Reese’s Pieces Cookies on Steroids

Do people in your life refer to items that are excessively good or over-the-top as “on steroids”?  You know, like when you make homemade ice cream with booze in it, it would be “ice cream on steroids” or seeing Dave Matthews at Red Rocks would be a “concert on steroids”.  Given this information, you’d think that we call these cookies “cookies on steroids” because of excessive deliciousness or the myriad of add-ins, but that’s actually not the case.

See, my poor husband came down with pneumonia last month and, as a result, was prescribed steroids to help him recover.  They worked really well, but a side effect of prednisone is that it makes you want to eat everything in sight.  He requested these cookies 36 hours after his diagnosis was confirmed and I’m pretty sure I saw him stack 8 of them on a plate as his “dessert”.


These are sort of a riff on a double chocolate cookie and a peanut butter cookie.  My husband and I don’t typically keep candy in the house (a combination of not loving it and admitting to a lack of willpower), but Reese’s Pieces tend to be our downfall. The only thing challenging about chocolate cookies is that it’s hard to tell when they’re done.  I’d recommend baking only a half dozen on your first cookie sheet to pinpoint your level of doneness – you want chewy for these, not crispy.

Reese’s Chocolate Cookies

yield: 24-36 cookies depending on how large you make them.

1 stick butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup Reese’s peanut butter chips (they look like tan chocolate chips and can be found in the same spot)

1 cup Reese’s pieces candy

1. Preheat your oven to 350. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy.  Mix in the egg and vanilla until combined.  Stir the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, and salt together and add slowly to the butter and sugar until it forms a nice dough.

2. Stir the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, and salt together and add slowly to the butter and sugar until it forms a nice dough.

3. Fold in the peanut butter chips and most of candy until well-distributed (save a tablespoon or two of candy).  Note that if you’re using a stand mixer and add the candies into the mixer, the paddle will crush some of the candy.  This doesn’t bother me, but if it bothers you, then stir in the candy by hand.

4. Scoop tablespoon sized mounds onto a cookie sheet and, if you’d like, stud the tops with the extra candies (this isn’t necessary, but it makes your cookies look prettier).  Bake for 10-12 minutes and allow to set for a few minutes before you remove them from the pan.


1. I do not condone the use of performance enhancing drugs.

2. I made homemade ice cream with booze this weekend.  It was life-changing.

Toasted Coconut Cookies

When it comes to desserts, I have very little discretion.  The only things I truly dislike are flan and creme brulee (a texture issue), I’m not really a cake or cheesecake lover, and chocolate and fruit aren’t so much my jam, but, of course, if there’s a chocolate cake with fruit available I’m not one to exercise any restraint.  I will, however, skip the meal and go straight to dessert whenever there’s coconut involved.  Toasted coconut is one of life’s greatest pleasures – and, in my opinion, makes for a great garnish to any dessert.  A sprinkling of toasted coconut is great on ice cream, cupcakes, in a pie, and especially baked into a cookie.  These cookies go beyond a garnishing of coconut and really put the coconut on display.  The result is a crispy, chewy, buttery coconut cookie.

The original recipe calls for coconut chips, which I had trouble locating.  Usually I use sweetened coconut for toasting purposes because it’s cheap and easy to locate, but this time I bought a bag of unsweetened coconut flakes at Target and it worked really well.  The flakes were really fine and incorporated well into the dough.  You could use sweetened coconut if it’s all you have at the grocery store, but if you do, I would consider really backing off on the sugar (starting with half and tasting) or rinsing the sweetened coconut in a strainer and letting it dry out (apparently this removes most of the sweetness).  Unsweetened coconut is hard to find, but I generally can find it at Target or Trader Joe’s and stock up when I see it.

I also browned the butter, which is easy, but takes some time.  You could just use softened butter and skip step 1, but that sort of goes against my life’s mantra of “anything worth doing is worth overdoing”.  Browned butter is just so darn decadent and delicious that it’s worth the effort.  If you use regular butter, omit the 2T of water.

