Caramel Candy Corn & Walnut Cookies

I love candy corn.  Super sweet, with that texture utterly unique to candy corn – almost fudgy, almost nougaty, almost sugary.  I always buy a small bag to enjoy at this time of year – and now they come in flavors like the caramel one I use in the cookie!  The candy is so sweet that I often eat it with some walnuts.  I love them together.  Therefore, this cookie has been playing in my mind for a couple of years.  Last year, I posted most of my “go-to” recipes, so this year, we are going to explore some new ideas.  I am trying to be creative here.  Hopefully, I can come up with some fun cookies.  This one is a winner!

I am making these as a pan cookie.  I had tried to use the candy corn before in a drop cookie, but if that candy touches the metal pan, it is going to melt and stick, and REALLY STICK!  So the theory is that if the candy is in the cookie, sticking won’t be so bad.

I made a batch to present to my new taste testers (VCS Algebra-1 Class).  In that batch, I put the cookie dough down on a jelly roll pan and topped it with walnuts and candy corn, and then baked the cookies.  The candy melted through in some areas, so it did stick to the pan.  However, the candy also takes on even more caramel flavor in the process.  The kids liked the texture & taste of the melted candy.

In the batch I made today, I mixed the walnuts into the cookie dough, and baked that for 10 minutes, then topped with the candy corn and finished the baking.  I will see if the taste testers like these as well as they did the first batch tomorrow.

Blessings & happy cookie making!!

(The taste testers confirmed that they preferred the candy corn completely melted – the texture is transformed in the baking and becomes very chewy.  Some of them also said I went heavy on the walnuts… but maybe they don’t like walnuts.)

Caramel Candy Corn & Walnut Cookies      350 degrees, 22-25 mins

  • 1 Cup Unsalted Butter
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Cups Oatmeal
  • 1-1/2 Cup Rough Chopped Walnuts
  • 1-1/2 Cups Caramel Candy Corn
  1. Cream butter and sugar
  2. Add eggs and vanilla
  3. Mix in flour, baking powder, soda and salt
  4. Add Oatmeal & Walnuts
  5. Spray Jelly Roll pan with cooking spray
  6. Fill pan with scoops of cookie dough (much easier than spreading it in)
  7. Bake at 350, 10-12 mins
  8. Top with Candy Corn
  9. Return to oven for 12-15 more minutes (Total baking time 22-25 mins)

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Over the Top Ranger Cookies

My favorite cookie.  For one of my favorite people.

Yesterday was a day to celebrate a dear friend’s life.  Our church always gathers close to a family that has lost a loved one.  Churches are good at this.  They have practiced it often.  A plan is made, and the sign up sheet makes its rounds.  All the needs are quickly filled…. main dishes, sides, salads, desserts… cookies.  I made my favorite cookie.  These are for Melvina.  Let me tell you about her.

Small in stature, it wasn’t like I saw her coming that day to speak to me.  It was as if she just appeared out of nowhere.  (She’s kind of stealthy!)  I looked down beside me to notice this little lady with gray hair and glasses, and a sweet voice saying, “Hello, I haven’t gotten to meet you yet.”  She asked me about life, about my son and my husband.  We talked about my faith, and how God had brought us to Washington.  Melvina made me feel welcome.  I instantly knew she cared.

I have spoken with a few friends, who, like me, did not grow up in this church.  Melvina was a first point of contact for most of us.  As we compared notes, there was a general consensus.  Our summary would be as follows:

Melvina had a way of getting to the truth.  Not that we were trying to hide anything, but she seemed to dive right into our lives (or our “business”… if you know what I mean!);  she intuitively tapped into areas in which we struggled, or in which we hoped and dreamed.  Week after week,  she sought us out, wanting to touch base and let us know she was waiting to see us each Sunday.  Because of her consistency, we got to know her, and she got to know us.

I swear, God put a “homing device” in that woman for newcomers, and he used her to touch all of us with his truth for our lives.  She talked to everyone.  I wonder what secrets she knew…  I would bet that she talked to at least 5-10 people  every Sunday.  I wondered if her special mission was encouraging young married women.  No, I bet it was to talk to every person God put in her path – or every path she could cross (remember… she’s kinda stealthy…).

There have been a few people whom I have met that I have thought of as “truth-tellers.”  Melvina was definitely one of them.  She would not compromise God’s truth for herself, or for us.  She held us to a higher standard, she encouraged us to greater faith.

