I know that LL Cool J didn’t want to be seen as making a comeback back in 1990's Mama Said Knock You Out, but today’s Saturday Snacks recipe most definitely is a comeback. For the first time since beginning of the Saturday Snacks series last February, I’ll be re-creating a previous article’s recipe and writing about it. Friends, we’re going to take a second shot at making Disney’s Hollywood Studios' beloved Jack-Jack's Num Num Cookie. And we’re going to get much closer to the in-park snack than we did before. (Insert maniacal evil genius scientist laugh here.)
Toward the end of each Saturday Snacks article, I usually mention what alterations, if any, I would make to the recipe. A pinch of this or an omission of that to make the snack a bit closer to its original or just a hair more on the tasty side of things. Today, I’ll take a bit of my own advice and make a few changes to get those amazingly rich cookies closer to the ones that guests can purchase at The Market just outside of Toy Story Land.
If I’m being honest, when Pixar released the recipe for Jack-Jack's Num Num Cookies, I was apprehensive about trying to make them in my own kitchen. First of all, if you’ve had the cookie at DHS, you know how incredibly massive it is. Each cookie measures 4 1/2 inches across the top and 3 3/4 inches across the bottom, and each one is incredibly thick, thanks to its standalone baking cup. Those baking cups allow for massive cookies, and even though the recipe that was released said that we could make them without the baking cups, I knew that they would simply be closer to a normal chocolate chip cookie rather than being what you and I know and love from the Disney parks.
All of that being said, I eventually got over my fear, and I made the cookies. And I was so incredibly glad I did. That browned butter that we’re going to make? It is literal magic. If you’ve ever browned butter before, you know of said magic. Last August's recipe was the first time that I had ever gone through the process of browning butter, and getting to remake the recipe last weekend reminded me of how very crucial this step is to the Jack-Jack Num Num Cookies. That rich depth of flavor that you get in each cookie? You and I can thank the browned butter for that. It’s simply a step that can’t be skipped.
Thanks to a fellow baker on the internets, I found a baking cup on Amazon that would come close to what is used for the in-park version of the cookie. While the baking cups are just a bit smaller than the originals, they are incredibly close, and I felt that I could get a bigger, thicker cookie by using them. Spoiler alert: I was right. (Insert another maniacal evil genius scientist cackle here).
Our first step to creating the cookies is to take two sticks of butter and set them on the counter. When you brown butter, you don’t want your butter to be too cold or you might end up with butter splattering out of the pan. It’s the weekend; we don’t need another mess to clean up, do we? Once the butter has warmed up a bit, slice it and place it in a pan on the stove. A light colored pan will show the browning process a bit more clearly than a dark colored pan will, so if you have one in the cabinet, grab it.
Over medium heat, melt the butter. As a few minutes pass (make sure you continue stirring), you’ll notice that the butter becomes a bit darker and just a bit thicker. When you start to see little brown bits fall to the bottom of the pan, you’re almost done. Keep a sharp eye on it.
Once you have a good amount of brown butter bits, take your pan off of the heat and pour the brown butter (liquid and bits and all) into a separate bowl to stop the cooking process.
This time, in order to get the brown butter to cool quickly, I put the bowl in the refrigerator for 15 minutes or so. The recipe asks for us to allow the bowl to cool until the butter begins to solidify, but my butter really didn’t get to that point last time or this time. And really, if yours doesn’t, it’s a-okay. Don’t worry about it.
Once your butter has cooled, pour it (bits and all) into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup of granulated sugar, and a 1/4 teaspoon sea salt.
The amount of sea salt is my first alteration to the recipe. Pixar's original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of sea salt. And while I enjoyed the cookies last year, after eating one cookie, the taste became incredibly salt forward. And cloying. It just wasn’t as enjoyable as it should've been, and I said that if I ever made them again, I would dial the sea salt back to a half or even a quarter of a teaspoon. So this time, I went with a quarter of a teaspoon.
Cream the butters, salt, and sugars together in the mixing bowl until they take on a light and fluffy appearance. This will take a few minutes, but hang in there. It’ll happen.
