Not Your Mama’s Cookies

Win a copy of Hedy Goldsmith's new cookbook, Baking Out Loud


When it comes to home baking, I tend to be utilitarian. I can turn out a serviceable loaf of banana bread, am fairly comfortable with basic yeast doughs and make a mean oatmeal chocolate chip cookie. However, once I stray beyond my familiar territory, things often go sideways.

It’s not that I’m not interested in more adventurous baking, I simply haven’t had much luck when I’ve tried things like homemade Oreo-style sandwich cookies (the filling separated and tasted like a grease slick) and many-layered cakes (never has a baked good so resembled the leaning tower of Pisa). And while even the ugliest disaster can still be delicious, it’s nice when you find that sweet spot of both visual and palatable success.

Knowing this, you’ll understand that I approached Hedy Goldsmith’s Baking Out Loud with both excitement and a little trepidation. Goldsmith is a pastry chef based in Miami, Florida, who is known for making over-the-top versions of familiar treats (like Twinkies and Cracker Jacks) and her glossy, beautifully photographed first book contains many of the items that have made her famous throughout the South.

The book is chock full of recipes for treats like Pop T’s (Goldsmith’s version of the classic Pop-Tart), Milk Chocolate Candy Bars, and Tootses (homemade Tootsie Rolls), as well as more refined and exotic desserts like a Chocolate Bourbon Fudge Tart and Peanut Butter Curry Ice Cream. All items in her book, while enticing, look decidedly out of my recipe comfort zone.

I gathered my courage, several large baking sheets, and a lengthy list of ingredients and took three recipes for a test drive. The first was Goldsmith’s Junk In Da Trunk cookies. They are essentially a motley collection of sweet and savory bits, including smashed potato chips, halved malt balls, chocolate chips, and shards of pretzel, loosely bound together with the minimum amount of cookie dough necessary to do the job. They are totally over the top, incredibly sweet and ridiculously good.

The next recipe, for Chocolate Caramel Peanut Butter Bars, is my favorite of those I tried, both for their simplicity and for their flavor. They are Goldsmith’s assistant’s take on a Snickers and hit all the notes of the iconic candy bar (even without a nougat layer). Best of all is how easily them come together. You melt milk chocolate chips, make caramel, stir white chocolate chips and peanuts into the caramel and then layer the two in a greased loaf pan, freezing between each addition. They are gooey and rich and I’m already planning on adding them to my holiday goodie list come December.

The last recipe I attempted was not nearly as successful as the first two, but I am certain that the fault lies with me, not Goldsmith. I made her Ricotta Gelato, which had appealed to me mostly because she name-checked two of Philadelphia’s most beloved South Philly bakeries in the recipe’s headnote. Everything was going swimmingly with the custard base up until the point when I tried to freeze it. I’m not sure if the custard wasn’t cold enough or if my ice cream maker bowl was to blame, but instead of ending up with something creamy and dreamy, it was shot through with ice crystals.

The thing that makes me most happy about this book is that there’s still more I want to try (I’m particularly anxious to take the Chocolate Bourbon Fudge Tart for a spin). When I picked out the recipes to make, it was hard to narrow the list down to just three things. It’s surely a sign of a good book when you want to make something on every other page.

There was just one thing that irritated me about Baking Out Loud and it’s something that has nothing to do with the book’s contents and everything to do with the design choices that Goldsmith’s publisher made. It is printed on glossy paper, which is nice for the photography, but not at all helpful once you take it into the kitchen. The result is that the pages are slippery and, if you cook in a kitchen with an overhead light, have such a glare that you become forced to prop the book up at wacky angles just to be able to read the instructions. This is a minor critique in the big picture, but it would have been nice had Clarkson Potter thought a little more about utility when putting this volume together.

All that said, it’s truly a wonderfully creative and carefully constructed book that deserves a place in your kitchen. We have three copies to give away so some of you may be making room for it on your shelf as soon as this week! If you’re interested in a chance at winning a copy, leave a comment on this post and tell us what childhood candy or confection you’d most like to be able to recreate at home.

Giveaway closes at 12 pm on Friday, October 19, 2012. Winners will be picked at random.

Junk In Da Trunk Cookies

Recipe from Baking Out Loud by Hedy Goldsmith


  • 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ½ cup (packed) dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 extra-large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably Valrhona 70%), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • ⅓ cup lightly crushed kettle-cooked potato chips
  • ⅓ cup coarsely chopped salted pretzels
  • ⅓ cup butterscotch morsels
  • 12 malted milk balls, cut in half (about 1/3 cup)
  • ⅓ cup salted peanuts (preferably Virginia), coarsely chopped
  • Coarse sea salt for sprinkling


Sift together the flour and baking soda.

Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until soft and smooth. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar, and salt and beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Add the egg and vanilla and beat for 1 to 2 minutes, until just blended. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Do not overmix.

Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate, potato chips, pretzels, butterscotch morsels, malted milk balls, and peanuts. Stir until just blended. Don’t be concerned if it seems like there is more junk than cookie dough.

Using a 3-tablespoon ice cream scoop, shape the dough into balls and arrange them close together on a large plate or small baking sheet.

Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until well chilled. The dough can also be covered and refrigerated overnight, or up to 2 days before baking. Reminder: Cold dough bakes better.

Position the oven racks in the upper middle and lower middle over the oven, and preheat the oven to 350°F (335°F if using a convection oven). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick liners. Arrange the chilled dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using the palm of your hand, flatten each dough ball slightly. Sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes (8 to 9 minutes if using a convection oven), switching the baking sheets’ position halfway through baking, until light golden brown. I think these cookies are at their best when slightly underbaked and the chocolate looks oozy and gooey. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days and reheat before serving.

Makes 16 2½-inch cookies

Chocolate Caramel Peanut Bars

Recipe from Baking Out Loud by Hedy Goldsmith


  • 8 ounces milk chocolate (preferably Valrhona), chopped
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces white chocolate (preferably Valrhona), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup salted peanuts (preferably Virginia)


Line the bottom and sides of an 8½ x 4½-inch loaf pan with parchment paper or foil and grease it lightly (preferably with Pam). Melt the milk chocolate in a small heatproof bowl set over simmering water, stirring until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat. Pour half of the milk chocolate into the prepared loaf pan and spread it evenly. Freeze for 15 to 18 minutes, until cold.

Once the layer is cold, make the next layer. In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and ¼ cup water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear.

Increase the heat to medium high and boil, without stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sugar begins to turn golden brown on the edges. While gently and continually swirling the pan over the heat to even out the color, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the sugar turns deep amber.

Slide the pan from the heat and slowly add the cream. Careful! It will splatter up, and the steam is hot. Stir until well blended. Add the white chocolate and salt and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the peanuts and stir until blended. Set aside for 5 minutes to cool slightly.

Pour the peanut mixture into the loaf pan over the milk chocolate and spread it evenly. Freeze for about 45 minutes, or until cold and firm.

Once the layer is cold, make the next layer. Reheat the remaining milk chocolate, pour it over the caramel, and spread it evenly. Refrigerate or freeze for 20 to 30 minutes, until very cold.

Using the parchment paper or foil pan liner, transfer the candy onto a work surface. Peel away the paper or foil, and place the candy on a cutting board. Using a large knife, trim off the edges and cut lengthwise into 1½-inch-wide strips. Cut each strip into 9 pieces. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Makes 18 pieces

Marisa McClellan is a food blogger, freelance writer and canning teacher based in Center City Philadelphia. She runs a website called Food in Jars, where she writes about canning, preserving and delicious things made from scratch. She regularly writes for the Food Network, USA Today, Grid Philly and Mrs. Wages. Her first cookbook, Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round, is now available.


  1. Emilie Ritchie says:

    Every year between Thanksgiving and Christmas I make my mom’s candy. Everything from Fudge to drunkin chocolate covered cherries.

  2. Gigi says:

    my mother’s fudge is always such a huge hit, as well as my grandmother’s “nectar cake” – thanks for a great giveaway!

  3. Carrie Schneider says:

    My great aunt made ammonia cookies every Christmas and I would love to recreate them!

  4. Charlotte Sparks says:

    I rememebr an aunt of mine making divinty….I haven’t atempted it, but it always brings back those memories.I enjoy trying my hand at just about anything chocolate and peanut butter

  5. Beth C. says:

    My absolute favorite candy as a kid were 100 Grand bars. Hands down. I’m sure I could recreate them, if I could figure out a way to do the caramel without burning!

  6. Sarah says:

    If there were a recipe to make a homemade version of Reeses Pieces I would be all over it! When I was a child we used to take summer trips to the Hershey’s chocolate factory (that has since closed) near my Ontario hometown and we would buy bulk bags of Reeses pieces, peanut butter cups and various broken chocolate bars and treats that were deemed imperfect for packaging but were still just fine for eating. I’ve been making my own peanut butter cups for years and modify a lot of chocolate-based recipes so that they are friendly to my chocolate and peanut butter combo obsession.

  7. Megan says:

    After-dinner mints! My grandparents always had them in a jar.

