Believe it or not, these cookies been in the works for over 6 months. Ever since I first got my hands on a copy of Momofuku Milk Bar and flipped through to discover several recipes incorporating Fruity Pebbles cereal. I love Fruity Pebbles, like could eat them every morning and never get bored, kind of love. Best sugary cereal ever! It's hard to justify them for breakfast, but if I'm already indulging in a cookie, well that's another story entirely.
There's a cookie recipe in the book that immediately caught my attention. Fruity Pebbles were combined with nonfat dry milk, sugar, and butter then baked to create a crunchy, sugary, buttery Fruity Pebble mixture which was then used as a mix-in for the cookies. Totally genius, right? It was so addictive I kept snacking on it, and barely had enough left to actually use in the cookies. :)
When I did finally bake the cookies up, they were absolutely delicious, but texturally they just weren't my thing. They spread pretty thin and caramelized around the edges to the point where they were quite crisp. No amount of fiddling with the oven temperature, baking time, or the ingredients in the recipe itself yielded the thicker, chewy cookies I was craving. So finally I just decided to take the Fruity Pebble crunch mixture and use it in a different cookie base entirely.
Even that was harder than I expected - hence the 6 month gap between the time I started working on this project to the time it finally hits the blog today. The cookie base I eventually settled on was Alton Brown's "The Chewy," which I adapted liberally to work with the Fruity Pebble mix-in. The melted butter became browned butter, not only because browned butter makes everything better, but also because its rich nuttiness offsets the sweetness of these cookies. I did reduce the sugar in the cookies themselves to account for the sweetness of the Fruity Pebble crunch too. And while "The Chewy" instructs you to chill the dough for an hour before baking, I found the results weren't all that different if I baked immediately so I eliminated that as well. Patience is not one of my strong suits when it comes to cookies...
I'm so glad I kept working on perfecting these cookies because I am in love with the result! You guys, they are SO chewy it's crazy and the thickness is just right. The Fruity Pebble mix-in adds the best crunchy texture and while the cookies are definitely sweet, I didn't think it was overwhelming. Most of all, they're just really fun! The Fruity Pebbles give them a pop of color, and I definitely felt like a kid again snacking on them. If you have a soft spot for sugary cereals, these are a must-try!
Brown Butter Fruity Pebble Crunch Marshmallow Cookies
Fruity Pebble Crunch from Momofuku Milk Bar by Christina Tosi, cookies adapted from Alton Brown
Fruity Pebble Crunch
2 1/2 cups Fruity Pebbles cereal
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
10 oz bread flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 oz milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 oz granulated sugar
6 oz dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups Fruity Pebble crunch mix
heaping 1/2 cup marshmallow bits
Preheat oven to 275 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl combine the Fruity Pebbles, nonfat dry milk, sugar, and salt - toss to mix. Add the melted butter and toss to coat. Some clusters may start to form, that's fine. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and spread in a single layer. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until toasted and golden brown. Allow to cool completely before using in the cookies.
Increase oven temperature to 350 F. Line another baking sheet with parchment paper.
Add the butter to a skillet or saucepan set over medium heat and let it start melting. Continue cooking, swirling the pan occasionally, until the butter becomes golden brown and smells nutty (be patient and watch carefully, it can go from brown to burnt quickly). Transfer the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Meanwhile, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. In a measuring cup, whisk the egg, egg yolk, milk, and vanilla until well combined. When the butter has cooled completely, add the granulated sugar and brown sugar to the mixing bowl along with it. Beat the mixture on medium speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually add the egg mixture to the bowl, beating until well combined, about 30 seconds. With the mixer still on low, add the dry ingredients in 2 or 3 additions, beating just until incorporated. Stir in the Fruity Pebble crunch and the marshmallows until evenly distributed throughout the dough.
Divide the dough into 1 1/2 oz balls and place about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 9-10 minutes (rotating the baking sheets halfway through if you're baking two sheets at a time), or until the edges are set (the centers may still be a little soft, that's ok). Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and allow the cookies to cool for a few minutes before removing them to the racks.
Makes about 22-24 cookies