Monday, October 13, 2008

Halloween Cookies: Oreos, M&Ms, Chocolate Chips

I have a strange predilection for Halloween Oreos. I occasionally enjoy regular black and white Oreos, and I tend to shy away from the Winter (red creme), Spring (purple creme), and Golden varieties. The Halloween Oreos however, with their unnaturally orange creme, I can't seem to get enough of. Perhaps the recipe they use is ever-so-slightly different, or there is some ingredient in the orange food coloring that gives me an extra endorphin boost. Whatever the reason, I love Halloween Oreos.

I also love M&Ms, but I eat these candies throughout the year, no matter what color combination the Mars company has decided would sell more bags to unwitting consumers.
So given these two sugary fancies, along with my obsession with chocolate chip cookies, one can only imagine the thrill I felt when I was scrolling through the posts on Cookie Madness and found this recipe for chocolate chip cookies with Halloween Oreos and Halloween M&Ms. Toward the end of my preparation, when all of the ingredients sat in the bowl, ready for the final mixing, I noticed how festive these cookies appeared, and how decorative they would look on the buffet table at a kid's Halloween party or at a school's October bake sale. With the bright colors and the familiarity of the ingredients, I could see just how whimsical a tray of these cookies would be for a group of little kids; I also recognized my own excitement at this Halloween-themed cookie. So many of the seasonal desserts I see involve massive decoration, and really seem to come together with the finesse of the final decoration or construction. Being a slightly less-than talented artist, I was pleased to find a holiday treat that I would be able to make without the fear of frosting muddled Frankensteins or vampires or witches.

And beyond the playful colors of the final product, these cookies are delicious as well. To give fair warning, though, they are quite sugary (hmm, how could that be?) and could easily put one into a cookie coma with just two or three helpings. But since we are approaching Halloween, it seems safe to assume that most of us will be in sugar shock soon enough anyway.

Halloween Chocolate Chip M&M Oreo Cookies

Yield: About 30 cookies

¾ cup unsalted butter, softened

½ cup granulated sugar

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup Halloween M&M candies

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

6-8 Oreos, broken into fourths (do not crush)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and both sugars. Beat in vanilla and egg. Add baking soda, salt, baking powder and cream of tartar and beat well. Add the flour and mix until well-blended. Stir in the M&M’s, chocolate chips and cookies. Using a heaping teaspoon, drop the cookies about 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets. Bake for 13-15 minutes.

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