When I was growing up, my family had a term for food so junky it was not technically allowed in our house: Nut Googies. This phrase was apparently coined during my mom’s childhood—something about my grandfather misunderstanding “Nut Goodies”—but by the time I rolled around it was used as a place-holder for any dessert that was just disgusting enough my siblings and I were all dying to try it: ice cream blasted with several types of candy; brownie bars with crushed-up Oreos in them; anything involving marshmallows. My parents were pretty health-conscious, so this kind of “food” made only the rarest appearances in our household. Among these special occasions, however, were snow days.
My mom worked from home for most of my childhood, so on snow days she was always available to harass. We’d pester her until she agreed to do fun stuff with us, such as go sledding down a neighbor’s hill, set up a “home movie theater” (I believe this involved writing up fake movie tickets, making some microwave popcorn, and watching a video on our super busted family television), and bake various treats on which to gorge. It was very fun. I grew up in Maryland, so snow days—real snow days, the ones involving more than half an inch of snow and, in the case of one particularly gnarly winter, enough ice to build a skating rink in my front yard—were few and far between. But they were the best. The few responsibilities you had as a kid flew out of your mind immediately, only to be replaced with visions of romping around outside and pegging your siblings with snowballs, and then eating a month’s worth of junk food.
Snow days are slightly less fun for me now, because unlike during childhood, there is no such thing as actually having a day off from the overwhelming existential stress that comes with being an adult human. BUT. As evidenced by my observations in line at D’Agostino’s the day before I thought we were going to get two feet of snow in New York (hahahahhahahaha), even adults love to binge on hideous crap when they know they’re going to be snowed in. At the grocery store, I saw many a bourgeois New Yorker stocking up on items such as soppressata, brie, fresh baguettes, aged parmesan, green olives, dark chocolate, and 10-20 bottles of red wine.
I am no exception. In my everyday life I try to be pretty healthy. I eat pasta slightly less frequently than I would like to. I drink green juices and sometimes even eat straight broccoli in order to get some nutrients into my body. I consume “sun butter” instead of peanut butter. (I still don’t really get why sunflower seeds are better than peanuts, but whatever.) But when I thought we were going to get a buttload of snow, I stocked up on baking supplies. And when the snow never turned up, I decided I deserved a hearty batch of truly nut googy-ish cookies. Because what is more depressing than being stood up by the Blizzard of the Century? The cookie recipe is adapted from one on Not Without Salt, because I drooled over an image of the chocolate chip cookies it produced while reading Stephanie Le’s gorgeous I Am a Food Blog and decided I had to try them for myself. I also happened to have some bourbon marshmallows from Wondermade lying around (they were a gift!) but you can order them online here.
BOURBON MARSHMALLOW-CRUSHED PRETZEL-CHOCOLATE CHUNK COOKIES*
Makes 12-18 cookies
1 stick butter
2 tbsp. white sugar
2 tbsp. light brown sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
¼ + 1/8 tsp. salt
5 oz. semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1 oz. pretzels, crushed
1 oz. bourbon marshmallows, chopped
Preheat the oven to 360°F.
Cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Using the side of a knife or the dull end of a meat tenderizer, crush up your pretzels, and then swat your cat away when she inevitably tries to eat the pretzel bag, which she always does, because inexplicably she loves to chew on pretzel and potato chip bags. Roughly chop up the marshmallows, in which your cat has no interest. Like Tram, Dizzy prefers salty over sweet.
Beat the egg and vanilla into your butter-sugar mixture until combined, then add the dry ingredients and stir until only just combined. Fold the chocolate chips, pretzel bits, and marshmallow chunks into the batter.
Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper and put some dough patties on it. I made mine about 2″ in diameter, and spaced them about 2″ apart on the cookie sheet. Bake for 10 to12 minutes, until the cookies are golden on the outside but still gooey in the center. Let cool on a baking sheet for five minutes. The marshmallows will melt and then harden just a tiny bit, in a fashion that is exquisitely caramely and delicious. Now text a picture of said cookie to your boyfriend, who has to stay at work all night, and try to get him to bail on his job so he can come home and hang out with you. (Note to anyone at Rob’s job who may be keeping tabs on him: It did not work.)