Last week, my friend Ragini came over to hang out and bake. At this point in our friendship, I know to expect: 1) (Un)Healthy doses of Mean Girls quotes, 2) Sour candy, and 3) Ridiculous times in the kitchen. Items #1 and #2 seem pretty self-explantory, but I think #3 deserves some explanation. Let me start by telling you about the Baking Adventures of Tiffany and Ragini (she has no idea that I call it that).
There have been three documented Baking Adventures. The first adventure, which actually took place at our friend Nisha’s house, started when Ragini brought a bag of marshmallows and a bag of chocolate chips . . . which went into cookies . . . which went into the toaster oven.
In the second round, we decided to get markedly more ambitious and attempt to make candy corn. Without a thermometer (in our defense, the recipe didn’t require one!). The result? Orange, white, and yellow bricks of butter. We almost broke our teeth.
Thus, I was pleasantly surprised when we started BA #3 with some fancy, delicious desserts – perfectly risen chocolate soufflés! Flush with our success, we decided to finish off baking time with some simple, delicious, huge chocolate chip cookies.
Until . . . Ragini suggested the idea of s’mores stuffed chocolate chip cookies – an entire s’more surrounded by chocolate chip cookie batter! I, of course, jumped on the idea. What happened next, though, is something that still confuses me. I vaguely remember someone (perhaps my evil twin?) suggesting that we create crazy cookie masterpieces by stuffing all of the cookies with ingredients from the kitchen pantry.
Long story short, we ended up with
1) 2 GIGANTIC cookies stuffed with s’mores
2) 1 cookie stuffed with a caramel and rolled in sprinkles
3) 1 cookie mixed with fritos and pretzel sticks . . . and, for the grand finale,
4) 1 cookie stuffed with sour candy (crybabies, to be specific)
Though Ragini thought the sour candy cookie was fantastic and somehow convinced me to try a bite (umm . . . disgusting), I actually sort of enjoyed the frito/pretzel stick cookie! If you couldn’t tell from my salted caramel post, I have been on just a bit of a sweet/salty kick recently.
And so, my Junk in the Trunk cookies were born – cookie dough mixed with huge dark chocolate chunks, melted caramel squares, and pretzel stick bits. What’s up with the name, you ask? For starters, they were inspired by a night of tossing junk (and I mean that in the best possible way) into cookies. And, if you eat too many, you might just end up with . . . well, you know. Which didn’t stop me from eating 2 fresh out of the oven. Hey, you only live once!
Junk in the Trunk Cookies (adapted from Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie)
Yield: About 18 MASSIVE cookies
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 ¼ cups packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chunks
- 1 cup caramels, each cut into four cubes
- 1 cup pretzel stick bits (each pretzel broken into two or three pieces)
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt, then set aside.
- Cream together the melted butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla until mixture is creamy. Then, mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Finally, stir in the chocolate chunks, caramel cubes, and pretzel sticks until just combined.
- Drop cookie dough ¼ cup at a time onto the parchment-lined sheets. Position cookies about 3 inches apart on the sheets. Bake for 15 to 17 minutes, or until edges turn golden brown.