One of my favorite parts of baking (aside from eating the yumminess) is spending quality time with my boys. Just recently my 4-year-old has shown an interest in helping me in the kitchen. He enjoys patting (rolling) dough for me and mixing ingredients together with a big spoon, but the thing he likes most is sampling, of course! (And spending time with Mama, I'd like to think.) My 18-month-old will even sit at the table with us and watch our baking show unfold. And it usually is a show!
When I suggested "getting rid" of our Halloween candy the other day, Elijah got curious. Get rid of candy? Why would we do that? I explained that I wanted to bake some of our candy inside of cookies, and he had his sleeves rolled up in seconds, ready to be of service! He is a great unwrapper, I discovered, which will come in handy for future baking escapades. He is also a great taste-tester, and very good at being discreet about his sampling. I was so busy encasing my candy bars neatly in dough that a few of our peanut butter cups mysteriously "disappeared."
This is a great way to use up your leftover Halloween candy. I loved that I really never knew what I was going to get until I bit into one. "OH! Butterfinger! Delightful!"
I have to give Rachael Ray some of the credit for these cookies because I used her double chocolate dough recipe (from EveryDay with Rachael Ray magazine), which is some of the tastiest cookie dough I've ever eaten.
And here is my happy, eager little helper.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together on low speed:
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, slightly softened
Turn out the dough onto a large piece of plastic wrap and flatten into a disk; seal. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with approximately 1 tablespoon of dough at a time, use your fingers to evenly encase each of 24 miniature candy bars (unwrapped and chilled) with the dough. Any mini candy bars would work great. I used: Snickers, peppermint patties, peanut butter cups, Butterfinger and Twix. I'll bet Kit-Kat, Milky Way, 3 Muskateers and Rolos would also be fantastic.
Place on the prapared pans and smooth the dough with your fingers, if needed. I placed like-sized dough balls on the same pan. My Butterfinger and Twix balls were slightly bigger than my peanut butter cup and Snickers balls.
Bake until just firm to the touch, about 14-18 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and let cool slightly. Transfer the cookies on the parchment to a rack to cool completely.
YUM. YUM. YUM.