey’s Special Dark bars (both leftover from Halloween) in them. The recipe calls for you to use chopped up whatever-you-have-on-hand, so much like the blondie-brownie-candy-pie from a little while back, this is a good base recipe to know about, altered according to what’s in your pantry or what leftovers you may have lying around from the last party or what-have-you that you had.

I slightly reduced the amount of butter by 2 1/3T. Considering there’s still close to 2 ½ sticks in it, I wouldn’t call this a health modification. I realized too late that I was out of butter, my roommate agreed to take me to WaWa (think: glammed up 7Eleven) but not an actual supermarket, and when I got there I was faced with a $3.00 price sticker for half a pound. Now, I’m not a price guru; I really don’t know how much a lot of staple foods cost, though I know I should, but I do know that a pack of butter should not be that much. I just couldn’t justify spending $6.00 for 4 sticks of butter, and I knew that if I got 2 sticks I’d be pretty close to what I needed, so I went with it.

I also used this Stevia product that I recently won on a giveaway instead of the granulated sugar. Again, there’s still a hefty amount of regular brown sugar in the recipe so this isn’t a sugar free product, but it did cut the calories significantly and lowered the glycemic index. The product that I used was called More Fiber by NuNaturals, and it’s the first of many products of theirs that I have tried. I’ll have to test out their plain stevia, extracts, vanilla, etc. at some point, but the nice thing about the More Fiber is that you can use it in a 1:1 ratio to sugar because it’s been bulked up with fiber. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about NuNaturals or stevia in general. I just have my doubts that it’s really as natural and unprocessed as they say it is, plus it’s wildly expensive (about 7 times the price of regular sugar by weight after taking into account the fact that it weighs less so an equal amount should last longer; just strictly speaking numbers, it’s actually 10 times the price). I’ll have to do more experiments and research before I come to any definite conclusions about which sweetener I’ll wind up using for baking. One of my professors recommended barley malt and rice honey as natural sweeteners, so I definitely want to look more into those, too. In the end there has to be something better than highly processed white sugar!

But ok, you’re not necessarily here to talk sugar or convenience store mark ups. You’re here because I promised you cookies – no, not just cookies, cookies with crushed up candy bars in them. These cookies were big hits in my apartment! They were easy to make, though I definitely recommend digging in with your hands to mix them most efficiently and quickly. They didn’t spread during baking, but as I’ve never made them with granulated sugar, I can’t tell if this is just a side effect of the stevia swap, since sugar is one of the main culprits when it comes to baked goods that spread. Judging by the pictures in the original post, this is definitely what happened. The fact that they retained most of their shape, though, meant that they were soft in the middle, kind of pillowy. They had a comforting, familiar sweetness to them, too.

The only downside that I could discern was that because I chose to use two different candy bars and wasn’t super anal about even distribution, some cookies had more of a dark chocolate edge, while others featured the milk chocolate and peanut combination more prominently, and still others didn’t have much in the way of candy bars at all. Still, I really liked them, my roommates really liked them, and my mom really liked them (though she detected a mildly bitter aftertaste, which can only be a result of the stevia, though the product claims it won’t do that; I didn’t notice the aftertaste even when looking for it, but I might just not be sensitive enough to it).

Mr. Good Cookies (aka Candy Bar Cookies), adapted from Cooking During Stolen Moments
Yield: Approximately 4 – 4 ½ dozen

The Ingredients
1 cup + 3 tablespoons butter
1 ½ cups sugar1
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
4 cups (white whole wheat) flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
4 full or 20 fun size candy bars2,  chopped
1 cup oats

The Method
Preheat the oven to 350° and lightly grease baking sheets.

Cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, at least five minutes. Add in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla, and mix an additional 2 minutes, until creamy and well incorporated.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda together in a different bowl. Slowly add it into the sugar mixture by hand, stirring until just combined. Using your hands, mix in the candy bar pieces and oats quickly, taking care not to over-mix.

Roll the dough into golf ball sized rounds, placing them at least one inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Place in the oven and bake 11-13 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool for 1 minute on the sheets, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container once cool.

1This is where I substituted in equal volumes of the More Fiber Stevia Blend; if you’re using an alternative sweetener that is not cup-for-cup the same as sugar (most are not), you’ll need to cut back on the amount you use.
2For mine, I used 10 Hershey’s Special Dark and 10 Mr. Goodbar fun size bars.


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