Happy “Chew This!” Sunday! As many of you know, I write a food column for “The Courier-Times” on the first and third Sundays of each month called “Chew This!” I absolutely love it and love sharing my family recipes, stories and memories. If you are in the Henry County, Indiana area – pick up a copy of the newspaper today and let me know what you think! If you are not, but would still like to take a look, sign up for an online subscription at http://thecouriertimes.com Need help with the online signing up!? Write to me and I will be happy to help! firstname.lastname@example.org
My newest column is all about celebrations – planned and unplanned and never having to find an excuse to celebrate LIFE! To help everyone celebrate my featured recipe is for “Celebration Monster Cookies”! These cookies are fabulous and are full of all kinds of delicious flavors – ground cinnamon, oatmeal, potato chips, chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, candy pieces and sprinkles! Now really, how bad could that be!? I am highly recommending you stir up a batch of these for your next celebration!
Also my “Ask and Answer” feature is all about chocolate chip cookies and how to keep them from spreading. Shoutout and special thanks to Tomi White from Texas for the question.
Pick up a copy of “The Courier-Times” TODAY and let me know what you think!
The following “Chew This!” column has been reprinted from “The Courier-Times”, Sunday, August 6th 2017 edition. By: Blaise Doubman
Cookies for a Celebration!
There is not anything I love more than a good celebration! You really do not even have to have a certain day to celebrate. Sure if may be a birthday, graduation, anniversary, Holiday or something personal to you, but a celebration can happen anytime and spur of the moment! There has been several times when I have celebrated something for someone just out of the blue. My brother getting a raise at his job, my Grandma Barba having a good Doctor’s appointment, a friend of mine finding their missing dog or even something as simple as celebrating the return of your favorite season! You may think that a celebration would have to be planned in advance, set up and stressed over. Not the case! A celebration can be spur of the moment and planned on the spot. A party to celebrate and spread love, making memories with your family and or your friends. A location, a few balloons, a couple of desserts, your favorite drinks and guess what? Instant celebration! Get creative and have fun!
Getting creative and having fun were the two most important factors when I was developing this recipe. After, of course, taste and simplicity! I have a recipe in my cookbook for “Potato Chip Monster Cookies” but I really wanted to take basic dough of that recipe and really turn up the volume. I wanted to add flavor, so I added ground cinnamon and peanut butter chips. I wanted to add texture so I added candy coated chocolate pieces and last but certainly not least, I wanted to add instant celebration, so I added in some rainbow colored sprinkles. People went crazy for these! Just looking at them would make a person think “celebration!” So fun, so flavorful and so easy to make! I hope that you make these for your next celebration party!
Celebration Monster Cookies
Use your imagination with these and add anything you like! Shredded coconut, different flavors of extracts, different flavors of potato chips, cereals, pretzels, candy, etc. Feel free to substitute the solid vegetable shortening for 2 sticks (8 oz. total) unsalted butter, but you will get a different texture profile. The dough can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to two days. Bake off accordingly.
1 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups white all-purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1 cup crushed plain flavored potato chips
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup peanut butter chips
1 cup candy coated chocolate pieces
½ cup rainbow colored sprinkles
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl combine the white granulated sugar, light brown sugar and solid vegetable shortening until light in color and fluffy in texture.
Beat in the large eggs, one at a time.
Add in the pure vanilla extract, ground cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda, stirring to combine everything until well mixed.
Gently fold in the white all-purpose flour and quick cooking oatmeal.
Gently stir in the crushed plain flavored potato chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, candy coated chocolate pieces and rainbow colored sprinkles.
Scoop the dough out into ¼ cup size mounds and place on prepared baking sheets. Leave plenty of room between each cookie because these will spread out and grow in size.
Place baking sheets, one at a time, in preheated oven and bake for 17 minutes.
Once baked, remove from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet before enjoying.
Ask and Answer: Tomi White from Texas recently asked me about how to make sure chocolate chips cookies don’t spread out, or go flat, once baked. There are really a few things a person should do to make sure your cookies don’t spread out – flatten. Make sure your butter is at soft room temperature. Never microwave your butter, especially microwaved to a complete liquid form. Also make sure that your baking powder and baking soda are both fresh. Both are pretty inexpensive, yet so very important when baking. My tip is that once you open your baking powder and baking soda – only keep them for a month, regardless. Once that 30 day period is up, throw them away and buy new. This will guarantee freshness. Also make sure your oven temperature is correct and regulated, by purchasing an oven thermometer.
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