A Test of Wills

A common question I get asked as a food blogger is “what do you do with all those cookies and cupcakes and treats you make?”

Well. I’m going to answer that right now. And I’m going to be honest. For the most part, we eat them.

Gasp! Pearl clutch! Faint!

So there you have it. I make my cake and eat it too.

You’ll hear a lot of bakers say they make a treat and usher right out the door to neighbors, to husband’s offices, to parties and events. I certainly do that too (all of these firework cookies went on platters and off to our new neighbors) but during a normal week, I’m usually baking for us. Halving recipes and scaling down are a normal occurrence. I don’t need 24 cupcakes, but 12 for the two of us to share over the course of 7 days or so. Okay, sure.

Of course, there are rules. Strict guidelines as to what can be eaten when and how much. For the most part, my willpower remains strong around the treats in the house until it’s time for a little indulgence.

However. Sometimes. Yes, sometimes something comes along that really tests me. Sometimes there’s something in the house I can’t resist. That’s when the nibbling starts. It’s not the usual suspects that get me, the brownies, the chocolate chip cookies. It’s the things that shouldn’t be THAT good, but somehow just are.

Things like this Sunflower Cookie Brittle.

These shards of buttery shortbread cookie are stuffed to the brim with sweet mini chocolate chips and salty sunflower seeds. A very simple cookie dough is pressed into a jellyroll pan and baked. Once cooled, it’s broken into jagged, rustic pieces that are perfect for popping in your mouth every single time you’re in the kitchen. Something about the the soft, sandy texture and the sweet/salty flavor made these absolutely irresistible to me. Simple, but wonderful.

I had mixed emotions when the brittle was gone. On the one hand, I could return to my regularly scheduled carrot sticks, but on the other, I sure was sad to see it go.

SUNFLOWER COOKIE BRITTLE (Recipe Source: Heartland: The Cookbook by Judith Fertig pg. 230)


  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons almond or vanilla extract
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purposed flour
  • 1 cup salted, roasted shelled sunflower kernels
  • 1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugar, and extract and beat until creamy. Add flour gradually, beating until blended after each addition. Fold in sunflower seeds and chocolate chips. Press the dough into a 16-1/2 by 11-1/2 by 1-inch jelly-roll pan.
  2. Bake the cookie for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Break the cookie apart like peanut brittle. Store in airtight container for up to two weeks. Makes about 3 dozen pieces.


One Year Ago: Chewy, Fudgy, Triple Chocolate Brownies
Two Years Ago: Strawberry Blueberry Buckle
Three Years Ago: Crispy Oven “Fried” Chicken


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3 responses to “A Test of Wills

  1. What a neat cookie recipe. How fun it must be to break the pieces off and eat them. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday and I’d love it if you’d come by and link your cookies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/07/sweets-for-saturday-25.html

  2. This sounds great! I’ll have to try it sometime. I just found your blog today and I am glad I did! I look forward to following your posts!!

    • themilkmanswife

      Welcome! Thanks so much for reading! 🙂 Just added your blog to my google reader as well! Looking forward to seeing more!

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