Mini Cookie Cereal Is the TikTok Food Trend I Can Actually Get Behind
It’s basically gourmet Cookie Crisp.
Tiny desserts have always had their fair share of high-pitched-voice-worthy attention. Who didn’t love a package of mini muffins in the ‘90s or a bite-sized cupcake the decade after? (My ears are ringing just thinking about the octave that the OHHHHMYyGAWDSoOoADORABLEs would reach.) But the popularity of small-sized foods has peaked during the pandemic.
It all began with the mini pancake cereal that TikTok told us to make—find what you need to know before you try that trend here. The stakes are higher now; the pancakes paved the way for their sweeter, more-involved cereal offspring: mini chocolate chip cookies.
I’m uncertain what caused the Small Cereal Phenomenon to catch on after food blogger Justin Schuble of @dcfoodporn posted about his creation on Instagram and TikTok. Is it because we’re all sitting inside with nothing to do but spin baked goods into tinier, more time-consuming-to-cook versions of themselves? Is it a social media flex, a subconscious attempt to turn a dessert into a socially acceptable breakfast food, or maybe just an excuse to cook something that pairs perfectly with whipped Dalgona coffee? Rationale set aside, you can never have enough cereal around right now, and I’m here for the tiny food testing.
How to Make Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Cereal
Start by making your dough same as you would with any homemade cookie recipe. One caveat, and something you’ll almost never hear me say, is that this one’s better with store-bought cookie dough. Your best option is the break-and-bake style dough that comes in blocks, like those from Nestle Toll House.
Consistency is key when baking cookies this small—using pre-cut cookie dough means perfectly even chocolate chip distribution, a denser dough, and the ability to slice your dough into uniformly-sized chunks versus measuring it out by hand. It’s also pre-chilled, which saves you the extra step (you’ll need your dough to be really cold before you try to roll it into teensy rounds). Finally, and most importantly, you’ll need to conserve your energy for rolling out and baking what’s about to feel like a billion balls of cookie dough.
Chop your dough into even teaspoon-sized chunks using a knife and roll them into little balls, about the size of a large marble. I toyed around with a few different cook times and temperatures, and the one that worked for me was 375°F for six minutes (ovens vary, so check on them after five minutes) on a light-colored aluminum cookie sheet. Leave a couple inches between them so they don’t run together. To make your cookies even cuter, Schuble recommends adding an extra chocolate chip on top before you bake.
Once they’re lightly golden brown around the edges, allow them to cool and harden on the pan for several minutes. Repeat with however much remaining dough you’re up for. I was exhausted after filling one full tray, but it really depends on your stamina/ambition/boredom.
Seriously, so good. It’s worth it. I was shocked—you’ll be rewarded for the amount of slightly unnecessary effort this requires. But even when drowning in milk, mini chocolate chip cookie cereal is super sweet and indulgent, so I wouldn’t recommend eating it for breakfast unless you have a serious sweet tooth and time for a solid nap afterwards. Also, start slow and go light with the milk, especially if you want to avoid eating a bowl of mushy cookie cereal milk (there are worse things, trust me).