Chef Louie’s Buried Treasure Cookies, or Stuffed Sugar Cookies

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You may have noticed on Instagram that I’ve been baking stuff quite a bit lately. Today’s post is part of a new series devoted to recipes. What better way to kick it off with an expansion of my Instagram post, with a recipe for Chef Louie’s Buried Treasure Cookies, or stuffed sugar cookies? Now that all I’ve got is time between this, and other things going on in my life, I guess it’s more or less a way to pass the time. Last weekend, I was looking around in some boxes from my old room that currently reside in the basement. I set them there for the time being, since I didn’t have time to bring them up to my room.

I found an old issue of The Little Mermaid magazine, from Winter 1994. It was a quarterly publication instead of a monthly. From what I can tell, it was one of those that lasted for like a nanosecond in the early 90s, the same way the Barbie For Girls magazine did. And yes, I had several issues of the latter as well. Unfortunately, they got lost in a move years ago.

I found what I was looking for, right here. Readers, I present to you, straight outta 1994, Chef Louie’s Buried Treasure Cookies:

A picture of a magazine spread from the Winter 1994 issue of The Little Mermaid, depicting a recipe for Chef Louie's Buried Treasure Cookies.The second half of the magazine spread from the Winter 1994 issue of The Little Mermaid, depicting a recipe for Chef Louie's Buried Treasure Cookies.

Check out that treasure chest cookie jar! Isn’t that thing boss or what?

I’ve been wanting to make these for years, and never got around to it. Besides, at our old house, we had an apartment stove since the kitchen was so small. I’d have had to make these cookies in batches on the pans small enough to fit in the oven. When we moved in, the stove there had been there since the 1930s or 1940s. We actually replaced it with a new one of the same size as a favor to the property manager we had at the time.

I had plans to make a batch of these for my mom when she got better in the days before she died. These cookies ended up being soft enough that I feel like these may have been doable for her without her teeth.

I started by prepping the dry ingredients, and storing the mix in one of the plastic meal-prep containers I got to use for my mom when I’d meal-prep for her. After she broke one of the glass ones, I felt like the plastic ones would be easier. I’ve probably mentioned this before, but in all fairness, I’ve also broken one of the glass ones myself since it’s a bit tougher for me to handle them due to my own mobility issues. It wasn’t just a ‘mom’ problem, it was a ‘me’ problem too.

I now use those plastic meal-prep containers to store dry ingredients, and stuff that doesn’t require reheating, cuz, y’know, there’s the whole thing about plastics leaching not-so-good stuff when heated.

Anyhow, as I was prepping the dry ingredients, I assumed that all of it went together, including both sugar types. Fair enough. They usually do. Into the container it went, then came the label I put on top, and into the pantry it went until last weekend.

I combined the butter, eggs, and vanilla, and mixed them in with the dry ingredients. Seriously, this was the driest cookie mix I’d ever seen in my life!

Cookie dough rests in a metal bowl by Tramontina.

After letting it rest in the fridge, it was time to get started. Either I didn’t mix the batter well enough, or something was amiss with the recipe, but I found that wetting my hands to shape the dough and roll it in the toppings helped.

So, without further ado, let’s get started! Here’s what you’ll need to do that:

2 1/2 cups flour (Hint: I used the King Arthur Flour GF Measure for Measure variety, and it worked like a charm.)

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup softened butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup sugar

2 beaten eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Assorted treats (i.e., candies, nuts, cut-up candy bars, or candy minis)

Assorted toppings (i.e., shredded coconut, sprinkles, powdered sugar, or sanding sugar)

Now that we’ve got everything, it’s time to show you how to make them, as shown in the magazine spread:

Lightly grease a cookie sheet and preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Put each topping in a separate bowl. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Then set aside. In a large bowl, combine butter, both sugars, and beat until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well.

(Note: this is likely where I went wrong with the recipe, and I’m not sure if a stand mixer would’ve helped. Guess I’ll find out someday if I can ever afford one, haha!)

