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Kitchen Sink Cookies

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The first time I heard the term “kitchen sink” used to describe food was at a breakfast spot in Honolulu that serves some pretty ridiculously delicious cornflake french toast. I was looking through the menu and noticed a “Kitchen Sink Salad”. I came up with many of my own explanations: you throw all the leftover scraps from other dishes together, maybe it’s made inside the kitchen sink?? I know, gross. I can’t be serious. But it was a serious thought that crossed my mind… I never found out just what was in that kitchen sink salad, as I don’t care much for salad with my french toast and was still a bit worried that it would be made near and/or inside the sink. So this term was filed under “stuff I don’t really understand and am too lazy to Google” and pushed to the back of my brain.

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It’s popped up several times since then, but I have only just recently taken the time to ask Mr. Google just what it means. I’ve discovered that the term comes from the phrase “everything but the kitchen sink”, which I think is pretty self-explanatory and also applies to things outside of cooking. But today we’re going to talk about Kitchen Sink Cookies.

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On Sunday, I brought the cookies to class and had just enough so everyone had a giant 5 inch cookie. Minus me, but I’d already eaten enough of the ugly/broken/one-I-took-a-bite-out-of-for-a-photo cookies to hold me over till the next time I make ’em which will be soon, as I’ve still got a lot more baking scraps to use up!

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That’s the best part about these cookies (and the whole Kitchen Sink term in general). They’re pantry clearers!!! I’m one of those people that always buys more food than they need. If a recipe calls for an ingredient I don’t have, I always end up buying more than I need at the store. That’s really just me not wanting to have to drive back for more if I end up messing the recipe up and starting from scratch. But this problem has left me with random amounts of nuts, spices, chocolate chips, and other miscellaneous goodies. I had leftover hazelnuts from a cake recipe and pecans from an ice cream recipe that didn’t need as many pecans as I thought it did. The problem with all these leftover goods is that they’re too small of an amount to use as the main ingredient in a recipe. But they work wondrously as one of the group members of the pop sensation, ‘NtheSink–taking the cookie world by storm.

Ok I’m sorry… it’s 1AM and I’m slightly delusional and should probably go to sleep and stop making weird food references to 90’s boy bands. But here’s some action photos of the cookies from start to finish, which I hope help!

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Kitchen Sink Cookies

Recipe makes about 15 five-inch cookies
Notes: These cookies can really be customized any way you’d like! If you’re not a fan of pecans or hazelnuts, you can use walnuts or any other nut you’d prefer. You can also use peanut butter chips instead of butterscotch. However, make sure to keep the same ratios of total nuts to total chocolate chips. *Don’t go overboard, otherwise the cookies won’t have enough dough to hold its shape after baking!

2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar (or 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup demerara sugar!)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
3/4 cup coconut flakes
*optional 1/4 cup peanut brittle

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare two baking trays by lining them with parchment or a silicon baking mat. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking, soda, and salt together. Set aside.
3. In a separate large bowl, beat the softened butter and the sugars together until combined. Add in the vanilla extract and then the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition.
4. Stir in desired nuts, chocolate chips, butterscotch, coconut flakes, and any other ingredients you might want to add*. If using a stand mixer, you may have to fold everything together a few times to make sure the nuts and chocolate are evenly distributed throughout the batter.
5. Use an ice cream scoop to evenly distribute golf-ball size rounds of dough onto the baking trays. Make sure the rounds are at least 3 inches apart. Try not to scoop too much chocolate or nuts into one cookie, otherwise it might break when handling after baking.
6. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges of the cookies are golden brown but the center should still look a bit wet. Let the cookies cool for approximately 10-15 minutes, until they have stiffened and can be handled without breaking. Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

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  • these might be meant to be pantry clearers, but i think i’ll go out and get some peanut brittle and hazelnuts because they sound too good to not put in. and i think it’s kind of funny that you made a cookie anatomy diagram, even though they don’t have to be as exact as having a diagram might suggest (;

    • Confession: I did have to buy coconut flakes and totally forgot about peanut brittle at the store… But let’s keep that between us 😀

  • Oh do they look good. Really good. Have a great day

  • Love this so much!!! I really need to make some soon and clear out my pantry… Although, I must say my pantry doesn’t have as many delicious scraps as yours :/

    • I mean, these cookies are totally good enough to make a run to the store for!!!

  • Haha, I wondered the same too when I heard the phrase “kitchen sink” to describe food. These cookies look so delicious!

    (Plus, I’m down for all 90s boy band references.)

  • The perfect little cookie! These sound incredible!

  • Oh, yum. These kitchen sink cookies are a dream!

  • Love this idea! I always have extra food scraps from my baking projects, and these cookies look like the perfect way to use them up! They look so yummy…such a great combo of ingredients with the pecans and butterscotch…divine!

  • I had never heard of kitchen sink cookies, but they sound like just the perfect combo of textures and sweet+salty flavors! YUM! Great share, Courtney! 😀

  • I wish I was in your class so I could have a giant 5-inch kitchen sink cookie! I love most things that are described as having “kitchen sink” ingredients and I’m pretty sure I would absolutely love these cookies 🙂

    • I’m sure you would too, Maya! If we ever meet in person, I will totally bring some along 😀

  • NAILED IT! Love that little diagram too!! Ps – huge hugs for lunch dates!!

    • Hehehe! Always so much fun hangin’ with you 😀

  • I love these kind of recipes. In fact, I laughed out loud when I saw these because I just made something similar yesterday in muffin form!

  • Courtney! I found your blog via Thalia’s and your photos are so beautiful! I love discovering other food bloggers that inspire me, and I’m glad I stumbled upon yours today. Loved your explanation of kitchen sink cookies… these simply look gorgeous!

    • Hi Felicia! Thank you! It’s so nice to connect with other bloggers, I’m glad you were able to make your way over here 🙂

  • Oh I love kitchen-sink-everything. I’m exactly the same – always end up buying more, just in case, I much rather have some leftover ingredient than having to go back to the shops. But then I’m left with this bits of ingredients that I keep moving from one jar to another. So recipes like this are just perfect to fix this problem.
    Beautiful photography!

    • It’s such a constant struggle! Glad there’s someone else in the same boat though 🙂

  • I just discovered your blog and I love it! Your recipes are gorgeous and I love your photography! Can’t wait to see more of your posts. 🙂

    • Hi Sophie!! Aw thanks for stopping by 😀

  • first of all, i love that you have an anatomy diagram. i’m all about cookies like these. mine would probably have potato chip crumbs in them!

    • Omgosh that sounds amazing. I’ve made these once with less candies and nuts and definitely enjoyed the more overdone version–I need to add potato chips to the line up!