Sunday, December 12, 2010

That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles

A warm welcome to delightful Betty Hechtman. Betty has a Christmas book out this year, YOU BETTER KNOT DIE. Isn't that the best title? It's also Betty's first hardback in her crocheting mystery series. Congratulations, Betty!

My original plan was to write about a recipe I considered, but didn’t include in You Better Knot Die, but when my family heard I was writing about food, which meant I’d be making what I wrote about, they talked me out of it. Instead, they thought I should write about making my giant chocolate chip cookie. They argued that it’s good for the holidays or really any day. They reminded me I have even stuck candles in it and made it into a birthday cake.

And then when I was shopping for chocolate chips at Trader Joe’s, my son showed me a container of mini peanut butter cups. Why not use those instead of chocolate chips? Hmm, milk chocolate and peanut butter. How could you go wrong?

My baking night finally arrived and at around 11 p.m., I was ready to start. I had the jelly roll pan buttered, the two sticks of butter were cut up in the bowl of my old (it’s avocado, if that’s any hint) Kitchenaide mixer. BTW, I love using it, instead of having to juggle things in one hand while holding a mixer in the other. But then I went to measure the sugar. White sugar, no problem. Brown sugar, the rock of Gibraltar. I tried chipping it with a spoon, which worked okay until I tasted it. Uck!

There’s nothing like a midnight trip to the grocery store. You get a weird crowd - except me, of course. On my way through the baking aisle, I passed an adult couple pushing one of those carts the store has for little kids. There were groceries in it, too. I kept seeing these two sixty-something guys with white hair. They were having a big discussion about ice cream. They ended up in front of me in line. They were buying a garish cake in the shape of a Santa Claus head and a quart of rum raisin ice cream. Visions of an upset stomach danced in my head.

Once I was home with the nice soft brown sugar, the mixing process went smoothly. I thought the mini peanut butter cups might be a little too rich, so instead of adding the whole 12 ounce container, I added half. (Traditional chocolate chip cookies call for 12 ounces of chocolate chips.)

Getting the batter in the jelly roll pan was no problem, but then it sat like a big mountain in the middle. I found the best way to spread out the batter was to lay a piece of wax paper over the whole baking pan and use my hands to push the batter all the way to the ends of pan.

The great part about making a giant cookie is that you just pop the pan in the oven. No endless in and out with cookie sheets. And you have the 20-25 minutes it takes to bake to clean up. I don’t know about anybody else, but I always end up with flour all over the place.

At last the moment of truth. I took the delicious smelling golden brown monster cookie out of the oven. I laid it on a rack to cool. But, hey, nobody in my house was going to leave it alone that long. We were on it, like white on rice. As fast as I could cut it into bars, they were disappearing. All agreed it was a yum, though my husband thought I used have used the whole 12 ounces of mini peanut butter cups. But then he likes everything really sweet.

I admit it, I had cookies for breakfast, but I don’t think they count because I went to the gym right afterwards.

The Recipe

2 sticks of unsalted butter, cut into slices
3/4 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup of brown sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
2 eggs
2 1/4 cups of flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chopped walnuts
6-12 ounces of mini peanut butter cups (But if you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, Nestles make a mixture of chocolate and peanut butter chips that would probably have a similar effect.)

Cream the butter, sugars and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix the flour, salt and soda in a small bowl and gradually add to the butter, sugar, etc. mixture. Stir in the chopped nuts and mini peanut butter cups. Spread in a 15 inch X 10 inch jelly roll pan and bake in a oven preheated to 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes until it’s golden brown. Cool the pan on a wire rack and cut into bars.

Betty Hechtman writes the national bestselling crochet mystery series. The latest release is You Better Knot Die. She lives in Southern California with her family and growing stash of yarn. For more information go to


  1. Welcome to the Kitchen, Betty! Oh, I can almost smell that giant chocolate chip cookie baking. Choco-bliss for the whole family. :) Big congrats on your move to hardcover, too, a well-earned gift to celebrate. Can't wait to read it!

    Cheers and Happy Holidays,
    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  2. Betty, this sounds like such family fun. I love the image of everyone jumping on the hot from the oven cookie!

    I've encountered that Rock of Gibraltar brown sugar before. I usually waste an hour or so using microwave methods to try to soften it, but they rarely work. Why do I think your midnight adventure in the grocery store might wind up in one of your books? : )

    Thanks for joining us today!

    ~ Krista

  3. I love that you went shopping with your son and he came up with ideas! We're fans of giant cookies here, but I've never made one...just bought them for teachers' birthdays and things like that. What a great idea! Thanks for coming by today, Betty. :)

  4. Oooh, I may have to make a trip to Sprouts - now I have an excuse to buy some of their mini peanut butter cups.

  5. Betty, thanks for joining us. Giant cookies are the best! Love the peanut butter cups addition.

    Killer Characters

  6. Hey Betty! So great to see you here! Love your recipe and I laughed with your brown sugar dilemma... I have been there myself many times. Thanks for this great recipe! And PS - I really love all your titles!!

  7. Thanks for the welcome, Cleo. The cat in your photo looks just like the one sitting on my lap as I'm trying to write this.

  8. Krista, thanks for inviting me to your blog. What goes better with mysteries than food. Yes, light night trips to the grocery store are always an adventure. There was a guy the store help called the phantom of Gelsons...

  9. Elizabeth, the giant cookie idea is the best. And if you're brown sugar isn't a rock, quick to make.

  10. CindyD, you won't be sorry if you buy the mini peanut butter cups. Even if they never make it into cookie batter, they are yummy to eat as is.

  11. My hubby got some mini Reese's cups last weekend. I'm sure these would be inhaled at my house too!

  12. Avery, thanks for welcoming me to your blog.

  13. Janel, peanut butter and chocolate go together really well - in or out of cookies.

  14. Thanks for stopping by the kitchen, Betty. I love the grocery store at midnight -- good character material. And your recipe is a killer (pun intended). Then again, with 2 sticks of butter (yum) it is to die for...okay, I'll stop now. I can not wait tomake these!

  15. These sound like great cookies. I love the story about going to the store. Can't wait to these this recipe.

    Thoughts in Progress

  16. Jenn, anything with two sticks of butter has to be good.

  17. Mason, the grocery store is always an adventure.

  18. Just like your books your blog was great to read. I might just have to try this sometime. Love the idea of not doing the constant switch of cookie sheets. Of course chocolate chip cookies don't last long in my home. 4 kids and a husband usually make short work of even a double batch.

    Thanks again for the recipe and cute story of your trip to the store.