  8. Elle says:

    There were 4 candies my Ma made regularly…Seafoam, Taffy, Penuche, and (Chocolate) Fudge. I learned how to make the fudges, because I did the beating – with a big ol silver spoon. I never was a seafoam fan, so I don’t have a hankerin’ to learn that one. The taffy, though, I can’t recreate – but I’d love to. It had to be pulled while hot, I remember that…and she wasn’t one for adding mint or any other flavors. Just plain butteryvanilla taffy. Mmm.

  9. Susan Eaton says:

    Great article & give-away. Without seeing the recipes in the book yet, I think I want to make the chocolate caramel peanut bars you tried & also marshmallows if that’s in the book too. I loved Snickers while growing up and it looks similar to that to make homemade which I like.

  10. Kristy says:

    I remember loving Divinity — light, sweet mounds of heaven. I’ve not tried recreating these as an adult.

  11. M says:

    I would recreate the Mexican Wedding Cakes (cookies)!!!

  12. Jodi says:

    The pink pinwheel cookies with the pink sugar around the “rims”. Grew up in Chicago and I think the company that made them was called something like Maurice Lendel Bakery.

  13. Katy W says:

    It would be a tie between fudge and nut roll! Yum!

  14. Callie says:

    Mmmm, this all looks tasty! I’ve always loved those Little Debbie Nutty Bars, but eating healthier in recent years has meant that those are plum out. Perhaps if I created it in my own kitchen and had control over the ingredients . . .

  15. Sue says:

    My Grandmother made a cherry coconut filling. I would love to find the recipe and have searched. Called for a jar of cherries and a bag of coconut. I think canned milk and sugar. I would love to find it!

  16. Margaret Mulhall says:

    A roll of what I remember being called potatoe candy…it was a roll with peanut butter in the middle.

  17. Kristyn Heller says:

    There is a local diner that makes Lemon Creme Crunch pie that is wonderful… I’ve been trying for years to convince the owner to share the recipe without success… Would live to try and recreate it!

  18. Kathleen Tyree says:

    I was always a HUGE fan of Toastettes… not Poptarts. I don’t think they’re made anymore, but lordy they were delicious.

  19. Julie W says:

    Thin pistachio-spice cookies!

  20. Those chocolate caramel peanut bars look incredible. I would also love to be able to make pop-tarts!

  21. angie says:

    My mom’s cookies are always better than the recipe turns out anywhere else. I want my moms cookies from my hands 😉

    Otherwise – its Rolo Crunch cookies for me! *Yep – just thought of that recipe in my head.

  22. Julie Cook says:

    My grandma used to make divinity with walnuts. I’ve never even tried to make divinity, so I think I’d like to try that. Thanks for a chance to win this cool book!

  23. One of my favorite treats as a kid was “honeycomb”. It’s that crunchy molasses candy, sometimes dipped in chocolate, that has all the holes inside. Delicious! To this day, whenever I go to a candy store where the make their candy…I look for it.

  24. Kirsten says:

    My mom used to make Tollhouse cookies, but with the addition of oatmeal. It spoiled me for plain unadulterated cookies.

  25. Ulla Laage says:

    A dear friend passed a few years ago and I got her mom’s recipe collection. What a treasure chest !!! With X-mas coming up I have many wonderful treats to choose from … looking forward so much to the baking season <3 <3 <3

  26. Amy B says:

    I can make just about anything have a recipe for, but I still haven’t dared to attempt my mom’s Swedish wafer cookies. The dough is so delicate! And I don’t have an old Contadina tomato paste can to cut them out with 🙂

  27. Helen says:

    My Mom’s divinity candy with black walnuts, pulled taffy and homemade caramel apples rolled in black walnuts. Yum! I also like snickerdoodle cookies and peanut butter anything. Now I’m hungry–how about dessert first!

  28. Heather says:

    My grandma used to make some sort of homemade ice cream and I suspect the main ingredients were Cool Whip and Ritz crackers. I remember it being amazing.

  29. Andrea says:

    I would love to recreate millionaire shortbread, kinda like a twix, but shortbread cookie oozing with caramel… ohhhh yeah. Just have not found a recipe that I like … Also LOVE to bake out loud any time.

  30. Paige says:

    The cookies with the butterscotch chips and crispy Chinese noodles….I can’t seem to get them right. I’m putting this book on my birthday list just in case I’m not random enough 😉

  31. emily r says:

    My great grandma made the best fudge. The family has been “fighting” over how to recreate it. A tasty fight.

  32. I need more practice making chocolate fudge! I’ve made it twice before but haven’t had really promising results yet. I also love making cookies of any type.

