Flop Cookies – and the benefit of mistakes

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

 We all make mistakes in life. Everyone. Those folks who seem cool as a cucumber, like they have it all together? Yup, them to. The difference in success and failure lies in how we treat our mistakes.

Do we kick the dirt, plop down, and sag our shoulders in defeat or do we treat it as Thomas Edison did with his statement “I have not failed. I just found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.”

It’s the spirit we choose to have when it comes to our mistakes that defines, in many ways, how our life will play out. What some choose to turn into defeat, others choose to use as a pile to step on, bringing them one step closer to the top than everyone else around them.

The hope, of course, is that as we grow older we will make fewer mistakes. If y’all were ever a teenager like me, the bar is probably not set too high to be able to achieve that.

Lord help me, I was a complete idiot until the age of 25, and still have relapses from time to time.

But the good news is that continuing making mistakes as we grow older means that our knowledge is growing at a pretty rapid pace as well. Everything we do that doesn’t work out as planned makes another huge deposit into that bank of knowledge. That’s how you get to be a wise old person, which is my ultimate goal.

Actually, my goal is to be a wise old person living on top of a mountain somewhere in Tennessee, but I digress (as is my habit)…

And sometimes, every now and then, just to throw us off and show us that we don’t have all the answers – even when it comes to making mistakes – something that we view as a mistake will be viewed by others as a success and we just stand off to the side, scratching our heads and looking at them like they’re crazy.

Until we realize that they most likely are.

Because they’re related to us.

So I found this cookie recipe in one of my Mama’s old cookbooks and I decided to tweak it to make it easier and more streamlined. The results were:

  • A. The best raw cookie dough I’ve ever had in my life (that is safe to eat raw, too!). I mean you could just sit down with a bowl of this stuff and a spoon.
  • B. A soft, chewy cookie that remains somewhat short in stature rather than rising. The key to this was that I substituted self rising flour for plain, which doesn’t have the same amount of leavening as the original recipe called for.

I took one bite, thought they were delicious but not “pretty” due to their lack of rising, and chalked it up to experiment day one, with plans to remake and get it right later that evening.

And then my kids walked in the door. I didn’t have time to tell them the cookies were a flop before the smell had them grabbing cookies off the plate and taking bites. Eyes rolled back in their heads. The cookies were pronounced “one of the all time best”, “must make more often”, and “why haven’t you made these before?”.

I looked at them in utter confusion and told my husband they were flops and I was going to remake them later on.

He looked at me like I’d grown two heads and decided to shave one of them into a mohawk.

“Are you crazy? These are amazing! I can’t believe you’d change something. Don’t you dare change these cookies!”.

They were gone by that evening and the next morning Brady woke up asking if we had anymore.

Crazy kids. Don’t they know these cookies are a flop? Take butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and combine them into chewy bitesize goodness and call it wonderful?

Okay. I give up. I’m not changing a thing. My family likes my mistakes just as they are.

So here ya go. One of the best tasting flops you ever had.

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

Before I talk about ingredients I just want to raise a calming hand and take a deep breath for the coconut haters. I know y’all done spied that bag and are dismissing this wonderful little cookie because of it. No, you really can’t leave it out. This cookie needs that. However,  you also really can’t taste it. All you taste is the butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar. So come on, give coconut a chance. Poor things been wondering what it did to ya for the past twenty years…

Moving right along, you’ll need: Corn Flakes (not sweetened), Milk, Brown Sugar, Cream Cheese (here’s my easy recipe for homemade cream cheese), Butter, Butter, and Coconut. Oh goodness, and flour.

I have no idea why flour isn’t pictured here. I specifically told it to get into the picture and you know nothing in my house ever disobeys me, right?

P.S. I meant to say butter twice :).

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

So put your butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar in a bowl and beat the mess out of it.

As I type this, a tiny little mosquito is attempting to court my computer monitor. One of the dangers of writing posts before the sun comes up is that the computer light feels like a lighthouse in the room.

But hey, how else are you gonna spend your Saturday?

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

Here is what it looks like after that mixing. Eat some of this. Please. It is pure D Heaven.

And I apologize for the shadows but if you want better food photography from me, you’re gonna have to ask a giant sunbeam to follow me around all day. Better yet, a photographer. That would be even better. Fortunately, I know y’all don’t come here for the food photography. Bless you for that!

