Adventures in Eating: Leslie’s Cookies ala Hershey

Memories of childhood are al­ways the grandest. Children look at life so differently than adults. Everything is new, fresh and excit­ing. One of my grandest memo­ries as a child was visiting Her­shey, Pennsylvania, home of the all-american Hershey bar. The mo­ment I entered this town I knew I had never been and would never again be in such a magical place. The streets were lined with Her­shey Kisses lamposts and the sweet smell of chocolate seeped through every crack and crevice of our car. Cobblestone roads led the way to the famous chocolate facto­ry, a simple building that belied the magic within.

Once inside this special place we were led by a guide through the entire factory. Large glass win­dows separated us from all the Hershey employees hard at work. I pressed my face up to the warm window and watched an apron clad woman mix an enormous vat of chocolate with the world’s larg­est spoon. I will never forget this precious memory.

The enchanted tour ended with some free samples which tasted better that any Hershey bar I can remember.

Recently, I was told that Her­shey no longer opens its doors to the public. What a shame! So many children will lose out on one of the most magical experiences ever to approach the mythical Wil­ly Wonka.

Try this magical cookie of Her­sheys latest candy bar.

Leslies Cookies ala Hershey

1 lb. sweet butter, softened

2 cups brown sugar

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

3 eggs

6 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

24 ounces Hersheys “Cookies and Mint”: candy bar, coarsely chopped.

Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and beat well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix together four, baking soda and salt and add to mixture. Beat well until combined. Batter will be very thick. Stir in chopped Her­shey bar. Drop batter balls (over­size golfballs) onto wax paper lined baking sheets. Bake in a 350° oven for 10 minute or until just browning. Transfer to cooling racks. Let cool. Makes 48 cook­ies.

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