I remember when this book first came out. I was still crazy about Mrs. Fields' cookies and obsessed with baking cookies just like hers. None of the chocolate chip cookie recipes I tried even came close to staying thick like hers did. I even wanted to work part-time at a Mrs. Fields' Cookies in high school just so I could learn how they make those cookies. Except I found out the workers don't really know the actual recipe. Everything is pre-bagged and measured out and they just mix everything together and bake it. Plus my parents would only let me do tutoring jobs and occasional baby-sitting after school during the school year so that nothing would take away from my studies. During the summer, I worked at office temp jobs because they paid more than being a cookie baker at the mall. So I never did find out how the cookies were made.
So imagine my excitement back in the day when this cookie book was finally published. Of course the first recipe I tried out of it was the chocolate chip cookie recipe, fully expecting to be able to make cookies like Mrs. Fields. Unfortunately I was disappointed. My cookies still spread! The taste was good but they didn't have the thickness or texture of a Mrs. Fields' cookie and were almost nothing like the mall cookies. I tried a few more recipes from this book and had some success with some of the recipes, notably the lemon sandwich cookies, but still, that perfect chocolate chip cookie eluded me. I kept this cookie book out of sentimental value and haven't baked from it in years. This time around, I decided to try the Krispies recipe. Looks like a typical cookie recipe in the book but it has the advantage of using up some of my Rice Krispie cereal that I still had on hand from experimenting with the brownie recipes. I didn't have any Nestle Crunch Bars to chop up for the cookie dough so I increased the amount of rice krispies to 1 1/2 cups and chopped up a plain milk chocolate bar to add. Also, past experience with Mrs. Fields' cookie recipes taught me that the cookies spread so I substituted 1/4 cup of shortening for 1/4 cup of the butter to minimize that. Do NOT overbake these cookies. In fact, better to underbake them. I didn't bake them as long as the recipe called for but just long enough for the edges to get a little color and the middles to lose the doughy look, maybe 13-15 minutes.
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about these cookies. I think they turned out the way they were supposed to. The Rice Krispies gave them a nice little crunch and the cookies stayed nicely puffy and thick. But they seemed kind of ordinary. Like chocolate chip cookies with Rice Krispies in them. Which is, I guess, exactly what they are so I'm not sure why I expected anything different. I think I still expect more from Mrs. Fields, at least something amazing. This was good but I don't know that I would call them amazing. Although I acknowledge I have high standards for sweets so most people roll their eyes when I call something "okay" because they think better of it than I do. So take my assessment with a grain of salt. It's a nice little cookie if you want something a bit different from the norm or, if you want a little crunch to your cookie but don't like nuts in them, the Rice Krispies are a perfect addition. For regular chocolate chip cookies, I think I'll stick with Alton Brown's recipe, the browned butter version.
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup white sugar
¾ cup salted butter, softened (I used 1/2 cup butter and 1/4 cup shortening)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1 ½ cups (8 ounces) crispy rice chocolate bar, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 300⁰F.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and soda. Mix well with a wire whisk and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add egg and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
4. Add flour mixture, rice cereal and chocolate chunks. Blend at low speed just until combined. Do not overmix.
5. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 2 inches apart. Bake for 22-24 minutes. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface.