So what does one take to a potluck hosted and attended by food bloggers? With enough forethought, I imagine that I could have pushed my creative boundaries to come up with something more original than cookies. But I had to keep in mind that whatever I chose to make had to transport easily and not require refrigeration or reheating. Oh, and it needed to be simple enough to work into a weeknight that was filled with the likes of Mad Men, The Closer, and Real Housewives New Jersey. Because when I jump on board the crazy train that is RHNJ, my attention for anything that does not involve hair pulling, table flipping, or botox parties stays behind at the station.
So I pulled out my “dessert” binder and looked for inspiration. I mean I have a ridiculous collection of recipes that I’ve made and liked enough to photograph, develop a story about, post for your use, and print for mine. But nothing was really calling to me. It wasn’t until I stumbled across a post on Plain Chicken that I got inspired. By Butterfinger. You know, the chocolate and peanut butter candy bar. I can only say that the Universe meant for us to be together. How else would you explain me finding a recipe (on a site that I had never been to before) that called for 5 king size Butterfinger candy bars on the same day that I happened to stop at 7-11 for a Diet Coke and saw a ginormous display of Butterfinger with…wait for it…coupons?
Seriously, I never stop at 7-11. And I certainly don’t buy my baking ingredients at the convenience store. And yet, when faced with four feet of Nestle’s blue and yellow wrapped happiness, it was as though the Universe was whispering in my ear…do it, you know you want to. And I did want to. I wanted to real bad.
So I did. And while Tivo caught me up on the latest bit of crazy coming out of Real Housewivesland (no disrespect to the rest of the state of New Jersey), I chopped and mixed and scooped and baked. Quality control demanded that I test each batch that came out of the oven. Quality control also strongly suggested that I sample the dough straight from the mixing bowl. There may have been a bit of dough binge going on. But as there were no witnesses, that truth will remain between me and my scale.
The cookie dough was sinful. Butter, sugar, brown sugar, peanut butter and 5 candy bars? How could that not be good? Fresh from the oven, the cookies were soft and melty. I should have considered that the candy bits, melted into the dough, might be subatomically attracted to the fillings in my teeth. Of course, I should have also considered 30 seconds to be an inadequate cooling period before testing said freshly baked treat laden with molten candy.
I thought they were good. But would everyone else? I am, if nothing else, my own worst critic. I was playing around with the baking times so my results weren’t as consistent as I would have liked. Some cookies were a little over baked while others were spot on. Was this the first impression I wanted my fellow potluckers to have of my skills? So I decided to hedge my bets and whip up a batch of my super special Chocolate Double Spice Cookies. Those things are nearly foolproof and gave me the confidence boost I needed to walk into a room full of new faces and say, “Hi, I’m Wendi and I made these. I hope you enjoy them.”
If you’ve read my Big Summer Potluck recap, you know how this story ends. And if you haven’t read it, go clicky that potluck linky at the top of the page. The cookies were fine. They were more than fine. And they were received as graciously as if they were caviar and champagne.
Peanut Butterfinger Cookies
Adapted from Plain Chicken and Food.com
BAH Note: For maximum Butterfingery goodness, do not cook these more than 12 minutes. I’m tempted to say don’t cook them more than 10 or 11 minutes. But really, 12 minutes tops. I’m not well versed in cookie bars, but I suspect that these would be awesome in bar form. Can someone please investigate and report back? I got about 4 dozen cookies (+/- a few for “quality control testing”) out of the recipe.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 5 (2.1 ounce) Butterfinger candy bars, chopped
Heat your oven to 350 degrees and line two sheet pans with parchment.
In the workbowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars. Add the egg whites and beat well. Add the peanut butter and vanilla and mix until thoroughly combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix until just combined. Add the chopped candy and mix until combined.
Using a small ice cream scoop, portion out approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per cookie and place on the sheet pan (6 cookies to a pan). Use a fork to mark them with a # design. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, turning the pans halfway through, until they just start to color. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.