The Happy Accident: Cooking Mistakes That Succeed

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dreamstime_xs_25041449 - cropThis weekend, I came across a “loaded chocolate-chip cookie” recipe that I wanted to try. My daughter, Wren, wanted to help, so I thought this would be a great opportunity for her to learn some new things. I showed her that the recipe was divided into two parts: the ingredients and the instructions. She read each instruction, and I made her look at the ingredients list to determine how much to add. She’s been learning her fractions, so this was good practice.

By the time we were nearly done with the batter, I realized that she had been misreading the ingredient measures. The original King Arthur recipe called for ½ cup each of chocolate chips, coconut, raisins, cereal, and nuts. Wren read 1½ cups, and I did not double-check her. So there we were with 1½ cups each of chocolate chips, coconut, and raisins. I decided we would correct a bit by only adding the ½ cup of cereal and no nuts. Then we finished the batter, chilled it as required, and baked. And you know what? They’re delicious. I can’t imagine having fewer goodies in them. So Wren learned more about her measures, and we ended up with delicious cookies that may be better than the original recipe.
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Ahnna did the same thing eleven years ago, when she inadvertently created what we call “Chocolate Overkill.” She was using a recipe on the back of a bag of chocolate chips, which we sadly no longer have. She misread the ingredients and ended up doubling the amount of chocolate in it, which wasn’t really a problem. Can you have too much chocolate? Of course not.

So below are our two happy “mistakes” in their revised form. Enjoy!

Wren’s Oopsie Loaded Chocolate-Chip Cookie Recipe

1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1½ cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1½ cups shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened (we used unsweetened)
1½ cups raisins
½ cup granola (the original called for Grape-Nuts cereal)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy.

Add the vanilla, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little bit at a time, beating until well combined.

Add the oats, chocolate chips, coconut, raisins, and cereal. Stir into the batter with a spoon until mixed fully.

Refrigerate the dough for at least 30 minutes, or up to overnight. (We refrigerated for 30 minutes.)

Make balls from the cookie dough (about 2″ in diameter) and place onto your baking sheets about two inches apart.

Bake the cookies for 10 to 15 minutes, until they’re just beginning to brown around the edges. Remove them from the oven and let cool on a rack.

If you’d like, experiment with the ratios above. You can add more cereal and less of something else. Or try 1 cup each of the chocolate chips, coconut, raisins, and granola. Add the ½ cup of nuts back in. Make it uniquely your own!

Ahnna’s Chocolate Overkill

½ cup (1 stick) butter
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons water
4 cups semisweet chocolate chips, divided
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
3 eggs
2 cups chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 325°F.

In a saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, vanilla, and water and cook until everything is melted and just about to boil. Remove from heat and add 2 cups of the chocolate chips only. Stir the mixture until the chocolate melts. Set aside and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add the chocolate mixture to the flour mixture and stir until combined.

Add the eggs and stir until combined.

Add the remaining 2 cups of chocolate chips and the nuts and stir until combined.

Pour the mixture in a 9×9 inch greased baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Cool and then store in the refrigerator. This is best when it’s cold.

Asha Hawkesworth

Asha is passionate about enjoying life and making the most of what she has. She is a writer and painter and enjoys being with her family. She has written children's books and a book about the inner child (, as well as other blogs at and

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