I’m a sucker for a good recipe contest. Cooking, for me, is already a fun and creative hobby. So the thought of prize money is just icing on top.
One day in the supermarket, I passed a giant display of Ritz Crackers, complete with football goal posts, inflated balloons, and a nearly life-size cutout of Guy Fieri. Drawing closer, I saw that Kraft was running a recipe contest for its Ritz Crackers. With a grand prize of $20,000, I decided to grab a box or two, and see what I could do.
My first thought was toward a cookie. I had really enjoyed Caitlin’s salted oat cookies, and thought the natural saltiness of the crackers would be a great component of a cookie. I also had some experience in the cookie-crushing category, and was confident that a crushed bag of crackers was not a recipe for disaster.
After playing with the ratios for several batches, I finally settled on my flour to cracker ratio. Too much flour, I realized, would make the cookies puffy and uncooked in the middle, almost biscuit-like. Too little flour, and the cookies resembled lace cookies. By the third batch I had it right. From there, I decided on a sweetener. In an ode to the classic peanut butter and Ritz Cracker combination, I jammed a full cup of peanut butter chips into the dough to finish off my cookies.
My submission for the recipe contest was complete:
Ritz cracker cookies with peanut butter chips
Recipe prepared for the Ritz Crackers Contest.
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 13 minutes
YIELD: 24 Cookies
WHAT TO GRAB:
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
14 tablespoons all-purpose flour (1 cup less 2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups crushed Ritz Crackers (about 50 crackers)
1 cup peanut butter chips
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Empty about 50 crackers (around a package and a half) into a plastic bag. Using a rolling pin or the bottom of a jar, break up the Ritz Crackers into very small pieces.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together the butter and the sugars. Add the egg and vanilla, and mix well.
3. In a small mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Working in batches, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, until well-mixed. Mix in the crushed Ritz Crackers, then the peanut butter chips.
4. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and place the rounds onto a greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 13 minutes, or until just beginning to brown at the edges.
5. Briefly cool the cookies on a wire rack, then serve warm!
*The cookies will harden overnight. To soften the cookies, wrap a few cookies in foil, and heat them in the oven at 350 degrees for 5 to 8 minutes.