  33. Julie Osland says:

    My favorite childhood, and adult candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups–there’s something about the PB filling in the candy bar that seems difficult to recreate. Would love a close approximation of the filling especially.

  34. Sharon S says:

    As a kid I totally loved Goldberg’s Peanut chews – dark chocolate, not too sweet, kind of stiff caramel studded with peanuts – YUM! That picture you posted looks JUST like them! I’d love to be able to recreate those at home.

  35. Thelma says:

    I always whip up a batch of chocolate fudge – simple, easy to make but everyone loves it. I want this book so I can get new recipes to try – my testers are waiting……

  36. Ofelia says:

    I just started cooking ( late bloomer, I guess ) so good cook books are very interesting to me. Please, please make me the winner!

  37. Debbie Hansenn says:

    Christmas butter cookies!

  38. Amy says:

    I would love to make Caramel Twix Bars… can’t wait to try Hedy’s recipes in Baking Out Loud!

  39. June says:

    My family and I enjoy trying new tastes – the cookie recipe in this blog is quite intriguing ( potato chips in a cookie! wow ). I remember an aunt who puts plantain bananas and sweet potatoes in her beef soup – they were quite tasty

  40. Susan says:

    My mom and I have made buckeyes every year for the past 40. Nuggets of PB, rice krispies, butter and powdered sugar, dipped in a milk or white chocolate coating. A childhood holiday candy I always loved were homemade “heath” bar toffee. Still perfecting the salted caramel/burnt sugar version we started making last year.

  41. Net says:

    Chocolate covered malt balls and anything with marrshmallows. Is there a way to make marshmallows that doesn’t use animal based gelatin?

  42. Peggy says:

    I would love to be able to make my own Almond Roca!!!

  43. Amy says:

    I’m a fool for Reese’s peanut butter cups – and would love to play with some spin on them!

  44. kate says:

    My Grandmother’s lemon squares!

  45. Rudy says:

    I love my wife’s chocolate chip cookies – they are soft, chewy and so gooey with chocolate chips! She whips up a mean carrot cake, too. I will surely enjoy new goodies from this book.

  46. Nancy says:

    chocolate custard bars — and I have the recipe from my mom right here. also, no-bake cookies — they always seem a bit different from the ones I had as a kid. oh, and buckeyes from church bake sales, again, I can’t quite make them the way the church ladies did.

  47. Angela B says:

    My mom use to always make these peanut butter popcorn balls. I really need to get her recipe.

  48. Clifford says:

    Struffoli like My Grandmother made.

  49. Becky says:

    I’d love to be able to make a really good chocolate fudge. My grandmother always had some on hand for my grandfather (who always shared with me). Both are gone now and creamy homemade chocolate fudge makes me think of them and happy memories!

  50. I LOVE buttermints. I wish I could make them like how I remember them tasting!

  51. Erin says:

    my favorite things when i was a kid were the no bake cookies with oats, peanut butter, and cocoa, and i would love to recreate the horrible chocolate covered cherries of the holidays i used to eat those by the box!

  52. Earen Hummel says:

    I have no idea what is in the cookbook, but one childhood favorite was the orange circus peanuts candy. I guess it was some kind of marshmallowy thing? I am not a huge sweets fan, but my son is; and if I won this giveaway, I would give it to him as he loves to bake.

  53. Kristen Pavlik says:

    I would say my mom’s seven layer bars- delightful.

  54. Lindsay says:

    Homemade peanut butter cups would be on the top of my list.

  55. Tammy B. says:

    Lemon bars. I heart them. : )

  56. Kyle says:

    I’d probably make Buckeyes or the Chocolate/Peanut Butter Straw Candies…made with dried chopsuey noodles.

  57. Sara Klavan says:

    My dad always loved the charleston chew and the mallomars. I have always wanted to try a homemade marshmallow, especially mint flavored ones for my hot chocolate, but have not done it yet.

  58. My mom used to make a cookie that was like a little pecan pie called Pecan Tassies. Those were my favorite!

  59. Sara says:

    Fudge! We always made it out of marshmallow fluff.

  60. Dana says:

    I would love to make an adult version of Tastykake’s Butterscotch Krimpets. Oh, how I loved them…

  61. Leslie says:

    A peppermint pattie recipe would be nice.

  62. Karen says:

    I’d love to make Turkish taffy.

  63. Rachelle says:

    I want to make grandma’s fudge or peanut butter balls!

  64. Susan says:

    When I was little, my mother made something that I think she called Fruit Slices. It was a kind of cake in a jellyroll pan with fruit baked on top. We only had them when we all watched Creature Features together every Saturday night. I remember being scared out of my mind but somehow it was okay as long as we were all munching on this dessert.

