That time I made Cheez-It cookies…

Back in the Fall of 2014 I took a class in product design focusing on creativity. I was a bit intimidated to go the first day after realizing that it would be me and probably a bunch of super creative artsy kids stuck in a room for 3 hours, twice a week. I sucked it up and attended the class, late. I couldn’t find the room, so I was that kid that walked in and wandered around trying to find an open seat in a massive lecture room of 150 people. To top off my embarrassment, the room was a circle and the professor taught in the middle, so I had to walk in front of the professor to find the hiding seat.

After almost crying my way through the first 2 hours because I was so overwhelmed by the amount of work I would have to put in compared to the other kids (who were mostly architecture/design students); I was given the first assignment. Mr. Barry Kudrowitz (now one of my favorite professors ever) said that we would have to come up with a novel cookie recipe and attempt it. Could the assignment get any better? As soon as he said food, I wiped my tears away (kidding), and immediately started thinking of delicious food combinations and weird ideas. My first thought was to replace the flour in a normal cookie with something like a potato chip, but obviously it wouldn’t act like a normal flour in a recipe and absorb liquids as well. Then that evolved into a chocolate chip cookie made out of Cookie Crisp cereal  “flour” with a cereal milk frosting. My mind was going crazy with ideas, but that was the first time I was really engaged and excited about an assignment in awhile.

After doing a lot of thinking and wanting to create a cookie that wasn’t just weird, but actually tasted good in a weird way. I came up with making Cheez-It “flour” and using it as the base for a super buttery, apple and walnut cookie. I channeled my midwest roots with the cheese and apple combination. Sweet and sour. Delicious, right?

I went and bought a box of Cheez-Its (which I never was a huge fan of) at the grocery store and came back and started concocting a good ratio of fat (butter) to flour (Cheez-It). I tested the first batch of cookies and they immediately spread into a buttery, gooey mess on the baking sheet, so round 2 was going to have bit more real flour to compensate for the buttery-ness in the cheese cookies.

I’m gonna just go ahead and give you the recipe because I know you’re dying to try my experimental cookie. In all seriousness, it was pretty dang delicious. Especially compared to some of the other kids submissions. It was pretty obvious who had baked before and who hadn’t.

 

Cheez-It, Apple and Walnut Cookies

2 cups all-pupose flour
1 cup Cheez-It “flour” (grind the crackers into a find powder)
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 granny smith apples (peeled, chopped and diced into small pieces)
3/4 cup walnuts (chopped)

// Preheat oven to 350.
Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
Beat sugars, egg and vanilla in a smaller bowl.
Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Fold in apple and walnut pieces.
Place 1/4 cup scoops onto parchment lined baking sheet and cook for 10 to 12 minutes.

I liked them served at room temperature, but they are super tasty right from the oven too!

 

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