You know what’s special about the cookies I just made?
There are, without a doubt, the worst cookies known to humanity. I want to say “Not since ___ has a communion of sugar and fat rendered so unpalatable a result,” except that I can’t fill in the blank without being self-referential: these cookies are the worst cookies SINCE THESE COOKIES.
Seve was asking me to make “butterscotch crunchies,” whatever the hell those are. I suspect Ruby and her gang of power-tripping whore scouts were involved somehow. Anyway. He was asking for them, and I thought I might have a package of sugar cookie mix that I could MacGyver together with some leftover caramels, but no such dice. And not enough flour to make (much better-tasting) shortbread, so I had to say no.
Cue massive, wholly self-contained guilt: “Tell you what, Beaster. Let’s see what we’ve got and I’ll try to find a cookie recipe that we can make, okay?”
And lo, there was celebration throughout the land.
I had a nearly-full box of Special K, and a nearly-full container of peanut butter, and a crapload of other baking-type ingredients, so I knew it would be possible, and was happy when Google offered this up as the top search result: Special K Cookies Recipe, courtesy of Allrecipes.com.
Well, that should have been my first clue. Allrecipes is notorious for recipes that look something like this:
1 cup green beans
1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter
Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat; add breadcrumbs and stir until combined and slightly toasted. Sprinkle over green beans. Serves two.
With comments like this:
I didnt have any green benas so I used brocolli instead and added a can of condensed mushroom soup. I only had plain breadcrumbs but I stired in some oregano, tyhme, parsley, margoram, basil, oregano and garlic salt. It was a little too flavored for my guests liking but other than that we thought it was great! Will definitely make again when I have some kidney beans in the house!
In other words, you can trust the recipe reviews as much as you can trust a three-year-old with a butterscotch crunchie.
But I was brave, I was committed, I was ingrediented, and we soldiered on. Right on past my second clue, where the recipe referred to Special K as “high protein crisp rice and wheat cereal.”
Honestly? That still sounds more appetizing than the result, which was this:
“Aw, but those look delicious!” you’re thinking. Well, your eyes are liars. They are not.
The overwhelming flavour profile is sweet. Not sweetness. Sweet. Corn-syrup-chugged-straight-from-the-bottle-sweet. Though I acquiesced to Allrecipes tradition and added more peanut butter than the recipe called for, you wouldn’t know it. I threw one of these on the lawn and a squirrel, who can detect a peanut buried four feet in the permafrost, looked at me like I’d just insulted him. I had. Perceptive squirrel.
I could have seen past the too-sweet, not-peanutty marginally crunchy result had I actually been able to remove them from the waxed paper on which I’d set them to cool:
I’d say that at least half the cookies I removed came with a thin layer of waxed paper stuck to the bottom. Which can only be an improvement, tastewise.
Now, you’re probably thinking, “Oh, you just didn’t let them cool enough.” And I’m here to tell you: they were plenty cool. They were cold. They were Arthur-Fonzarelli-when-Pinky-Tuscadero-wouldn’t-put-out cold. We went through four fridges in the space of a year when, one after one, the thermostat would crap out, leaving us with lettuce that was iceberg in name and fact. I don’t remember a single Hallowe’en as a kid that didn’t involve costumes specifically designed to accommodate a snowsuit underneath. I know from cold, is what I’m getting at. These cookies were COLD.
And now you’re probably thinking, “Oh, maybe they were too cold, then.”
And I’m thinking, “Oh shut up, what the hell do you know.”
As a consequence of the impenetrable molecular bond between peanut gum and paper — truly, it’s a shame NASA didn’t know about this recipe before it retired its fleet of space shuttles — about a third of them ended up here:
Which was as kind a burial as I could manage after eating that much sugar.
And if the complete and unrelenting disappointment of wasting perfectly good ingredients on so lousy a result was not injustice enough, I was left with this to clean:
P, if you read this and you’re wondering why your favourite pot is lying crushed and frozen in the middle of the street, know that I tried my best.