Saturday, December 02, 2006

Cookies With Benefits

Calling all cookie lovers! Bake or buy a plateful to bring to the First Ever Dirty Sugar Cookie Swap, to be held this Monday, December 4 at Bluestockings Books.

I hereby pledge to contribute the following recipe (unless I run heinously and characteristically short of time, in which case, I’ll just pick me up a package of pfeffernusses at the bodega on the corner and pray some other attendee will disregard the peanut caveat with a plate of buckeyes. I love buckeyes. And I love these. There are days when they might be the most nutritious thing in the children’s lunchboxes.

Cookies With Benefits

Break down and buy some parchment paper. I never have but the last time I was about to throw a batch of these in the oven I realized, hey, maybe the reason the original recipe called for it is so their butts won’t burn, the way mine always do. (Please note that’s “do”, not “does”. There’s almost always a thin layer of black nylon shielding the majority of my butt from the burning it no doubt richly deserves. These cookies, however, are innocent. They’ve done nothing to merit scorched booties, unless one counts being a bit of a production to make. That’s not their fault though. The blame lays with the size of my kitchen and my refusal to buy wire racks because many years ago, I had a half moon shaped rack that came with a long-gone wok, and even though I haven’t seen it in years (probably put it in the recycling bin in one of those rare bursts of organizational frenzy), I’m loathe to shell out for a sure-to-be-seldom-used culinary device when there’s a chance I might still have a semi-practical substitute that’ll work 1/3 as well.)

see the chaos when you fly without parchment and racks!

and voila, the reverse angle...

Stop feeling like the little brown hen & preheat the oven to 350˚.

Break three eggs in a big bowl. Fetch the electric mixer you purchased on impulse from a drugstore where you’d gone to buy toothpaste. Isn’t it funny how you can live with a seriously f’ed up mixer for years, letting it take up valuable cabinet space even though it has a known history of grinding to a halt with a high pitched screaming noise halfway through any job? Piece uh crap wedding present. Then, one day, heading to the register, Colgate in hand, you spy a mixer and think, “You know what? Screw design! Screw brand name recognition! Screw the child-like hope that the wedding mixer is going to get better one of these days. I’m getting that for twelve bucks.” What took you so long!?

And what's a chain drugstore doing with electric mixers? I’ll bet in the five years since that Rite-Aid's been open for business, nobody's ever purchased one but me. Not that I'm complaining! It may be homely and damn near disposable, but that crummy Rite-Aid mixer gets the job done, unlike a certain high strung, stream-lined, pampered German I could mention.

a softened stick of butter
a cup of tahini (because what kid doesn’t love a beige paste that tastes kind of like clay?)
2 tablespoons of vanilla (good lord, that’s like a third of a bottle!)
a cup of brown sugar
and a cup of white sugar.
Marvel at the mixer’s willingness to take on this dense substance! What a good girl! Lick her beaters a little. She deserves to be treated like a princess. (As always, you might want to pull the plug before you start getting it on with something that has the potential rip your tongue out by the roots.)

Enough monkey business! Get out a new bowl. (Don’t get uptight. This one will barely get dirty. You can wipe it out with a dishtowel, slip it back in the cabinet, and none of your guests will know what a slob you are when you serve them salad out of it later tonight. Well, they might, but only if they find a long brown hair lurking amidst the avocado and sliced almonds. Nothing you can do about that, short of a pixie.)

In this "clean" bowl, combine
4 cups of oats
1 cup of white flour
1 cup of whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of baking soda
and 1 teaspoon of salt.

Dump the horse chow into the moist mash, give the second bowl a cursory wiping and tell the mixer to take the rest of the day off. A wooden spoon can take it from here on out. Stir the two substances up just enough to make a rough sort of dough. Throw in a handful or two of chocolate chips. Toss in some walnuts, if it pleases you, unless of course you’re planning on taking this batch to school, like I did. Nut allergies abound. Don’t give another parent grounds for a lawsuit! (For the record, this will make enough to serve 23 fourth graders, with a couple left over for whining family members.)

Remember that parchment paper you bought? You can use it to feel superior to me as you line your cookie tray. I had to make do with tracing paper . God, I hope no kid had an allergic reaction to whatever toxins might have been released at 350˚. I don’t think tracing paper cares much for heat, given the way it curled into a cylinder whenever it got came in contact with one of those tropical, oven-fresh breezes. (On the bright side, I did discover that unbaked cookie dough makes great paperweights.)

Moisten your paws (use the sink) to pinch up a soup-spoon’s worth of dough. Roll it into a ball, then flatten it on the paper-lined tray by pressing it with your palm. Once they hit the oven, these things’ll spread out like ladies in the locker room, so give them plenty of elbow room.

Bake for about 15 minutes – until they’re golden brown. Cool them on wire racks, the counter, a disused barbeque grill, a hastily yanked-down screen window – I’m sure you’ll figure something out.

Now, bake something else for the Dirty Sugar Cookie Swap. Buckeyes, maybe. See you Monday!

Dirty Sugar Cookie Swap
(Plus Reading and Signing)

Monday, December 4, 7pm
Bluestockings Books
172 Allen Street between Stanton and Rivington

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Blogger AnnieKNodes said...

Last night was so much fun and your cookies where delish. I talked myself into have 4 more because they are "small" and "good for me."

Everyone should go to the next cookie swap/party!!!

7:49 AM  

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