Cookies are great. There’s easy to eat, individually-sized, perfectly-portable, and of course, delicious.
I made these as my monthly improv cooking challenge item. Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker produces this awesome monthly challenge. There are two required ingredients each month, and everyone makes something that contains both ingredients (+ anything else that they want to put in it). I LOVE it (1) because it’s really cool to see what people come up with, and (2) it gets my creative juices flowing and pushes me to create new recipes.
This month’s ingredients: popcorn and peanuts. I threw around a few ideas (popcorn and peanut crusted chicken; some sort of caramelized popcorn with peanuts;..) but ultimately I decided it could be really cool to throw ’em into a cookie!
As you may already know, I hardly bake without chocolate. So, naturally, I added chocolate chunks to these. Then, I spotted pretzels…..let’s just crush up some of those to put in the dough too….
That’s the dough. I tasted it
a few many times, just to make sure it was good you know?? (And, um, it’s super tasty.)
I used a cookie scoop to scoop the cookie dough out onto my silpat-lined baking sheets (you could also use parchment paper).
Then baked ’em for about 10 minutes. And voila!
You come out with soft, fluffy, flavorful cookies. Let them cool for a few minutes on the pan so that they firm up a bit. Then, you can transfer them over to a wire cooling rack.
A few batches later and presto! You get a scrumptious cookie avalanche!!!
For the salty-sweet lover in you, these are divine. Even if you don’t usually choose the salty-sweet combo, it’s worth a try with these. They’re very well balanced (flavor-wise) and make for a great dessert! They’re also a fantastic choice to bring to a BBQ, potluck, party, or function. People will know you put in some BST (blood, sweat, and tears) to make them, as there is no way they’d be storebought, and you’ll look pretty fly bringing in something no one has ever had before.
Hopefully I’ve convinced you here to make them…let’s do it!
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, large
1 tsp vanilla extract (I use Trader Joe’s)
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
1 12-oz bag chocolate chunks
1/3 popcorn kernels, popped
1 cup pretzel pieces
1) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with silpat pats or parchment paper. Set them aside.
2) In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set it aside.
3) Pop your popcorn kernels. I use a popcorn popper for this. (You may also do it in a heavy-bottomed pot on the stove-top. Simply add some oil to the pan, add the kernels, place on the lid, and heat ‘er up! The popcorn will start to pop, and as it does, you can gently shake the pot back and forth so that the kernels pops evenly.) Set the popcorn aside.
4) Using an electric mixer (handheld or stand mixer) cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. Cream this together on a high speed until it is light and fluffy.
5) Add in the 2 eggs and the vanilla extract. Beat again on medium-high speed until fully combined, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure it’s smooth.
6) With your mixer on the lowest speed, slowly and gradually add in the flour mixture. Once it starts becoming incorporated, you can turn the mixer up to a bit higher of a speed, until no more flour streaks remain.
7) Turn it back down to a low speed and add in the popcorn, chocolate chunks, peanuts, and pretzels. Again, you can increase the speed a bit as the ingredients mix in. You’ll likely have to switch to manually stirring the dough with a wooden spoon to finish fully incorporating everything.
8) Using a small cookie scoop (or 2 spoons) scoop out the dough onto your prepared cookie sheets, leaving about an inch between each cookie to allow them to expand.
9) Bake them in your preheated oven for 9-11 minutes, until the edges just start to turn brown. Remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool for a few minutes on the pan, then transfer them to a wire cooling rack.
10) As always, eat one warm!! It is the best.
11) Serve them, or allow them to cool completely and store them in an airtight container.
Yummmmmmmmmmmmmm! I hope you enjoy!! Something salty, something sweet, and an all-around satisfying treat!