What Would Punky Brewster Do?

by Sarah on May 26, 2011 · 15 comments

After seeing Mary’s recipe for Chunky Monkey cookies, and then practically having to restrain myself from trying to reach into my computer screen to grab them and eat them…well, clearly I knew I had to make them, too.

But, of course, being me, I couldn’t leave the recipe as it (perfectly) was. Instead, I found myself asking, “Now, Sarah, this recipe is all well and good, but couldn’t it be crazier? I think it’s time we ask the age old question*….What Would Punky Brewster Do?
*And by age-old, I may be slightly exaggerating. I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve ever asked it. I don’t know about everyone else.
For someone who was born the year this beloved TV classic from the 80s debuted…and was not an avid TV viewer (of anything other than Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood) throughout its four season run, I seem to reference Punky Brewster an awful lot. I did get to watch it regularly in syndication, but don’t remember much^ except that she had the coolest window shade I’d ever seen.

^Does anyone know if it is on Netflix?

However, I think it must come as no surprise really that I feel somewhat connected to this free-spirited young’n. Not only do we share a distorted ‘perhaps if I just keep layering it will look cool’ fashion sense…

[I do not, however, roll up one pant leg. I roll up two.]

…but I’m pretty sure that it’s not long before I start saying things like “Grossaroo” and “Holy Macanoli!” [I’ve already got ‘Yippie’ under control.]

So when I saw myself faced with a new culinary creation…it shouldn’t be too shocking that I found myself asking (more than once) What Would Punky Brewster Do?

First, she’d use punk‘n.
And if she couldn’t get the can opener to work she would painstakingly snap it on and off all the way around the edge and somehow pry the can open……then scooping the punk‘n out. (Only suffering a minor flesh wound in the process.)
She’d throw in a banana too, because, well, why not?
Almond butter (some would probably end up in her mouth on it’s way to the bowl…I’ll leave that choice up to you)…
…and maple syrup! [Fall flavors? SCHMALL flavors. Use ’em all year round, I say! (Punky says so, too.)]
Smash and stir and don’t worry so much about the chunky (monkey) banana bits.
In another bowl, dump in oats and whatever cereal you’ve got open (preferably of the flake or twig variety). My inner Punky went with this Central Market Maple Morning Crunch…
…which tastes (and looks) strikingly similar to Trader Joe’s Organic Morning Lite, albeit slightly less sweet and slightly more maple-y.Add in some baking powder, punk‘n pie spice, a dash of salt, and a little extra cinnamon.
Mix it up. [Punky would mix it with her hands.]
Then, dump the punk‘n into the cere-oats.

And stir.
And stir some more.

Once everything is orange and lovely looking…it’s time for add-ins! Naturally (at least it seemed natural to me), I went with dried cranberries (the whole Thanksgiving association) and coconut.
I was about to throw in some dried apples, but then I thought….What Would Punky Brewster Do? My eyes landed on this: I tried to cut the strips into little bits, but it as just easier to tear them up with my fingers. [Punky would approve.]Of course, after I added those to the bowl, I realized that the answer to What Would Punky Brewster Do? is not to add dried mangos instead of dried apples…but to add BOTH!

So I did.

I mixed and mixed and mixed.
And mixed and mixed and mixed.
Then I scooped the dough onto a cookie sheet…… and baked them at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.
Orange little plops o’ punk’n doughy deliciousness.
Now that’s what I call PUNKY POWER!There is only one name to give them, really: Spunky Punkies.*
*Also the plural form of the title of one of my former posts that you can go back and revel in if you like.
After all, they are little ragamuffins like she was.
And the only thing left to say about ’em is…

“Two thumbs up…”
“…for ME.”
Spunky Punkies
(Makes 40)

1 15 oz. can pure punk‘n (1 3/4 cups)
1 medium banana (1/2 cup)
3 Tbsp. almond butter
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned or quick oats
1 1/2 cups bran flakes or cereal
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup dried apples, diced
1/4 cup dried mango, diced (or ripped apart by hand)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small mixing bowl, stir and mash together the punk‘n, banana, almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla.
3. In a separate, large mixing bowl, combine the oats, cereal, baking powder, and spices.
4. Add the punk‘n mixture to the oats mixture and stir well to combine.
5. Mix in dried fruits and coconut.
6. Scoop out dough onto a cooking sprayed baking sheet and bake for 8 minutes.


**In case you were wondering, I checked. Punky Brewster: Season One has been moved to the top of my Netflix Queue.**


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