Moment of truth: I love food but sweets are generally not something I crave. HOWEVER, last year I made it a goal to bake a new pie each month, inspired by my amazingly talented Grandma. It was actually a huge success and it taught me a few things about myself:
1. that I am a huge procrastinator-often I remembered the last week of the month (or the last DAY) and frantically had to plan my ingredients.
2. baking for me is kind of like free therapy-our kitchen isn't gigantic, there's hardly any natural light and if any of the four humans in our house enter it, I find myself tripping, a lot... but it has all that I need to get the job done. Something about following a recipe and measuring out quantities, planning as I go how I want to style the finished product for a pretty photo; it's comforting.
3. i'm actually pretty good at it- I said that I'm not a huge sweets person and truth be told, neither is my family. Sure my kids will ask for some candy when we have it, but more pies last year were wasted then I care to admit. My kids weren't huge fans, and they're at that stage where if a food looks different, they would rather take one bite (out of obedience) and skip the rest. I am of course grateful that they don't crave junk, but I am hoping to find a recipe that they crave someday soon. (I drool at the thought of my mom's m&m brownies, her molasses cookies, chocolate peanut butter balls, and blueberry pies. Whenever I think of them, my mind instantly goes back to sweet elementary school memories where I shared these goodies with my friends!)
So here we are, 2016. I promise my goals go beyond baking, but I'll save that for another post. So TA DAAAAA! One new cookie recipe a month is what I will be documenting this year (#ashleysyearofpies on Instagram if you care to follow along!) I had some packaged Snickers© Bites in my pantry and decided my first cookie recipe would be just this.
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter (and I had mine at room temperature)
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (I had to use off brand/generic vanilla flavoring and the cookies still turned out delicious, so I can't even imagine the flavor when REAL extract can be used!)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
a pinch of salt
1 bag of Snickers© Bites
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (I followed this step later in the process, instead of turning it on only to wait for the cookie dough to chill).
In a large bowl, cream the butter and both sugars until well blended. Add the extract and egg slowly to combine.
In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda and salt together. Slowly add the butter mixture and stir until combined. Chill the dough for 1 hour (confession: I actually chilled it for 45 minutes because I was getting too impatient).
Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto a lightly greased tray, about 2 inches apart
Bake for 8-10 minutes for chewy cookies or 12-14 for crispy (I took mine out after 7 minutes and let them finish cooking on the hot tray)
*You can either press the Bites into the cookies before loading them into the oven, or you can put it on when they come out--I actually did half and half just to see if I had a preference. I didn't, both ways are delicious :)
Both of my kids yelled, "COOKIES!" when they heard the oven timer go off. I was all excited thinking they would actually love one of their Mama's desserts but guess what they did....they just ate the SNICKERS© bites OFF of the cookies and set the actual cookie to the side. And then said, "More?? More cookies?" Ummmm.... guess we'll try again?! I will say that my husband grabbed one with a fresh cup of coffee and reassured that they are indeed delish.