I know tomorrow is Halloween, and everyone is probably going to be eating the worst thing ever for you - candy with artificial colors AND flavors. I can barely say those words. Halloween was one of my absolute favorite times of year as a kid. Not because I liked dressing up, I rarely was excited about a costume. I believe I was a Ninja Turtle three years in a row, simply because I didn’t really care. I was a cheerleader with my best friend because it was her idea, and I didn’t have anything better. And, I was the T member of TLC (before I even knew what songs they sang) because my friends asked me to. I listened to old music as a kid, and was always the odd ball out at birthday parties when the radio would come and I wouldn’t know any of the songs on the pop station. Full disclosure, I didn’t even know what TLC looked like - or that a small blonde white girl wouldn’t actually be able to look like them no matter how much I dressed the part. It makes complete sense why people kept asking us what we were supposed to be that year, haha!
But, what I did care about was CANDY! It was the one day of the year where Mom did not say no to candy. She let us go out and get as much of it as we could. Afterwards, we’d dump our candy bags onto the living room floor and begin the trading process. Mom would swoop in and take the candies that no one wanted like Good & Plenty, Sugar Daddys and Baby Ruths. After that my brother, sister, and I along with whoever's friends were over would begin trading each other for what we liked. I ended up loosing a lot of my sugary candy to my brother, candies like Skittles and Starbursts in exchange for 3 Musketeers and Almond Joys. Just like on birthdays when I’d trade him my frosting for his cake. Doug and I have completely different tastes, he goes for fruity and sugary sweets and I go for chocolate. So, I will always have a soft spot for Halloween. And, I am even more excited about my Project Dream Home because it is in the Trails neighborhood in Mammoth, the only neighborhood where kids are allowed to Trick or Treat. We should be in our house for next Halloween and I will be that “weird” house handing out organic candy. Only because it’s taboo to hand out homemade things, otherwise I’d be giving out cookies.
I know that cravings will come, especially during special times of the year when you feel nostalgia for a treat. So, today I’m sharing a recipe for Sweet & Salty Candy Cookies. Hopefully this cookie will help you NOT eat bad for you candy. I feel this cookie has it all, it’s sweet, it’s chocolatey, it's salty and it has candy inside (without artificial colors, of course) - what more do you need?
Sweet & Salty Candy Cookies
1 stick (113 grams) organic butter, softened
113 grams (1/2 cup) organic cane sugar
113 grams (1/2 cup) organic packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
2 organic large eggs
43 grams (1/2 cup) Dutch cocoa, sifted
198 grams (1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon) organic all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 bag (6 ounces) Unreal Milk Chocolate Gems or Sundrops (which is what I used above)
43 grams (1/2 cup) organic pretzels
15 grams (1 teaspoon) cane sugar
15 grams (1 teaspoon) fine sea salt
Method Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment aper.
To make the dough: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment add the butter, sugar, dark brown sugar and vanilla extract. Mix on low until all ingredients are combined. Add the eggs, cocoa, flour, baking powder and sea salt into the mixing bowl in that order. Then mix on low until almost combined.
Add the candy and pretzels and mix on low until combined.
On a cookie sheet with parchment paper, start forming your cookie dough balls. When “balling” the cookies, you want your cookie dough balls to be about 2 to 2 1/2-inches in diameter and look like a round disk. Space them at least 1-inch apart, they will spread a little when baking.
Bake for 11 minutes or until puffy and set.
To make the topping: In a small dish add the sugar and sea salt together and mix. Once the cookies come out of the oven, sprinkle with sugar and sea salt mixture.
Store cookies in an airtight container for up to 7 days.
Gluten Free – Replace the all purpose flour with 212 grams (1 1/3 cups) organic gluten free flour blend.
High Altitude – Bake at 375°F for 8 minutes or until puffy and set.