Grandma’s Dial-a-Dessert


Opening our front door after a day of playing house with my friend Bonnie and riding on the back of Larry Cutlin’s tricycle, brought the first hints of dinner. With Grandma upstairs, roasting a chicken and mom in our kitchen decorating meatloaf with vegetable soup and mashed potatoes, I entered a space I imagined paradise smelled like. But, as wonderful as the aroma was, it never included the buttery vanilla scents of cookies. The women of 504 Thatford Avenue were amazing cooks and appauling bakers. Grandma Rose’s desserts were cinnamony baked apples, creamy chocolate puddings and even cherry Jello served in pressed glass cups topped with inches of heavy cream. On most Sundays, dessert meant Grandma’s early morning phone call to an unsuspecting guest. “Hello. Hello darling. I’m making rib roast today, but don’t tell anyone. When I pack up the leftovers for later, I’ll have a special bag for you. I know how much you love the ends.” And then, with the deftness of a three card monty huckster, she’d hook them with, “you’re right by Ebinger’s (bakery) right?” Her voice would soften till it rang like an angel’s message. “Pick up a black-out cake.”*

I didn’t follow in her footsteps.

Kitchen Sink Cookies; a re-mix of simple chocolate chip cookies loaded with yummy delights. It’s easy to make even for your littlest bakers and best of all, it uses up and elevates leftover candy.


2 ¼ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 sticks unsalted butter-softened

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs

½ cup chopped peanut butter cup candies (or Hershey’s Kisses)

½ cup dried cranberries (or raisins)

1 cup chocolate chips (white, dark or milk)

1 cup chopped walnuts (almonds, pecans are fine)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

  1. Combine flour, soda and salt in medium bowl

  2. Beat butter, sugars and vanilla in large bowl till creamed (well incorporated)

  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition

  4. Gradually beat in flour mixture

  5. Use a wooden spoon to add the peanut cup candies, cranberries, chocolate chips and walnuts.

  6. Use a dining (not measuring) teaspoon to scoop and drop rounded mounds onto ungreased baking sheets

  7. Bake until golden-9-11 minutes

  8. Let cool 2-3 minutes on sheets

  9. Place on wire racks till totally cooled

  10. Makes about 5 dozen cookies

Allergic to nuts? Replace with crumbled chocolate cookies (unfilled).

Allergic to butter? Use margarine.

Allergic to chocolate? Make sugar cookies!