This past year, I had the joy of being in a Bible study with Melvina and many other amazing women.  One Monday night, Sandee came in and told us so honestly how her day had gone.  She may have mentioned a grumbly-ness in her attitude, and might have been a little growl-y about it yet – but she was trying.  Really, she was.  She told us the whats, and the whys, what she had done wrong and how (she knew) she did what she should not have done.  Melvina wasn’t having it.  Sandee agreed in an Eeyore-kind of voice, “I know, Melvina.”  Melvina shared more wisdom,   Sandee said again, “I know, Melvina.”   The conversation continued, Melvina did not seem 100% convinced that Sandee was on board.  We all laughed and laughed.  I loved that moment.  I still chuckle when I think about it.  It was new to me, but it obviously has been played out many times over the years and years this Bible study group has met.

At Melvina’s  service, I enjoyed hearing about her life and seeing her family honor her.  In the middle of photos being displayed, there was a brief video of Melvina talking about her family, commending them for living lives that honor and serve God.  The beauty of that moment, the heritage of faith being passed on, and the sound of our dear friend’s voice, struck me hard.  The tears began to fall.  All the times that voice has spoken to me, to my heart, to my faith… I don’t want to forget the voice of this little woman who served God so faithfully.

Her voice will forever remind me to not compromise God’s truth for myself, or for others.  Thinking of how she made a point to talk to me so often, I will seek others out and hear their stories.  I will listen to their hearts.

Over the Top Ranger Cookies         Bake at 350 degrees, 12 mins

(recipe adapted from Lorraine Dally-Briggs)

  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla
  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Cup Oatmeal
  • 1-1/2 Cup Sweetened Flake Coconut
  • 2 Cups Rice Krispies or Corn Flakes
  • 1-1/2 Cups Butterscotch Chips
  • 1 Cup Pecans

  1. Cream butter and sugar
  2. Add eggs and vanilla
  3. Mix in flour, baking powder, soda and salt
  4. Add coconut, cereal, butterscotch chips, and pecans
  5. Do not over mix
  6. Bake at 350, 12 mins

My Snickerdoodle Valentine

Happy Valentine’s Day!

One Valentine’s Day, years ago, I made a batch of snickerdoodle cookies and put them in a heart-shaped box for my son.  I was looking for an anti-chocolate treat.  (Every holiday seems to be filled with chocolate.  Not that I don’t like chocolate.  OH, I DO!!  That year, I had just had enough.)  Levi enjoyed the cookies.

The next year, I had forgotten about the snickerdoodles, but Levi had not.  Evidently I had started a new tradition!  Kids love tradition.  There is something special in having family traditions, and we need to make the most of them.  Traditions  create stability and sense of family identity.  They add to our memories and our family’s story.  It says something about who we are.

The boy had to ask for the snickerdoodles that second year, but I happily whipped up a batch, loving that he remembered.  Now I always think of  snickerdoodles for Valentine’s Day.

I cherish the memories my own mother made in my childhood.  She has only gotten better at creating tradition over the years.  We start building tradition as moms, we perfect the process as grandmas.  I am sure of it.   You should see my mom’s at Christmas!  I wish so much that we could be home to celebrate every year.  We live too far away! …but that is another story.  Mom is an amazing creative force.  She is an artist in everything she does.  This year she sent an old-fashioned valentine.   It is just a pretty doily and some stickers, but it is so sweet.  I included it in the photos of the cookies so I can remember it forever.

Have a Snickerdoodle kind of Valentine’s Day!!

And, finally, because I am silly, a cookie haiku:

A quiet moment.

Snickerdoodle Valentines.

My world, full of love.

Snickerdoodle Cookies          400 degree oven      10 minutes

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar + 1/4 cup for cinnamon-sugar mixture
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon, mixed with 1/4 cup sugar (or a bit more) for coating
  1. Cream butter and shortening
  2. Mix in sugar, scraping sides to incorporate
  3. Add eggs, mix well
  4. Mix dry ingredients, then add to wet
  5. Use mixer to combine somewhat, then finish mixing gently by hand
  6. Roll into balls, coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture
  7. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, these cookies will be pale, not browned

This is a Martha Stewart recipe.  http://www.marthastewart.com/260640/snickerdoodles