Toasted Coconut Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

2 Tbsp water

1/2 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 tsp coarse salt

2 1/2 cups unsweetened flaked coconut

1. Cook the butter in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring frequently until it begins to foam and brown.  It will burn in no time at all, so once the foaming begins, keep a close eye on it and remove from the heat when it starts to smell nutty and turn brown.  Transfer to a small container (I used a glass pyrex measuring cup) and place it in the refrigerator for a few hours to solidify.

2. Preheat the oven to 350.  Beat the butter, sugars, and 2T of water together until light and fluffy.  Add the egg and vanilla, beat to combine.  Add the baking soda, flour and salt and mix until well combined.  Fold in the coconut.

3. Scoop the dough into 1T sized balls and bake for about 11 minutes until golden brown.  Allow the cookies to cool and set on the cookie sheet before transferring to a plate.  Store in an airtight container.


When I was 14, my mom, grandma, and I took a 3-day road trip to Iowa to attend Schmeckfest – a festival celebrating the cuisine of Germans-from-Russia, our ancestors.  I’m not sure how many teenagers would be willing to drive 16 hours each way with her mom and grandma to essentially eat a lot of food, but my love of food goes back to infancy, so naturally, I was thrilled.  Among the classic dishes served (strudel, kuchen, lots of sauerkraut), one distinct memory I have from the trip was eating peppernut cookies.

A cookie with pepper in it seems weird, I know (and weirder yet, these contain no nuts!), and the fact that you roll them out into little worms?  Weird, too.  But the thing is, you end up with these tiny, spicy, crunchy little cookies that you could seriously eat by the handful.  There are tons of peppernut recipes out there, but this is my favorite because there’s a lot of great spice happening.

I’ll also note that these are great cookies to make with kids because the worm-rolling is totally fun and uniformity isn’t really important.  My toddler also loves that they are the perfect size of cookie for a doll or stuffed animal.  Excellent at a tea party.

Peppernut Cookies

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups brown sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. anise oil

3 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp mace

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Stir the dry ingredients together (flour, baking soda, cream of tartar, and spices).  Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy, then add the eggs and anise and beat for another minute.

2. Slowly add the dry ingredients.  If the dough gets too dry, add in a little water (you shouldn’t need more than 1/4 cup).

3. When the dough is workable, roll it into a long rope (a ‘nake, as my daughter calls it).  Cut the snake into small, 1/2-inch pieces, transfer to a baking sheet, and bake for about 8 minutes, until they just begin to get crispy.  Allow them to cool on the pan.  I let the cookies dry out overnight before transferring to a jar or airtight container.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I find few greater joys in life than spending my afternoon baking an impressive dessert.  From a homemade pie to macarons to cheesecake – I love a challenge.  But about once a month the men in my life (husband, dad, brothers, probably soon my son) request that I just make chocolate chip cookies.  They’re a comfort – and what they lack in fancy they make up for in deliciousness.

When Ross and I were first dating (nearly 10 years ago!) we decided one night that chocolate chip cookies would be delicious, but Ross lamented that we had no dough, so cookies were out.  I remember trying very hard not to laugh at him when I explained that you can actually make dough.  To be clear, his mother made homemade chocolate chip cookies all the time – he was just oblivious to the dough making process.

Don’t let the oatmeal deter you from this recipe – it just adds a little weight and you don’t truly taste it.  Give it a try.  I also exclusively use Ghirardelli bittersweet chocolate chips (in the brown bag) – they’re slightly bigger than standard chocolate chips and a little melty, but they taste absolutely phenomenal.


Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes about 40 cookies

2 cups flour

1 Tsp. salt

1 Tsp. baking soda

1.5 sticks of butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup oatmeal

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp Vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups chocolate chips (most of the bag – you can either use the whole bag or save the last 1/4 cup for a snack later on)

1. Preheat oven to 325.  Sift flour, salt, and soda together.  Melt the butter and beat with both sugars until smooth (1-2 minutes).

2. Add both eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated.  Add in flour mixture slowly.  Fold in chocolate chips and oatmeal.

3. I use a cookie scoop to drop 2T blobs of dough onto the cookie sheet.  Bake for 15-18 minutes until golden brown and allow to cool a few minutes on the pan.  Store any leftovers in an airtight container, but they’re obviously best straight from the oven.

Source: adapted from America’s Test Kitchen’s Family Cookbook