  65. Beka says:

    I’d love to make a really awesome version of peanut butter cups!! Yummy!!

  66. Courtney says:

    I have been experimenting with “jacked up” cookies and this looks like the guide to “jaced up” treats!

  67. Jessica D. says:

    I would love to be able to make butterscotch!

  68. Nancy S. says:

    My Mom wasn’t much of a candy maker, but I loved her homemade sticky buns.

  69. Sandy Parker says:

    I would love to put this cookbook in place with Christmas coming. I experiment on friends and family. My favorite childhood Christmas candy is Date Nut Roll, I can make it and it is Delish!!

    I would like to know how to make Orange Truffles that have a really good orange flavor. I remember someone making this for a graduation party. They were extremely addictive, and disappeared quickly!! Could not find out who or where to get the recipe. Yum Yum Yum!!!

  70. I’ve always loved almond joys & haven’t had them in years… I should make some home made ones!

  71. I’m a decent candy maker when it comes to sugared candies (caramels, marshmallows, chews) but cannot do chocolates to save my life! I would love to master ooey, gooey, chocoately bars, bites, and the like. Yum!

  72. Nicole Strauss says:

    My grandmother’s nut balls. They were little balls covered in powdered sugar.

  73. Ann says:

    I did always love rock candy as a kid, so I was always a fan when we would make it in science class (though sometimes we would be tricked into making salt crystals). But the thing I would like to be able to make would probably be halva (plain, not the marble that they generally have in the store).

  74. Nerissa says:

    I would make creamed caramels. But my poor grandmother let us make so many batches of salt water taffy. I love the stuff and am always looking for improvements. This week at work we joked about twinkles.

  75. Elaine W says:

    definitely reece’ peanut butter cups

  76. Leora says:

    I’d most like to be able to make cajeta, the Mexican goats milk caramel that I was treated to ONLY when was really good.

  77. eastofedencook says:

    My favorite is apple strudel. My mom learned to make strudel while we lived in Austria. Until her hands were bent with arthritis it was my most requested dessert.

  78. Mary Ann Mann says:

    My favorite homemade candy as a kid was what we called sponge candy. I’ve tried to make it but there is always something not quite right. I’d love to get it right someday.

  79. Dianne says:

    My Grandmother’s Penuche!

  80. Neena says:

    I’d love to make a homemade version of Reese’s peanut butter cups, an all-time favorite in my household!

  81. Alicia says:

    there is nothing better than homemade desserts…yum

  82. Claire says:

    I loved Bit O’ Honey’s when I was a kid. It would be a lot of fun to make a homemade version!

  83. cynthia says:

    I would love to make great Spudnut donuts!

  84. allegra says:

    I think I would like to make really great chocolate chip cookies.

  85. cyndi says:

    A really awesome snickers bar!

  86. Wow! Those cookies looks scrumptious. I have a favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe I use all the time, but it’s just the basics – chocolate chips and maybe some nuts. I think I’ll have to try yours. My nieces would definitely love them.

  87. Lori B says:

    Buckeye candies are a regional favorite that I have never attempted to make but always enjoy!

  88. LSP says:

    I, sadly, grew up in a house without sugar, and there weren’t many desserts. But when we visited the grandparents’ house, there were canned peaches (yum!), and those little strawberry candies with the red and green foil..

  89. Cindy says:

    I would love to learn how to make a real creamy, smooth chocolate fudge that didn’t turn out to be syrup for ice cream.

  90. Erin says:

    Bear claws and apple fritters.

  91. Sarah Williams says:

    Most of my memory goodies I already make, but my dad and I always shared a Payday bar when we went to the paint store. Would love to make an analog of those.

  92. Kris C. says:

    My mom’s homemade fudge, which she makes every year during the holidays.

  93. Sandra says:

    My favorite childhood recipe (oatmeal chocolate chip cookies) I’m lucky enough to have a copy of. But I need (or, perhaps more accurately, would like) to broaden my repertoire!

  94. Sarah says:

    These recipes sound amazing.
    Childhood candy… I’ve been thinking about this for a solid 10 minutes now and in the end, I have to conclude that I was a child of simple and unadventurous tastes: My favourite treat was milk chocolate. I could (and sometimes, when Mama wasn’t home, did) eat ridiculous amounts without feeling sick at all. Just plain chocolate. Mmmh.
    These days, however, I have taken an interest in more exotic and complex flavours, so I’d love to check out “Baking Out Loud”. 🙂

  95. Amanda says:

    Those cookies sound ridiculously good! My favorite childhood recipe has to be chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies that my mom made, simple and delicious every time. I make them all the time.

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