Once the butter and sugar mixture is nice and fluffy, mix in one whole egg, one egg yolk, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, mix together 2 1/4 cups of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. A quick swish of a whisk was all that it took for the flour and baking soda to get completely combined. I affixed my pouring shield onto my stand mixer (shout out to my hubby for purchasing this amazing attachment for me) and added the flour and baking soda into the sugar and butter mixture. Mix until combined.
Our next deviation from the original recipe is to sub in chocolate chunks for chocolate chips. This is also something I did in last August's article, and it made all the difference. Chocolate chips are not used in the in-park cookies; it’s super clear that the chunk variety is utilized. But it’s also super clear that the chunks that are currently that are being used in the DHS version are just a bit smaller than the Nestlé Toll House variety. Bigger chocolate chunks? Sounds like a good problem to have if you ask me.
Toss in a cup of chocolate chunks, and mix to combine.
The next step in the recipe asks for us to scoop balls of dough and place them on the baking sheets to chill at least one hour, but preferably overnight.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a commercial-sized refrigerator sitting in my kitchen, so large baking sheets covered in balls of dough simply won’t fit in my fridge. I decided to scoop the teaspoon-sized balls of dough and place them into the baking cups and then placed the filled baking cups into a sealed container. And while I allowed the dough to chill overnight when I first made the recipe, I had zero patience this time. They sat in the fridge for just over an hour, and I declared them chilled. Those cookies had to get into my mouth. Now.
After the dough balls had chilled, I pulled them from the fridge and sprinkled a few additional chocolate chunks on top of each cookie. This step isn't called for in the recipe, but it's something that’s done to the cookies that are served at Hollywood Studios, so I figured it was something we needed to do. More chocolate is always a good thing.
I placed the baking cups containing the chilled balls of dough (and extra chocolate chunks) into a 350° oven. While the recipe says that the smaller cookies will take between 7 and 10 minutes, these massive cookies took closer to 17. In order to come close to replicating the in-park version of the cookie, I placed four of the teaspoon-sized dough balls in each of the baking cups.
Once the Num Num cookies emerged from the oven, I placed them on a rack and allowed them to cool in the baking cups.
Dear friends, THESE COOKIES. GOODNESS GRACIOUS GREAT BALLS OF FIRE. The end result was a thick, chocolatey cookie with a gloriously rich flavor.
The brown butter is such an integral part of this cookie. That depth of flavor and slight nuttiness? Yep, the cookies just wouldn’t be the same without it.
The changes made to this recipe allow the at-home version to very closely resemble what you and I can purchase in Hollywood Studios. These cookies are now spot on, and I won't be going back to using that full teaspoon of sea salt. And those baking cups? In my book, they're worth every penny of the twelve dollars and change spent on purchasing them if you're looking for a huge, thick Num Num Cookie.
Needless to say, snack time was a lot of fun in my house this week. If you’d like snack time to be just as much fun in your own home this weekend, I suggest you make these cookies ASAP. And if you do make them, please let me know what you think.
You’ll see my alterations to the recipe below. If you make Jack-Jack’s Num Num Cookies and have additional suggestions regarding changes, please let me know in the comment section below.
One additional neat thing regarding the cookies happened last year during the closure of the parks. Douce France Bakery in Winter Garden, Florida began selling the cookies for locals. It turns out that Douce France is the bakery behind the DHS version of the cookies, and having them sell the treats to locals while the parks were closed was such a neat thing to witness. It sprinkled a little bit of Disney magic when the magic was running low. How cool is that?
Whatever you do this weekend, I hope that there’s a little bit of magic (and a whole lot of chocolate) sprinkled throughout. Thanks so much for stopping by and giving this a read. If you’d like to catch up and all of the Saturday Snacks fun we’ve had thus far, be sure to click here.
Happy weekend, all!
Ready for a taste of Disney's Hollywood Studios in your own kitchen? The recipe is below:
Jack-Jack's Num Num Cookies
- 1 cup of butter (2 sticks)
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 1 ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon sea salt1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate
- Brown the butter and let it cool until it begins to solidify.
- Cream butter, sugars and salt in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.
- Mix in whole egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
- Combine dry ingredients and mix into the batter.
- Add chocolate
- Scoop into balls and chill thoroughly for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
- Bake 350 degrees for 7-10 minutes until golden brown on edges, but still soft in the center.
- Add a few chocolate chunks to on the top of each cookie.