I have so many memories attached to these particular cookies.
The story behind the naming of the Trainwreck Cookies:
It took me a very long time to figure out how to make these delicious cookies look presentable (and even now, they're frustrating as hell, and break easily when you try to get them off the foil... but totally worth it). The first time I ever made them was for Thanksgiving a few years back, when my grandparents, my mother, my brother and I visited my mom's sister and her family in Texas. I must say up front that when I was younger I always adored and idolized my Uncle Mike. As I was wrestling with the tin foil, and subsequently looking like a fool, my uncle came into the kitchen, stopped, looking at me, laughed, and said "Well, this looks like a trainwreck." He ate his words later (and, like, the entire plate of cookies... hah!).
Another (less interesting) memory attached to these cookies is when I would make them and bring them into IB English 12 every couple of weeks. It was one of my first experiences wherein I was liked implicitly by people (aka Brittany and the swimmer boys) who really didn't give a damn about me beforehand. Because I brought in cookies, they not only were nice to me, they also requested my baked goods with increasing frequency. It was nice to be of value, but not too nice. Ultimately, it just solidified my dislike of mean and snobby people.
Anyway, this time, I made them to celebrate my 20th birthday, which was on Monday.
Trainwreck Cookies are chocolate-caramel graham cracker cookies with accentuation. These cookies are tied with my Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies for the most universally well-liked of my cookies. The Trainwreck Cookies have the added benefit of being very versatile, and can be topped with just about anything: chopped and toasted nuts, M&Ms, other kinds of chocolate, or (as in this case) coconut. I have vowed to get this recipe completely perfect, and am well on my way. See my notes, at the end.
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1/2 packs graham crackers (they usually come 3 packs/box)
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips
- about 1 1/2-1 c of desired topping
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking pan with high sides (trust me, it's important) with NONSTICK foil (also important), so that there is a couple inches of overhang on every side. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. This will make your life so much easier in the long run.
- Place graham crackers on baking sheet in a single layer, as tightly packed as possible, so you have a sheet of graham crackers.
- In a pot on medium heat, melt the butter, then add brown sugar. Stir until the mixture resembles caramel, for about 5 minutes.
- Pour caramel evenly over graham crackers, and spread with spatula. Bake for 6-8 minutes, until the caramel is violently bubbly (and the kitchen smells delicious).
- Take pan out of over, sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over graham crackers. Bake for another 2 minutes. Using spatula, spread melty chocolate evenly over graham crackers. Top with desired accenting topping(s).
- Allow to cool in pan for 30 minutes, then place in freezer for 15. After frozen, allow to thaw for a few minutes, then using a sharp knife, make deep cuts in the sheet of cookies to delineate intended cookie size. Then, pray that the foil comes off.
- My Canadian roommate suggested using parchment paper instead of foil next time. I am absolutely going to do so. If you try it before me, let me know how it works!