Do you ever have the fortunate problem of leftover Halloween candy due to a lower than expected trick-or-treater turnout? Since we live up in the woods with no neighbors in sight, we have not had that particular dilemma in over 25 years. However, it does not stop me from buying Halloween candy just in case we are suddenly overtaken by a large band of rouge candy hunters. So, there I was, looking at my stash of candy, which happened to include a big bag of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and decided that they might make a good cookie as well as a snack. Here is the result, and you will see the whole pantry is pretty much thrown in to this one. These big cookies that are chewy and moist on the inside, brimming with peanut butter, oatmeal, coconut, salted & roasted peanuts, and of course, big pieces of peanut butter cups. Use any favorite leftover candy and you’ll be a happy camper. The result is a little new, a little familiar, and a whole lot addictive. Trick or treat!! These cookies started out as one of those occasions where I found myself staring around the kitchen and pondering how to create a cookie that was a little bit off the beaten path. You’ve already heard that I had some peanut butter cups, which made me think of peanut butter…and then peanuts. That was all well and good, but some texture was required, so out came the oatmeal and coconut. Eureka! Bake these guys until they turn light brown on the edges, then yank them out of the oven as soon as you can. Your end result will be crispy edges with a moist, chewy interior.
The only other little piece of advice I can give is to make sure the peanuts and whichever Halloween candy you choose are roughly chopped. It’s always nice to get a big bite of chocolate or peanuts, and not some tiny little item that is difficult to identify. Plus, it’s less work. If you don’t want to use peanut butter cups, any type of candy that features chocolate and is not so hard it will break your teeth will work just fine.
Before I leave you today, I’d like to share this beautiful volume of poetry ,’The Listening Post’, written by our friend Gordon Dawson. Gordon lives in Portland, is an avid gardener and lover of all things in nature. He never ceases to be thrilled and amazed by the birds, plants, and living creatures of our planet. His poetry reflects all of this and more. An excellent volume to curl up with in front of a roaring fire. For more information on how to purchase this book, just send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s all for today, my friends. Thanks so much for reading today, and I wish you the best of fall days. xoxoxoxo
- 2 sticks butter at room temperature
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
- 3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup sweetened, grated coconut
- 2 cups roasted & salted peanuts, very roughly chopped
- 2 cups Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups or any other leftover Halloween candy that includes chocolate, very roughly chopped (you want BIG pieces)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
- In a mixer (or by hand if you don’t happen to have a mixer), cream the butter until smooth and fluffy.
- Add the peanut butter and continue beating until well mixed in.
- Add in the brown sugar and granulated sugar, and beat well until sugars are fully incorporated and everything is all nice and fluffed up.
- With your mixer on medium, add the eggs, one at a time, allowing one minute between adding each egg.
- When the eggs are all mixed in, add the vanilla and mix just until incorporated.
- Turn your mixer down to low, and add in the baking soda and salt, then the flour.
- Next, add the oatmeal, one cup at a time, until everything is fully combined.
- Add the coconut.
- Add the cashews, and peanut butter cups, and mix only until well blended in with everything else. Over-mixing will break up the nuts, so less is more in this endeavor.
- Using a small ice cream scoop if you have one (mine holds about 2 tablespoons of dough), drop your cookie dough on a cookie sheet that has been well greased or lined with parchment.
- At this point, I like to keep a cup of cold water with a fork in it nearby, and lightly squish down each cookie. This helps them spread and bake evenly.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes for the 2 tablespoon sized cookie, or until the edges begin to brown and the centers look set and not doughy.
- Remove from oven and cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.
- The rest is up to you, but I’d eat a couple really fast before anybody else knows what you’ve got going on there.