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

Now dump in all of the other stuff and mix it up again.

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

Here ya go! Now just cover that up and put it in the fridge for several hours..

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

Say what? 

I can’t cook it now? I have to wait HOURS before I can finish this recipe? Seriously?

I know, I hate it when that happens, too. I usually toss it in the freezer for ten minutes and declare that to be the equivalent of “chilling for several hours” but in this case, ~sighs~ you gotta do it.

So I put mine in the fridge and went to sleep. Because we don’t get enough sleep in our lives. I’ve declared it so. Most people’s bedtimes are freakishly late so I am here, standing in your stead, trying to make up for the difference on your behalf, by going to bed at 8.

Or sometimes 7.

I have been known to hit the hay at 6 on rare occasions.

But then I POP out of bed like a toaster in time to wake the sun up the next day! I do that for you, too. I’m a giver, I tell ya.

Later that night, back at the farm… 

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

Crush some corn flakes. Just…kinda…whatever you think you’ll need. A cup or so.

It’s not like you can’t crush some more if you end up using them all, right?

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

Now you gotta find a place to work on these cookies so scoot some text books off to the side…

Make one inch(ish) balls of dough like this…

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

and roll those in the cornflakes like this…

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

And then place them on a lightly GREASED cookie sheet.

Like this.

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

Now bake these at 350 for about 15 minutes. You want them to be lightly browned around the edges.

Once you remove them from the oven, allow them to cool completely on the cookie sheet before removing them to a plate.

They aren’t firm enough to move until they are cool.

Flop Cookies - and the benefit of mistakes

 Enjoy 🙂

Flop Cookies

Flop Cookies: Take butter, cream cheese, brown sugar, and combine them into chewy bitesize goodness and call it wonderful!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: cookies
Servings: 4
Calories: 167kcal


  • 3/4 cup butter at room temp
  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temp
  • 2 +1/2 cups brown sugar light or dark
  • 2 +1/2 cups self rising flour
  • 1 +1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut (unsweetened will work)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • cornflake crumbs


  • In a large mixing bowl, place butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar. Mix until thoroughly creamed.
  • Add all other ingredients and mix again until well blended. Cover and chill for several hours.
  • Form dough into small balls and roll in crushed cornflakes.
  • Place on greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 15 minutes, careful not to burn.
  • Allow to cool completely on cookie sheets before removing.
  • Enjoy!


Calories: 167kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @southernplate or tag #southernplate!

“When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way.” 

~Paulo Coelho

You might also enjoy this recipe! World’s Best Chewy Sugar Cookies

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  1. Thank you, Christy for the recipe AND your words of inspiration and daily wisdom. Because my husband is diabetic, I can’t try the recipe until company’s coming or I have an occasion at church but it’s printed and on top of my file!!

  2. This recipe kinda reminds me of Breakfast Cookies … but I like that these are rolled in Corn Flakes. Thanks for your mistake!!!

  3. When I was in cooking school, we were taught that folks eat with their eyes first. But while this is true, experience has also taught me that how things taste can be more important to folks than how is looks. And, yup! It was family that helped drive that point home to me. LOL BTW… LOVE your ‘Say what?’ pose! Perfect photo choice!! Will be giving this recipe a try after next week’s shopping trip! After all, the chocolate chip cookie was the result of a ‘boo-boo’, y’know. LOL

    1. Thank you!!! I meant to say “add all other ingredients” in the instructions but ended up saying “add dry ingredients” which doesn’t mean nearly the same thing! I corrected it, thanks to you!
      Appreciate your help, Mel!
      P.S. Ooh, look at all the exclamation points! It must be an exciting day for me!

  4. 🙂 Great story!! I had a cookie flop last year, which got the same reaction!! lol I was so excited to have my son home from Afghanistan, and I was baking away, starting with the usual faves,,,,,and usually easy and foolproof for me!! lol I doubled the Crisco (butter flavor) and forgot t double the rest of the recipe!! The oatmeal raisin cookies were so flat and chewy I couldn’t imagine what I did at first!! I was going to toss them as well, but 2 of my guys and my husband grabbed them and agreed, the mistake is a keeper!! lol

    1. OH!!! I can only imagine the joy of having your baby home again!!! What a proud mom you must be to have raised such a wonderful man. And you know what is crazy? I made the same mistake recently, doubled the butter, and I think I came up with a far greater end result, too! lol
      What a wonderful memory!You lifted my heart up by sharing it so thank you!

