The horrors on the way to a Pinterest-worthy dessert: Sugar cookie bowls with white chocolate and Oreos

On a scale where 10 is Nigella Lawson and 1 is Carrie "I keep sweaters in my stove" Bradshaw, I'm probably a 4. I am not a domestic diva. I can accomplish a convincing display when given a recipe, but I'm skittish around knives, fire, heavy pieces of cast iron, basically anything you need to be comfortable with to succeed in the kitchen. Just let me eat my chicken McNuggets in peace and quit judging, OK?

I wanted to bake something for my office's Super Bowl potluck. I went on Pinterest and looked for bite-sized desserts and saw a few interesting ideas, but wanted to invent something.

I saw those cookie bowl pins floating around. I also saw the real-life posts that showed the horrors that ensued when unsuspecting bakers, deceived by the seeming simplicity of using an upside down cupcake tin to mold dough into cute little bowls, opened their ovens to find an overflow of failure and broken dreams.

But I laughed at failure! I texted Sophie, who actually knows about baking, and consulted her about my idea — to use pre-made sugar cookie dough to make bowls and fill them with melted white chocolate and crushed Oreos.

The outside would be a crispy cookie, the inside would be Oreo bark. The world would never be the same. Sophie gave me some suggestions, and with her blessing that it would work, I dragged my husband to Giant Eagle to buy ingredients.

First, I scrubbed my countertop clean and sprinkled it with flour. I unwrapped a log of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough and rolled it out into a more narrow log. I overdid it and made it too narrow, so I squooshed it back to an in-between circumference. Then, I sliced 3/4" pieces and molded them lovingly onto my greased, upside down muffin tin.

I was feeling good. I put the tin in the oven, told Siri to holler in eight minutes, and waited.

And then. What wasn't supposed to happen, happened. Overflowing dough covered every inch of the cupcake tin's underside.

"I told you to do a test batch with just a few!" my husband, the professional cook, said. He was smug and he was right. I took my monstrous creation out of the oven and took a knife to the spaces around what would have been my perfect cookie bowls, putting the trimmings in a discard bowl that we ended up munching on the rest of the night.

Mid trimming attempt. Don't they just look so tragic?
The results weren't ideal — better get it right the first time — but they could pass. We tried a few more configurations, putting dough just on top of the bottom of the cupcake circles and just barely pressing it down along the sides.

This was the key. Our second test batch was golden brown, with nice, rounded edges and no overflow.

That crisis aside, we turned to the bark. My domestic divo instructed me on melting the white chocolate chips in a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, even though I had wanted to be lazy and melt it in the microwave. All was going well, until the chocolate went from melting as expected to clumping together in a mass that looked like clay. Eric suggested that maybe the temperature had been too hot, and somehow that caused it to reverse melt. "Chocolate is a delicate beast," he said. He went to the fridge and grabbed some heavy cream. "We will add heavy cream and make a ganache," he said with a flourish that reminded me of when Jason Segel waved his hand and regally declared, "I'm in the Kapua suite" in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Yes, I searched for a GIF of that moment and couldn't find it. You've failed me, Internet.

I will spare him the shame of posting a picture of the glob of globbiness that ensued. It wasn't his fault. Damn chocolate. I took the second bag we bought and melted it in the microwave. Perfect.

Then, I poured the Oreos that I had crushed in a Ziploc bag with a meat hammer (stop it) into the white chocolate and used an ice cream scoop to fill the motley crew of cookie bowls. I put them in the refrigerator and let them go in peace until morning.

The next morning, I hated the sight of them. I thought they looked ugly as sin. ("They're rustic!" Eric said.) I thought I'd be laughed out of the office by my co-workers and that no one would touch them.

But Meryl Streep as Julia Child told me to never apologize. I took my treats to work. They were devoured and enjoyed. They were delicious sugarbombs that I could make again, now that I know what not to do.

Good for you, Liz. Good for you.


  1. hey man, if they taste great, who cares what they look like!!!! and they look soo yummy!!

    Vodka and Soda

  2. Thank you! I'm sitting here eating sugar cookie crumbles that I trimmed off the bowls and saved. Nom nom nom.

  3. I'd still eat them.

    But yeah, nothing I make from Pinterest ever looks as nice as the picture.

  4. "Chocolate is a delicate beast," Bahahaha!
    Okay, even IIIII want to eat these... and I don't like white chocolate OR Oreos. They look DELICIOUS to me! :)

  5. You were pretty ambitious to try and invent your own recipe, and you stuck it out and made something at least edible if not pretty great.

    White chocolate (since it isn't chocolate) is tricker to melt and too much heat will destroy it. Also if any water gets in while it's still in the beginning melting stages. Adding a little vegetable oil can sometimes save it from a lumpy state.

    also, try a rolling pin instead of a meat tenderizer. works wonders.