Wait, what?!

I am not a huge fan of Halloween.  All of the gore and blood and zombies and nightmarish things are not my scene.  What I do love about Halloween are of the fall leaves (very few here in Santa Barbara but I love them) and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and all of the pumpkins, gourds, haystacks, and indian corn but most of all… trick or treaters.

One of my favorite things to do is chat up all of the kids who eagerly walk up the path to our front door, aggressively shove their bags/pillow cases into the house, and enthusiastically call out “Trick or treat!”  From tiny princesses and super heroes to Darth Vaders and Frozen characters to apathetic high schoolers’ thrown together costumes ~ I love them all.

So when I was flipping through a magazine with Halloween recipes, I was doubtful.  It’s just not my bag.  But I stumbled upon “vampire” cookies and I was intrigued.  When I saw that they have minced garlic in them, I was sold!  How random is garlic in cookies?!

Now I love garlic just as much as the next person, but I have never heard of baking garlic into cookies.  I gotta say… not bad, not bad at all.  There are so many ingredients in these cookies, it’s a bit crazy.  But, stick with it.  The chocolate, bacon, pretzels, peanut butter, bananas, and garlic are all worth it.

Side Note:  According to Duff Goldman, “The garlic is optional, but, just so you know, it isn’t weird.  There’s a long tradition of putting garlic in chocolate chip cookies.”  Apparently it brings out the other flavors.

Chunky Vampire Cookies (care of Duff Goldman)

Chunky Vampire Cookies

INGREDIENTS:  3 cups sugar, 2 sticks butter (softened), 1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth), 2 tbsp molasses, 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1 clove minced garlic (optional), 2 tsp salt, 3 very ripe bananas (mashed), 2 1/2 cups al-purpose flour, 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips, 3/4 cup hard pretzels (mashed into crumbs), 10 bacon strips (cooked crisp and chopped fine)

DIRECTIONS:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large bowl mix the sugar, butter, peanut butter, molasses, vanilla, baking powder, garlic, and salt until it’s combined and all one color.  Add the bananas and stir until fully combined.  Add the flour and gently mix until incorporated, with no lumps.  Fold in the chocolate chips, pretzel crumbs, and bacon.  Using two spoons, form balls about the size of a large walnut (or a 1 1/2 in. scoop) and drop them on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart.  Place in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until golden on the outside and gooey in the middle.  Cool on the cookie sheet for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

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