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Hedy Goldsmith's Junk in da Trunk Cookies



  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 extra large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup lightly crushed kettle-cooked potato chips
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped salted pretzels
  • 1/3 cup butterscotch morsels
  • 12 malted milk balls, cut in half (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup salted peanuts, coarsely chopped (preferably Virginia salted peanuts)
  • Coarse sea salt, for sprinkling
  • Chef notes

    Over the years, the recipe has remained basically the same. Always gooey, salty and amazing—with the supporting players changing depending on where my head is on a given day. 

    I love to clean out the cabinets and use whatever candy I have on hand. This cookie dough truly is a great base for any and every holiday. For example, during Christmas, you could use red and green M+M's and bits of crushed candy canes. 

    These are best eaten when fresh and warm, so have them the same day or promise you will reheat them just enough for the chocolate to ooze, giving them that just-baked feel.

    For more about Hedy Goldsmith's desserts, visit



    Sift together the flour and baking soda.


    Using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the butter on medium speed for about 3 minutes, until soft and smooth. Add the brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt and beat on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.


    Add the eggs and vanilla and beat for 1 to 2 minutes until just blended. Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined. Do not over mix.


    Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate, potato chips, pretzels, butterscotch morsels, malted milk balls and peanuts. Stir until just blended. Don't be concerned if it seems like there is more junk than cookie dough.


    Using a 3-tablespoon ice cream scoop, shape the dough into balls and arrange them close together on a large plate or small baking sheet.


    Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, until well chilled. The dough can also be covered and refrigerated overnight, or up to 2 days. Reminder: cold dough bakes better.


    Position the oven racks in the upper middle and lower middle of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350˚. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or non-stick liners. Arrange the chilled dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using the palm of your hand, flatten each dough ball slightly. Sprinkle the tops with a little sea salt.


    Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, switching the baking sheets' position halfway through the baking, until light golden brown. I think these cookies are at their best when slightly under baked and the chocolate looks oozy and gooey. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the cookies cool completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days and reheat before serving.