; Supermarket Serenade: Thanks a Million

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thanks a Million

It's hard for me to imagine doing something or making something that someone would pay me a million dollars for. I imagine that is what women such as Ellie Mathews, Anna Ginsberg or most recently Carolyn Gurtz thought too, before Pillsbury gave them each a million dollars for recipes which they created. Now the average gourmand might scoff at the idea of pre-made salsa as the base for a sauce for chicken, waffles used as a stuffing for chicken, or stuffing a pre-made cookie dough with sugar and peanut butter, but the fact of the matter is Pillsbury/General Mills sells a lot of packaged foods every year, so someone, somewhere is buying pre-made salsa, frozen waffles and refrigerated cookie dough(perhaps clandestinely so as not to offend their more sophisticated friends). Quite honestly these recipes, in my opinion, represent several very creative ways in which to use those prepared products.

As someone interested in recipe creation and in recipe contests, I am always fascinated by what wins a particular contest. Now I don't mean that in a negative sense, but specifically I am fascinated by what exactly it was that made the judges select a particular recipe as the winner. Never having been a judge I suppose I will never really know. But what I do know, having participated in several cook-offs (not the Bake-Off yet, that one still eludes me) is that it's usually more than the recipe itself. Often in a cook off situation it comes down also to how well you prepared the recipe on that given day and how well it was presented-the visual impact as well as the taste are just as important as the written recipe itself. Which is why I think it's funny that people made such negative comments (some downright cruel) on the Pillsbury web site about the winning recipes. Perhaps the other people making these recipes lacked the basic skills to prepare the recipe as well as those winners did on the day they were judged at the Bake-Off.

I decided to try the latest million dollar creation and upon hearing the winner zipped off to the supermarket to gather supplies. Not many were needed as it is a simple recipe: peanut butter cookie dough, dry roasted peanuts, sugar and cinnamon. The first cookie I formed without reading through the directions (a problem I have), I made it by placing the filling in between two slightly flattened dough pieces instead of wrapping the dough around the filling. It resulted in a larger, flatter cookie which I thought looked nicer, but you don't get the filling in every bite like with the original method.

The cookies were really very good. I particularly liked the flavor the cinnamon added to the cookie. The creamy center was quite delicious.

The cookies are a simple, tasty and creative twist on peanut butter cookies that has me and I'm sure many other envious bakers scratching their heads and saying "...why didn't I think of that?"

Double-Delight Peanut Butter Cookies

1/4 cup Fisher® Dry Roasted Peanuts, finely chopped
1/4 cup Domino® or C&H® Granulated Sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup JIF® Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 cup Domino® or C&H® Confectioners Powdered Sugar
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® Create ‘n Bake® refrigerated peanut butter cookies, well chilled
1. Heat oven to 375°F. In small bowl, mix chopped peanuts, granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
2. In another small bowl, stir peanut butter and powdered sugar until completely blended. Shape mixture into 24 (1-inch) balls.
3. Cut roll of cookie dough into 12 slices. Cut each slice in half crosswise to make 24 pieces; flatten slightly. Shape 1 cookie dough piece around 1 peanut butter ball, covering completely. Repeat with remaining dough and balls.
4. Roll each covered ball in peanut mixture; gently pat mixture completely onto balls. On ungreased large cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Spray bottom of drinking glass with CRISCO® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray; press into remaining peanut mixture. Flatten each ball to 1/4-inch thickness with bottom of glass. Sprinkle any remaining peanut mixture evenly on tops of cookies; gently press into dough.
5. Bake 7 to 12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets to cooling rack. Store tightly covered.


Lisa said...

Hi Veronica,
Nice blog you have! I just started one also. Just made the cookies this morning and they were delicious! Maybe next time, one of us can think of the million dollar idea :)

Veronica said...

Thanks, Lisa. I will be sure to check your blog out!

Tracy said...

Yours look yummy. I think they'd taste better with a lump of filling, like you have, then flat, like they show in the Bake-off Cookbook.

It is really interesting to see what they pick, isn't it?

I say that at just about any cooking competition, you could have the same exact cooks and recipes, but have a different panel of judges, and get a completely different result.

Veronica said...


Thanks! The lump is because once again I did not follow the directions-I forgot to press down on the dough before baking-oops.