Friday, December 7, 2012

Cornflake and Peanut Brittle Cookies

I’m always looking for an excuse to bake cookies. Isn’t everyone? With the new book The Daily Cookie, you’re given 365 reasons to do just that. And, those reasons don’t need to be big events. That’s the fun of the book. I received a copy for review. The book, written by Anna Ginsberg, includes a different cookie recipe for each day of the year to correspond with either a holiday or anniversary or something like the day “C is for Cookie” was first performed on Sesame Street or International Picnic Day. There are bar cookies like Strawberry Malt Swirl Brownies, Nanaimo Bars, and several types of brownies, drop cookies, roll and cut cookies, biscotti, sandwich cookies, and waffle cookies to name a few. I was intrigued by the Cornflake and Peanut Brittle Cookies because I’d never thought of using crushed peanut brittle in a cookie before. Then, I read a few more pages and found the recipe for Chipotle Beer Brittle that I had to try, and the plan was set in motion. For the cookie, any peanut brittle would have worked, but I had just decided to make the chipotle beer version so I used it. The brittle has just a scant amount of chipotle powder and just a quarter cup of ale, so those flavors aren’t overwhelming. While eating the plain peanut brittle, you get subtle hints of the smoky chipotle which is a nice contrast to the sweetness.

The peanut brittle was made in the usual way. The differences here were that when the sugar and corn syrup were placed in a saucepan to be heated, rather than adding water, beer was used. Then, after the sugar and peanut mixture came up to temperature, chipotle powder was added with the salt and baking soda along with butter and vanilla. I made the brittle a day in advance and chopped enough for the cookies just before starting that recipe. For the cookies, I actually doubled the recipe since it was time to send off more birthday cookies. The cookie dough was started by combining the dry ingredients in a separate bowl before creaming butter with light brown sugar and granulated sugar in a stand mixer. Two eggs (for the doubled amount) and vanilla were added followed by the dry ingredients, crushed cornflakes, crushed peanut brittle, and coconut. The dough was scooped into balls and baked for about twelve minutes.

I loved the mix of textures in these cookies. There were crispy cornflake pieces, crunchy bits of brittle, and chewy coconut packed into each tender cookie. Next, I want to try the Birdseed Bars, Almond-Topped Shortbread Bars, and the Chai-Chocolate Banana Tea Bars. And, I won’t need to wait for an occasion since the recipes come with built-in reasons to bake.

Cornflake and Peanut Brittle Cookies
Recipes re-printed with publisher’s permissions from The Daily Cookie, by Anna Ginsberg/Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC.

Makes 32

August 22
National Tooth Fairy Day No one knows the Tooth Fairy’s real age, but parents have been telling their children about her since the early 1900s. There are other ways of dealing with tooth loss. Vikings paid their kids for each tooth and put them on a string, whereas in medieval Europe, they buried teeth in the garden. Some Latin countries have the “tooth mouse,” while in Asia it is customary to throw the lost tooth over the roof. You won’t really lose a tooth on these cookies—or at least I hope not. But if you do, the cookies are worth it.

Other Events on This Day: The schooner America won a yachting competition in 1851 in England. It was the namesake for the America’s Cup.

1 cup (4.5 ounces) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (4 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups cornflakes, crushed
1/2 cup crushed peanut brittle
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place a rack in the center. Line two baking sheets with nonstick foil or parchment paper.

2. Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-size bowl; set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until light and creamy. Beat in the egg and vanilla and continue mixing on medium-high speed for another minute. By hand, stir in the flour mixture until incorporated. Stir in the cereal, peanut brittle, and coconut.

4. Scoop up level tablespoonfuls of batter and shape into balls. Arrange the balls about 2 1/2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned. Let cool on the baking sheet for about 3 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chipotle Beer Brittle

Makes about 1 pound

November 10
World Science Day Established by UNESCO in 2001, World Science Day aims to raise awareness of scientists around the world, renew the commitment to use science for society’s benefit, and draw attention to scientific challenges. Or in this case, candy challenges. Making candy is a very practical and tasty scientific exercise, which is why students make it (sans beer) over Bunsen burners in high school science class.

