Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Egg-Free Kitchen Sink Cookies

I hope that all of my American followers had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.  Like all of you, I spent the better part of my weekend amongst my extended family.  We got together (all 10 grandchildren, my sisters, brothers-in-law and my parents) this weekend to see a local rendition of "Annie" at a local theatre.  We are a veritable force to be reckoned with when we all go out together.  It was a great time (I think even the boys liked the play although didn't love all the 'girly' singing).  I'm not ashamed to say that I knew all of the words to the songs being an Annie fan from waaaay back.

On Saturday night we all went to my parents' house for Saturday supper.  Our regular chaos ensued!  Since we're all Carb Addicts I was asked to bake some bread (read as 'obscene amounts of bread') so I brought two large loaves of my favourite bread (Garlic and Herb Topped Rosemary Bread). 

I also figured I'd bring some cookies for the kids that were safe for all of the little ankle biters.  See, one of my kids (Boy 1) and one of my nephews (S) are allergic to peanuts but Nephew S is also almost outgrown his egg allergy. Almost.  Not wanting to be the Aunt to test if he's 100% outgrown his allergy I opted to bake some egg-free cookies.  No one wants to stab a four-year-old with an Epi Pen if you don't absolutely have to, right?

I scoured the internet for 5 minutes and found this recipe.  It was a hit with the youngin's and the more mature faction.  Half the cookies were snuck, nabbed and nibbled before we even had supper.  There is no greater praise, I tell ya!  The goal of these cookies was to make an allergen safe yet truly yummy cookie.  I double-dog-dare-you to tell that these cookies are egg-free.  That's right, I'm pullin' out the big guns now.  I double-dog-dare you!  Not only does the base cookie have a great texture and flavour but all of the salty and sweet add-ins truly make this cookie stellar!

Granted, I did feel a little odd chopping up potato chips and pretzels for cookies but my love of all things salty and sweet took over and I got over my initial feelings. Plus, I got to purge my pantry all in the name of baking.  A win-win if there ever was one.

Egg-Free Kitchen Sink Cookies
Yield: 3 1/2 dozen 3-inch cookies

2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 cups baking add-ins (chocolate chips, coconut, Craisins, raisins ...)
2-3 cups snack food add-ins (potato chips, pretzels, crushed Smarties, crushed Oreo cookies, sunflower seeds ...)
1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
2 tsp vanilla

Note:  For my add-ins I used the following: 1/2 cup sweetened shredded coconut, 1 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup Craisins, 1 cup chopped Ruffles potato chips, 1 cup chopped Rolled Gold pretzels, 6 chopped Oreo cookies.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking soda and salt together.  Set aside.

Get your add-ins ready.  Crush some potato chips, chop up some pretzels and Oreos.  Go to town scouring your pantry for yummy things to throw into these cookies.  Toss them into a big old bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer (or a large bowl), combine softened butter, white sugar, brown sugar, softened cream cheese and vanilla.  Slowly add in flour mixture and gently mix until just combined.

Fold baking and snack add-ins.  Using a large melon baller, drop cookie dough approximately 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.  Flatten each cookie dough mound slightly (I used the bottom of a measuring cup).

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow cookies to stay on the cookie sheet for 2-3 minutes.  Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.  Store in an airtight container.

Please Note: the add-ins that I used are peanut and egg-free in Canada.  PLEASE, if you're making these cookies for an allergic person, check the labels each and every time.  Companies in different countries label and produce their products differently and labelling can change without notice.

Inspired by: The Art of Dessert's 'Crazy Delicious Egg-Free Cookies'

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