But back to these soft batch cookies. They are, quite frankly, brilliant.
I admit that I had my doubts. How could that awesomely fake industrial cookie flavor possibly be re-created at home without industrial-strength fakeness? The answer is with eleven basic pantry staples, plus the optional use of orange gel food coloring for that special "glow."
The flavor is achieved through a combination of melted milk chocolate, powdered milk, and dark corn syrup. The texture is also dependent on those ingredients with the addition of cornstarch, brown sugar, an egg yolk, and oil (instead of butter). I love that Stella stays true to the original and includes only a "stingy dose of chips" with a few held in reserve to decorate the tops. (I used M&Ms for the decoration since this soft batch variation was always my husband's favorite.)
There is one essential step in this recipe that should definitely not be skipped: letting the cookies sit for 24 hours before eating them. It's so hard (trust me), but so worth it. The just-baked cookies taste good, certainly. But also kind of...blah and unexceptional.
Wait those 24 hours and the flavors meld together, the texture softens, and the cookies themselves transform into, oh yes, Keebler-esque soft batch cookies. They are so addictively good.
If you or someone in your house has a similar die-hard love for soft batch cookies as my husband, this is the recipe to make for them. And if not, give Stella's "Better Batches" a try. Those are made with browned butter, a whole vanilla bean, and a dose of Frangelico for a grown-up flavor with that same soft batch texture.
(Images: Emma Christensen)