Last week, I was absolutely thrilled to finally dive into a recipe for Baked Sunday Mornings which immediately caught my eye when I received Baked Elements – the Chocolate Chunk-Pumpkin Bread Pudding. It was scrumptious, and lived up to all my expectations and then some. This week, we tackle a recipe that I was a little less than enthused with when I saw the recipe and photo in the book: Candy Bar Cookies.
Apparently, Renato from Baked was inspired by European treats to create the recipe for these cookies, which feature a small candy bar – or piece of candy – completely encased in cookie dough, baked, then capped off with a finishing coat of melted chocolate. While this is an intriguing concept and I admire his fortitude to recreate it, I personally subscribe to a train of thought that if you want your candy or your cookie, why go to all of the trouble of putting them together to eat them? Why not just eat the candy bar, and avoid all of the steps to put these cookies together? Obviously, I’m a big proponent of instant gratification when it comes to chocolate!
It is a slightly intensive recipe. First, you put together a cookie dough I found quite troublesome, consisting of, basically: flour, sugar, salt, dark cocoa, butter, and an egg yolk. No vanilla, no leavening agents of any kind. Once mixed together in a mixing bowl, Baked mentions that the dough will have a sandy texture, which indeed, it does. To gather the dough into a ball and wrap it up as a disk for a quick chill, I needed to dump it all out onto a counter, push it together with my palms, and knead it pretty brutally – the heat from my hands transferring to the butter and melting it a bit more in the dough – to get the dough pieces to bind and adhere together. I did follow the recipe and chilled the dough for over an hour – a point which, in hindsight, I realized was not necessary. The dough was perfectly fine to roll out immediately after kneading it together.
Once the dough is rolled out, I used a 2-inch round cookie cutter to cut out circles of dough, which is then wrapped around individual pieces of fun-sized candy bar. (Side note: I’ve always felt “fun-size” was a terrible misnomer for those little candy bars you buy at Halloween – isn’t a larger candy bar more “fun” than a smaller one? Ha! Plus, they do seem to shrink more and more as years go by!). I went for the suggested Mounds candy bars, cut in half, and also Reese’s mini peanut butter cups, which I did not cut; splitting the dough in half among the two candies. I rolled the balls of dough and candy gently between my hands, put them on a baking sheet, and baked them off. The cookies came out a rather unattractive pale brown, but never fear – the finishing touch, once cooled, was to dip the cookies in a luscious coating of melted chocolate.
Baked suggests the pretty effect of double-dipping the chocolate, first in white chocolate, then dark. It’s difficult for me to find good white chocolate here in Milwaukee outside of baking chips containing emulsifiers, so I skipped this and just coated mine in dark chocolate (the cookies with Mounds in them) and milk chocolate (peanut butter cups). Plus, I’m going to be honest – by this point in the process, I was bored already with putting these cookies together. I wasn’t going to get more fussy with the decoration. To designate which cookies were which, I sprinkled the tops of the Mounds cookies with a bit of toasted coconut, and the peanut butter cup cookies with white and dark sprinkles.
The cookies turned out better than I imagined, looking like little truffles bathed in a smooth coating of chocolate. They would look pretty displayed in a bowl or gift box, perhaps nestled among some mini paper cupcake liners. I was disappointed when I bit into them, although the taste result was something I could have predicted from the get-go. They are overly sweet; almost so much so that my mouth hurt eating them. I cannot imagine how much sweeter these would be coated with both white and dark chocolate. These might be favorites with children, or an adult with a massive sweet tooth. I have always considered myself one of these, but not so much here. I know for certain I did not mess up my sugar measurement in the cookie dough; these are just all around sweet because of the cookie and candy combination.
All due respect to our Baked friends, I think these are a pass for me in future baking. As I anticipated, these were just not exactly my kind of cookie. While “fun” in some respects (“fun” being the word Jake uttered when he first tried them), I think I’ll just stick to eating my candy bars and/or chocolate on their own, no cookie required!
You can find the recipe at:
…and see if these sweet gems were hits or misses with my fellow Baked Sunday Mornings bakers. I’ve observed that several times, without any intention on my part, I seem to be the contrary male among the group (if not the only male baker, at this point!), so I have a feeling the other bakers will greatly enjoy this one!
Previews for Baked’s new book, Baked Occasions, are steadily leaking out to the public via Facebook and Baked’s homepage, and it’s a beauty of a book. In case you’re wondering why my blog is coming out with such ferocious weekly frequency, our anticipation of this book is exactly why. We’ve upped our Baked Sunday Mornings baking schedule to wrap up Baked Elements. I can’t wait to tell you the recipes I was fortunate to test. For now, however, in respect to Baked and the publishers, mum’s the word! Until next week, my friends…