Kitchen Cabinet Cookies

One of my favorite places to visit around Christmas is Longwood Gardens.  If you live South of Philly (or anywhere within a couple hours drive of Kennett Square, PA) I highly recommend you visit.  It’s an amazing place in any season (and it changes every season so you can go 3-4 times a year and never see the same thing) but it’s particularly magical around Christmas.

For the last several years I’ve taken my kids there and they have loved it.  They love the Children’s Garden, the Garden Railway, the Conservatory with room after room of plants and decorated evergreen trees, the Tree Houses and Open Air Theater Fountain Shows where water dances to holiday songs.

That’s not to mention they way it transforms at night with thousands of twinkling lights.  If the Nutcracker had taken Clara to a Christmas garden instead of the Land of Sweets, Longwood Garden is what it would have looked like.

bowls of cranberries, chocolate chips and pretzels

For the last several years our visits have included lunch at the garden’s Cafe.  The food isn’t anything special.  Except for these amazing cookies. Thick and chewy, large enough to share (though why anyone would is beyond me . . .) and filled with all manner of yummy mix-ins (sweet and salty).  Every time we go I’m left with the urge to eat them more than once a year (like everyday perhaps . . . cookies . . .yum . . .).

Every year I vow to try and reproduce them at home.  But by the time we drive home that resolution is pushed out of my head by thousands of holiday things.  The Amazon orders, the present wrapping, the cards to send, the pictures to take. . . I need a nap just thinking about it.  And thus endeth my thoughts of the infamous cafe cookies.  I have a short attention span and a million ideas in my head.  Sue me.

So when I thought about what recipes I wanted to include on this site, things that I’ve eaten that I wanted to try to make at home topped the list.

Yes, for some people it might be a beautifully sauced piece of sole at a four star restaurant or the perfectly cooked dish of pasta and squid they had in Milan that sparks their creativity.  For me it’s cafe cookies.  I’m basic like that and I don’t care who knows it.

Some might call these Monster Cookies, others Kitchen Sink Cookies.  I’m calling them my Kitchen Cabinet Cookies because you can make the dough, look into your cabinet and mix-in any ingredient your heart desires.  The combination below is my personal favorite but I’ve also done them potato chips instead of pretzels or toffee bits instead of white chocolate chips.

Maybe my palate is not the most sophisticated (see above) but I think these cookies are delicious.  Like eat four in one day delicious.  Ok, it was six, but who’s really counting?

Consider yourself warned.  These cookies?  Addictive in a serious way and super easy to make.  Always a deadly combination. . .

cookies on plate and glass of milk


Kitchen Cabinet Cookies

  • Author: closeenoughcook
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Approx. 18 cookies (depending on cookie size)


A dough with enough strength and rise to stand up to whatever you want to throw in but chewy and tender enough to please any true cookie lover.  With a multitude of both sweet and salty mix-ins these cookies are tasty and substantial enough to be a meal.  I may or may not have eaten one the other day for breakfast.  . .  But isn’t that one of the few great things about being an adult? Being able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want.  That may be why I can never lose those last ten pounds . . .



1 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1.5 cups cake flour

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup M&Ms

3/4 cup white chocolate chips

3/4 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup nuts*

3/4 cup pretzels, broken into small pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees
  2. With a stand or hand-held mixer cream together cold cubed butter with both sugars and vanilla extract for approx. 4 minutes or until light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each.
  4. Sift together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add flour mixture in about 1/3 at a time and mix just until combined to avoid overmixing.
  6. By hand stir in remaining ingredients.
  7. Using a cookie scoop or by hand make large balls of the dough and place on cookie sheet covered with parchment paper being careful to leave a couple inches between each cookie.
  8. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until golden brown on top.


* I used lightly salted mixed nuts, but use whatever nut tickles your fancy.  Or if allergies are a problem, go nutless.

** Again if you like other mix-ins better, feel free to switch them around.  The world is your cookie!

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