The summer after my college freshman year, I flew home with no intention of staying there. I love my family and was happy to be with them….for a week or two. The taste of independence that going to school far from home had given me, made being at home less than optimal. My new friends and new life were not in my high school home town. There are rules to follow at home that aren’t your own. Plus, college students like to keep very strange hours. I say this from my own experience and because I have a college student son asleep on the couch as I write this. It is three o’clock in the afternoon. Point made.
I was welcome to travel that summer as long as I found a way to pay for it. That is why I donned a bright orange and red polyester uniform dress (this was a long time ago, folks) and went to work for Burger King. Some suggested I was better suited for Wendy’s, that being my actual name and having red hair, but Burger King hired me.
I took orders and worked the cash register. The position required minimal math skills and a knowledge of order lingo. For example, many people said they wanted a Coke when they meant they wanted a soda/soft drink. Is that a Southern thing? The order would go, “I’ll have a Whopper, fries, and a Coke. Make that Dr. Pepper.” I also had the misfortune to be asked constantly to sing the Burger King jingle. That was not in my job description but there were actually some customers who wouldn’t take no for an answer.
The jingle at the time was, in fact, quite catchy. Burger King was marketing itself as a place where your food was made the way you wanted it, unlike McDonalds where you ate your food the way it was wrapped up or forget it. The jingle included the lines, “Hold the pickles. Hold the lettuce. Special orders don’t upset us. All we ask is that you let us do it your way…..” It was not the most stimulating job I ever held and I smelled like a french fry all summer, but I did make enough money for a bus trip.
If these Special Order Cereal Cookies had been baked by a fast food place, it would have been Burger King. They are the “do it your way” cookie. The customizing begins with your choice of cereal. If you like a cereal, you will like it in this cookie. My photos that show a mostly chocolate cookie were made with Cocoa Puffs. The more marbled cookie was made with Frosted Flakes.
The customizing continues with your choice of texture. Vegetable shortening (recommended for desert safe care packages) produces a cookie that is crunchy right from the start and maintains its crunch over time. Using butter creates a cookie that starts out with crunchy edges and a chewy center. Over time, the butter cookies lose the chewiness. My taste testers each had their favorites. I suggest you add your favorite sugary cereal and “do it your way”. Singing the jingle while baking is optional.
Adapted from Corner Cooking
Makes about 30 cookies
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 cups sugary cereal (Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Puffs, Cocoa Krispies, etc.)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, margarine, or vegetable shortening (butter flavor)***
(butter produces a chewier cookie that gets crunchy over time, vegetable
shortening produces a crunchy cookie.)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract***
***Desert safe adaptations: Use vegetable shortening and vanilla paste.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Place chocolate chips in a small microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute. Stir. Continue heating for 10 second intervals, stirring inbetween, until completely melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Place cereal in a large zip lock bag and crush into tiny pieces with a rolling pin.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together sugar and butter/margarine/vegetable shortening, until fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla. Mix for at least 3 minutes.
- Gradually add the flour mixture and combine thoroughly.
- Stir in the crushed cereal.
- Gently fold in the melted chocolate, leaving ribbons of chocolate throughout the dough.
- Scoop 2 tablespoon sized (golf ball) balls of dough and place on the prepared baking sheet, at least 2 inches apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. (Slightly under-baking is recommended for long distance care packages.)
- Remove cookies from baking sheet to cool on wire racks.
- Store at room temperature in an airtight container for at least 1 week. Cookies will get crunchier over time.
Packing tips: Double wrap pairs of cookies (with bottoms together) in plastic wrap, then place in an airtight container or zip lock bag. For longer storage, vacuum sealing is recommended.