Flop Cookies – and the benefit of mistakes

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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

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  1. Christy: These look really good, but the timing is bad. 8) I just made a full batch-that’s half of your double-batch-of Dishpan Cookies yesterday and have 9 dough logs ready to vacuum in Food Saver bags and put in the freezer. Would’ve gotten 10 logs, but Quality Control had to check them. They passed. I like them crunchy, so I don’t know how these are going to be. I don’t think they can be better than your Dishpan Cookies, but I’m willing for Quality Control to check them out.

    I love coconut, and so does the rest of the family, but my father didn’t. He hated it. I hate liver. Can’t stand the taste, texture, or smell of it and I definitely can’t swallow it. I was quite lucky that my father raised cattle and we always had meat, and that my mother didn’t like liver either, and couldn’t make me eat something she couldn’t eat. She considered that totally unfair. How lucky was that? The rest of the family adores it. I don’t even want it near me at the table. She cooked some every once in a while for the rest of them and we ate something else. Of course I had a friend who said “you’ve never had it cooked correctly. You’d like it the way I do it.” A trophy food like fruitcake-you’d like my fruitcake! Fruitcake, maybe, liver, never!

  2. Love all the ingredients in these cookies. Shall be making them. Most of all you are such an inspiration with your wise words, for which I thank you. My life growing up in a Capital City (Dublin Ireland) in comparison to yours has been rather dull. I am now 74 years young and do not remember either my grandmother or mother being great bakers. Maybe living in the city where we had access to bakeries etc., (money permitting) we would buy and not bake very often. Keep on with the stories and words of wisdom. God Bless

  3. I love the way you are so down to earth when you talk to us. I like yur website Southern Plate. Keep up the good work.

  4. How funny to read all the comments about disliking certain foods. I LOVE coconut in anything or alone. I do not like cheese unless it is melted. the texture of cold cheese is horrible to me. One thing that almost makes me gag is the thought of meatloaf. I can almost feel it coming up in my throat when I think of the taste. I know most people love it but I don’t want to even look at it. Ha!!!

    If I ever make a cookie or anything that I think flopped I never make it again. Ha!!

  5. Christy, these poor things are just about the ugliest cookies I’ve ever seen, but if you say they’re amazing, I’ll just have to give them a try 😀

  6. This cracks me up…for me it’s Brussel Sprouts…they are evil, the devil! I can’t stand them…the smel makes me dry heave! Combine that with the fact that as I was growing up they were one of my mothers favorites…not a good combo…she would try and force me to eat them…battles would ensue…you are not leaving the table until you eat them…there were some long nights…and some unpleasant experiences for both of us…she finally gave up! Battle of wills…my stomach…won out…it was not compatible..it just cannot handle them…to this day, I cannot even look at them, without gagging a little. Sometimes we go home to visit and so makes them and I have to walk outside…the smell! OMG! She laughs, now…and says good times…so I bring Sushi and oysters over…good times! LOL! Turn about is fair play!

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