Combine the flour mixture into the butter mixture and blend well, scraping the sides of the bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for two hours. The bowl I used was small enough that a large dinner plate did the job, but idk why you couldn’t use plastic wrap also.

Now, the fun begins: scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough into your hand. Then press a treat into its center and make sure the dough completely covers the treat. In honor of my mom, I used York peppermint patty minis for the ones covered in red sugar. Red was one of her favorite colors, and she loved York patties. She also loved Reese’s peanut butter cups, so I used Reese’s minis for the green ones. I used Guittard milk chocolate chips for the blue ones.

I had originally planned on either using green, yellow, orange, and blue sugars since they’re my favorite colors, or gray, black, purple, and red in honor of my mom for this batch. I couldn’t find anything in silver or gray, so I went for a combination. My mom didn’t like coconut, so whatever I did with coconut didn’t have to be baked.

If it did, I made it on the grill in the backyard during the summer of 2020, often with disastrous results, haha.

Speaking of which, I had a package of sweetened coconut living in the pantry long enough, and I saw this as an opportunity to use it up. I left the ones with the coconut as-is. I felt like there was enough going on with the coconut without the filling, and I wanted to let the coconut flavor stand on its’ own. However, I definitely wouldn’t write off something pineapple-flavored if you find some to use as a filling. I can also see lychee, mango, or dragonfruit-flavored candies working here too.

Shape it into a cookie. Sprinkle the cookie until the entire cookie is covered, like so. (Note: if you forget to combine the sugars into the wet mix, and instead combine them with the dry mix like I did, don’t panic! Just wet your hands a little bit under the faucet, and they’ll pick up the toppings like a boss.)

Unbaked cookies covered in red, green, and blue sanding sugars, along with a row of unbaked cookies covered in sweetened coconut flaxes sit on a large dark-colored metal cookie sheet.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Here’s what I got, after I had them in the oven for 12 minutes:

A batch of cookies topped with sweetened coconut, blue sanding sugar, green sanding sugar, and red sanding sugar rest in a large cookie sheet by Wilton, cooling off after having been in a 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.

I mentioned over on Instagram that I definitely goofed on the spacing for these, as you’ll see in the pic. I fully admit, these aren’t the most attractive-looking cookies going, but holy shyt, these were great! The whole house smelled lovely, and I wish my mom was here to share in on it. I wish you were here to share in on it yourselves!

It was the kind of smell that says “holiday time.”

According to the recipe, this supposedly makes approximately 3 1/2 dozen cookies. I’m not sure how they came to this figure if they have us using a tablespoon of dough for each cookie, but I’m guessing it may be a different story if I’d remembered that the brown and white sugars go with the butter, eggs, and vanilla instead of the other dry ingredients.

I’ll find out in my next batch, and report back. [UPDATE 2-17-22: It made a lot more than the amount I ended up with in this batch.]

Not gonna lie, I’d have eaten the whole batch right there before I lost the weight. I had that janky looking one with the green sugar that didn’t seem to wanna spread out like the rest of them. In fact, I’ve made batches of cookies before, and did just that after they came out of the oven and cooled.

Now? I’m limiting myself to one, two a day, max. This way, it gives me a little something to look forward to for tomorrow.

Over to you, readers. Have you been baking anything good? Gonna make a batch of these for yourselves? I’d love to hear your thoughts and takeaways, so drop ’em like they’re hot below, and let’s get the party started!

Cookie sheet and cooling grid combination pack by Wilton can be found here. Tramontina mixing bowl set in a similar style can be found here.

A pin to share on Pinterest if you’d like:

A graphic to pin for Pinterest. It has a green background, with sketchy designs depicting a wedge of cheese, a nest of pasta, a bulb of garlic, and a cut of meat in the corners, and on the left and right hand sides, spoons point in opposite directions. The text reads "The Mission Within presents The Recipe Corner"

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