Have too many leftover cookies from the holidays? I’m not sure if this ever happens to anyone (“leftover cookies” seems like an oxymoron) or why it would be viewed as a problem, but in the event that you’re surrounded with too many cookies that you know what to do with, you’ve got a friend in cake.
This idea was inspired by when I baked 70+ cookies for a finals season bake sale with a ginger cookie recipe I had found online but had never tried before. This was obviously a rookie mistake because when I ended up with 70+ subpar cookies, it would’ve just been dishonorable to try to sell them to other human beings who have taste buds and understand what a cookie’s mouthfeel should be. Basically, the cookies were infinitely too dense, and despite being flavorful because of the spices and the molasses, had a sad sinking texture to them. In the hopes that it was not some fluke/a result of poor baking skills, I went back to the recipe and found reviews confirming this was the case for other bakers as well. Sad.
The next day, when I was walking to take a final, I was stressing out over the cookies, naturally, and not the final exam that counted for a third of my grade. Thankfully, inspiration struck, and I realized I should just throw the cookies into a food processor and turn them into the base for cheesecake bars! (Rejoice) I looked it up, and people buy cookies for the sake of doing this, so clearly I am a savant and ahead of the curve.
The cheesecake bars turned out well, but I was still stuck with one more container of cookies. So I ground up those babies, stirred in an egg, chia seeds, pumpkin puree, and chopped walnuts; spread it into a cake pan; and baked it for about 20-25 minutes. The batter was very thick and quickly became a big ball, but I had faith something at least partially edible would come out of this.
It was a huge success (and not just because I was comparing it to the depressing original cookies), and I ended up with a delicious and moist cake that, with the addition of the chia seeds, made it feel like I was also doing something good for my body whenever I took a bite. (Disclaimer: this was very much not the case, as the original cookies are stocked with sugar and butter.)
Moral of the story: turn your cookies into cake by adding an egg, some moist ingredient like pumpkin puree, and spicing it up with some mixins like walnuts.