Ahoy! Baking: Bandcandy Cookies


February 19, 2010 by skwishface

It’s that time of year. If you or anyone you know has school-age kids, then you’re most likely drowning in fundraiser candy. Fund my field trip! The band needs new uniforms! The choir is going to regionals! Buy the candy! BUY IT!

I dunno about y’all, but when I was a fundraising teen, I mostly bought my candy for myself. The fundraisers, they know what they’re doing. Let’s hand this box of delicious World’s Finest Chocolates to the hormonal teenage girl with weight issues! We’re guaranteed to get our money. Well played, fundraising school administrators. Well played, indeed.

Anyway, my own kiddos are too young for this business, but I happen to have married into a family with a teacher in it. So guess who has strolled back into my life like a bum ex-boyfriend….

Hey, baby. Remember me? I'm the World's Fiiiiiiiiiinest.

Sigh. Hello again. I missed you. Missed you so much I’m gonna freeze you and hack you into pieces and bake you into cookies.

Which is exactly what you should say to any ex.

It bears mentioning that this recipe was inspired by my Mom. See, back when I was footloose and fancy-free, living in glorious sin with the man who would someday be The Husband, my Mom gave me a very special cookbook. It’s a little spiral notebook with all of our family’s favorite recipes hand-written. Like this one for Ultimate Chocolate Chip cookies:

She even wrote out all the little detailed instructions. Awwww!

Mom’s recipe calls for equal parts butter and Crisco. I didn’t have Crisco. But I did have all the other ingredients, so I just doubled the amount of butter and called myself brilliant.

If you can’t lie to yourself, who can you lie to?

There was a looming cookie crisis in my house. I had events filling up my weekend that demanded cookies. This happens, sometimes. So I needed to bake a whole buttload of cookies.

How much is a “buttload”? Well, imagine a reasonable amount of cookies for one person to bake. Now double it. That’s a buttload.

So I thought I’d be clever and double the recipe so as to make twice as many cookies (the aforementioned buttload). Thing is, doubling a recipe requires rudimentary math skills. And I have a degree in Theatre. Sooo … yeah, I managed to double everything except the butter.

The result was not the soft ooey-gooey cookie described in Mom’s painstakingly hand-written recipe. Instead, I had a lovely, chewy, slender cookie with crispy edges.  And oh yes, it’s filled with the hacked-up bits of the fundraiser candy I was compelled (against my will!) to purchase.

Bandcandy Cookies (prep time: 20 minutes-ish, cook time: 10 minutes-ish, yields: a dozen-ish)
3/4 cup brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup white sugar
1 stick butter, softened (aka – 1/2 cup)
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups fundraiser candy bars (hacked into bits)

(printable version of this recipe can be found here)

Let’s get this party started, eh?

Firstly, if your bandcandy is caramel-filled (as some of mine was), put it in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. This will get the caramel to firm up so you can more easily hack the candy into bits. When it’s nice and chilly, unwrap the candy and take a big butcher knife to it. Think of it as therapy for all those zits the stuff gave you back in high school.

Your ancestors RUINED my HOMECOMING!

For the cookie dough, per Mom’s instructions, throw the first five ingredients into a bowl. In case you don’t want to scroll back up and count, that’s …

Brown sugar, white sugar, butter. Imagine that you also see vanilla and egg.

Then mixy-mixy-mixy till it’s all smooth and fluffy-like. By the by, if your butter isn’t nice and soft and room temperature-ish, this fluffy thing won’t happen. Cold butter climbs right up your mixer and makes you cuss. Or maybe that’s just me.

You should taste this. Just to be sure it's sweet enough. It's the responsible thing to do.

In a separate bowl, mix the remaining ingredients. Now imagine a lovely picture of flour, baking soda, and salt all mixed together. Now dump the flour mixture into the fluffy sugar/butter mixture.

Like so!

Mix it all up until it’s all combined and looks like cookie dough. Then you’ll need to use a highly sophisticated piece of equipment to transport your candy pieces into your cookie dough.

The Plate-o-matic 5000!

Once the candy bits are all mixed in, drop spoonfuls of dough onto a cookie sheet. I recommend lining said sheet with parchment paper. Because you’ve worked really hard on these cookies and you deserve to avoid scrubbing a dirty cookie sheet.

Space your hunks of dough a couple of inches apart. These darlings are gonna spread.

See that one that's slightly out of line? He's my favorite.

9-12 minutes at 375 degrees later …..

Baking does not turn parchment paper blue. Weirdo lighting in my kitchen does.

Because of the nature of your fundraiser candy, some of the cookies are oddly shaped and have runny caramel bits. It’s important that you let these cookies know that they have nothing to be ashamed of.

Don't weep your caramel tears, little one. Know that I love you. In my tummy.

In the end, I had lovely cookies. Funny, lumpy, delicious cookies full of surprising candy bits. Caramel and almonds and crispies, all throughout chewy cookie dough. My favorites were the ones  that had visible caramel shining through.

Somebody is really in love with caramel in her cookies. (hint: it's me)

But it was really hard to pick any favorites. Because how many cookies did I make?




2 thoughts on “Ahoy! Baking: Bandcandy Cookies

  1. Susan Dingess says:

    These cookies look wonderful! What kind of candy bar could you use other than fundraiser? TIA
    I saw them on Tasty Kitchen.

    • skwishface says:

      Oh you could use any old candy bar you fancy! If it’s rather caramel-y, like a Snickers or a Milky Way, definitely freeze it first. Gooey caramel does not make happy chopping.

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