Other Events on This Day: US Marine Choir Day

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/8 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup ale, such as Shiner, or water
1 1/2 cups raw peanuts (see Baker’s Note)

1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick foil or parchment paper and have ready a candy thermometer.

2. Mix together the salt, baking soda, and chipotle powder and set next to the stove. Measure out the butter and vanilla and have them ready, too.

3. In a 3-quart nonstick saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and beer. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Add the peanuts and continue to cook, stirring, until the temperature of the mixture reaches about 250°F, at which point you want to stir constantly to keep the peanuts from burning. Continue to cook, stirring, until the temperature reaches exactly 300°F. Remove from the heat and quickly stir in the butter, vanilla, and chipotle mixture.

4. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet. If you want to make the brittle a little thinner, tilt the baking sheet slightly so it spreads, but don’t tilt it so much you burst all the nice air bubbles. Let the mixture stand at room temperature until it hardens, then break into pieces.

Baker’s Note: If you can’t find raw peanuts, use unsalted dry roasted peanuts and add them when the temperature is between 240° and 250°F on the candy thermometer.

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22 comments:

  1. Oh, that is an awesome and original combination! An addictive cookie, I'm sure.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  2. These sound amazing, Lisa! And I can't remember the last time I used that word to describe a cookie. Pinning now!

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  3. These cookies look ridiculously delicious :)

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  4. They look fantastic! Great use of cornflakes.

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  5. YUM - they remind me of the 'kitchen sink' cookies. looks delicious and like it has a crunch, which i think makes a cookie all the more interesting :)

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  6. every texture imaginable seems to be present in these little bad boys! whoever first slipped cornflakes into cookies deserves a pat on the back. :)

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  7. The photo of the Chipotle Beer Brittle is enticing! My resident cookie monster would approve of The Daily Cookie. I image a Christmas wish list update is in order!

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  8. My Mum used to make these for us when we were kids! I love them. They are very nostalgic *sigh*

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  9. I love this post. I am intrigued that someone can come up with so many cookie recipes, but when they can make a cookie using homemade beer brittle, well that says it all. I'm so curious as to how it tastes. And the cookies look and sound wonderful!

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  10. I am definitely adding this book to my wish list, I have a weakness for this type of book, that joins "fact" or "trivia" with cooking. Or cookies. Or bread... :-)

    Very interesting recipe, cornflakes, peanut brittle - I bet those are some tasty cookies!

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  11. I've been wanting to pick up a copy of Anna's book. Who doesn't need 365 cookie recipes! That chipotle beer brittle sounds terrific on its own. Such an intriguing cookie!

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  12. I've made momofuku cookies with cornflake crunch but I think I like the sound of these more. That chipotle peanut brittle is calling my name! As is this cookbook!

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  13. Peanut brittle in a cookie. I know my husband would want to eat the all.

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  14. These cookies look and sound amazing! I'm falling more and more in love with cookies, and with brittle, corn flakes, and coconut, what's not to love about these?!?

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  15. I've been reading about Anna's book....it's on my wish list. These look fun, unusual and very tasty.
    Like Joanne, I've made Momofuku's crunch, and am looking forward to trying these. ( your beer brittle looks fabulous, Lisa!)

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  16. Ohhh, that look so yummy!!!!!

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  17. P.S. I have nominated you for a Reality Blog Award. Come collect! :) x http://www.foodmyfriend.com/2012/12/reality-blog-award/comment-page-1/#comment-28013

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  18. Oh, Lisa, now I want this book! :D
    The cookies look so delicious!

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  19. Hi Lisa, I found your blog over at Food Is My Friend. I really love the recipes, and your photos are great. I look forward to reading more from you.

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  20. The Daily Cookie?? Sign me up! And although we don't often have corn flakes in the house, we sometimes do (for Cherry Winks, if nothing else), and I'm always looking for something to use the rest of the box. These look outstanding! Good stuff - thanks.

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  21. Yum!!! I LOVE baking with cornflakes, these look fantastic!!

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  22. Find an excuse to bake cookies? Not me! But I will find any excuse to have some cookies that are baked by others :p

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