  5. I was all excited until I saw coconut. I’m allergic. No hives or breakouts or inability to breathe, but I itch from head to toe for HOURS!! Any suggestions as to what I could sub for coconut? Cause these sound AWESOME!!!

    1. Okay first of all understand that by what I’m about to say I don’t mean that I’m glad you have an allergy or suffer in any way, but it is refreshing to see someone who actually can’t have coconut versus “Coconut is the devil!”, lol. Of course, I feel the same way about seafood so I have little room to talk. Not that seafood is the devil, just that I’d rather eat water chestnuts straight from the can than have to even smell it…and I’m not even going to get into how I feel about water chestnuts 🙂
      Hmmmm, you really need the framework the coconut creates to support the cookies but I’m scheming here. If it were me, the first thing I would try would be slivered almonds. I think those would work and still be pretty stinking yummy 🙂

      1. I’m guessing that my last comment did not post. Dunno what I did wrong, but I did wake up with a migraine. Can I blame the headache?
        First, slivered almonds will be a great sub. Second, I’ve never been fond of seafood, either, except deviled crab. I do love me some devolved crab. Third, I’m told that I’m quite entertaining when I accidentally ingest coconut. I’m usually hopping on one foot while scratching the back of my leg (the one I’m hopping on) with the foot I’m not hopping on. Plus I’m scratching my tummy. And my scalp. And my sides. And, yes, even my behind itches.
        ~sigh~ it’s a curse, I suppose.

        1. I’ve had a headache for going on two weeks now and it is with great pride that I inform you that you can absolutely blame that on your headache but you can also add to the list : Messy house, unfinished work of any kind, inability to cook (and therefore necessity of dining out – preferably at your favorite restaurant), also lost keys, unpaid bills, and money mysteriously disappearing from your bank account in debits suspiciously named after your favorite stores.
          And now, you made me itch 🙂

      2. i’ll take your water chestnuts (happily) but i’m not gonna eat coconut. no way, no how.

        my daddy and my gramma said my “taste would change” when i got older and that i’d start liking foods i didn’t like when i was little… well, i still don’t like them. maybe after i turn 40? i try stuff every so often just to make sure, and nope. can’t do coconut. can’t even stand food with palm oil as an ingredient because to me it tastes like coconut.
        … i don’t like almonds, either.

        i wonder if slivered water chestnuts would work? no?

        hm. might try with oatmeal. or more corn flakes.

        this recipe reminds me a lot of Ranger Cookies, which my mom bought sometimes at the Kroger and i remember thinking they’d be so good if they didn’t taste like suntan oil.

        i bet the batter, without the coconut, would be pretty amazing, though…

      3. Christy I don’t know if this would work but what about puffed rice cereal in place of the coconut. The reason I said this is that I make a cookie that has the same dough ingredients (not the same quantities) and uses the rice cereal and not coconut.

        1. HOWEVER I love coconut so I will make these like you have the recipe. What that I will not eat in no way, no how is wild meat. I just can’t bring myself to eat, Bambi, Thumper, or Chip and Dale.

      4. Hahahahahahahahaha!!! Christy, you’re the best. … And I wanna be at your table when the seafood and water chestnuts get passed out, cuz we’re getting SOMETHING ELSE. That stuff is NASTY! Haha! Thanks for the laugh. Oh, I’ll have to try this recipe too… cream cheese? Yum.

    2. How about toffee bits instead of the coconut? I have an awesome Brown Sugar Pound Cake recipe that has them in it. I don’t have Corn Flakes, and thought I’d roll the cookies in them.

  6. Love this! The recipe and the story! Isn’t that how we are? We have our own ideas of perfection and brush off people’s comments that tell us we are perfect already?!?! Thanks for the story and the recipe! It’ll be the perfect use for the rest of those cornflakes in my pantry!

    1. Christy, I would love to meet you. You have such a wonderful sense of humor. I love reading your stories & your recipes and so good.

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