Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

empty handed

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

I was in training all day today.

Hybrid hard disk drive training.

It was totally interesting! Until like 10 am. And it was pretty tolerable. Until like 2 pm.

My notes from the last three hours of the day include a lot of stick figures.

Anyway.

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That party we went to? With all the Thai food? I did not show up empty handed. I brought two of my favorite cookies.

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Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Very slight adapted from The Good Cookie, i.e. one of the best cookie books ever. Unfortunately, it’s out of print now :(. Sadness.

1 stick room temperature butter, unsalted
1 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup buttermilk or 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar (I NEVER have buttermilk. The substitution works fine.)
2 cups flour (I’ve substituted whole wheat pastry flour for half with acceptable results, but try to resist the urge.)
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt

2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 stick room temperature butter, unsalted
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla (Use clear vanilla if you have it, which I only do because a good friend of mine brought it home from me from Mexico. I have no idea how it’s clear.)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cream together the butter and sugar for at least two full minutes. You want lots of air in there. LOTS. Beat in the egg yolk, reserving the white.

Mix the baking soda into the warm water. Sift the cocoa powder over the butter/sugar/egg mixture, and at least partially incorporate it with a spoon or the beaters. (It will poof everywhere. Embrace it or stir slowly.) Add the hot water mixture and beat to combine. Add one cup of the flour, along with the salt, stir, and add the milk and lemon juice/vinegar (or buttermilk). Beat to combine. Add the final cup of flour and beat until there are very few lumps left.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or butter it). Using a one tablespoon scoop (or just a tablespoon measure), scoop balls onto the baking sheet. Leave 1 1/2 to 2 inches between balls – you can fit 15 on a standard baking sheet.

Bake for 6 minutes, then check. It’s hard to tell since they’re so dark, but the top should be craggy like you see in the picture and shouldn’t squish if you poke it. (It can dent, but it shouldn’t squish.) If you have any doubts, stick em back in for another minute. Overcooked isn’t great but it’s better than under. As soon as they’re done, carefully remove them to a cooling rack.

While you’re baking all the cookies, cream together the butter and cream cheese for the frosting. Add the powdered sugar and beat until crumbly, then add the egg white and vanilla. (You will be eating it raw. If you prefer not to use the egg white, sub 2 tablespoons milk or cream or even water.) Beat until smooth.

Once the cookies are at room temperature, pair them up in appropriate sizes. They should be MOSTLY the same size, but some will definitely fit together better than others.

Spread one to one and a half teaspoons on the inside of one cookie and top with it’s mate. Repeat and put in the fridge until they’re not sliding around anymore.

Store somewhere coolish. They’ll be great for a day, tasty for two or three more, and worth eating for close to a week. (That last part might be just my opinion.)

The other cookies were these almond blueberry bars. Recipe later this week, deal? Deal.

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You know what’s almost as good as cookies?

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BBQ with my man.

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Even if it does rain so hard we can’t play cornhole.

More training tomorrow! And Wednesday! Whoo. Hoo.

sigh

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

I’m having a boring, frustrating week. I did poorly on an exam (which I may have mentioned), and now I’m feeling the need to prove myself academically, and I’m having a hard time doing it. I just have so much to do that I can’t focus on any one thing long enough to excel.

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The work – it is constant.

Anyway.

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I know it’s no Dogfish Head – but I love me some pumpkin beer, and this one is pretty tasty.

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On Monday I made vaguely Asian inspired tempeh and butternut squash tacos. I thought breaking the tempeh into smaller pieces would make it more flavorful, but then I baked it after marinating it, and it dried out. It took a lot of greek yogurt to make them moist enough again – but at that point, they were pretty tasty.

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On Tuesday night, we went out with my parents to Southern Sun.

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I had one of the specials, a steak sandwich with horseradish mayo and melted cheese of some variety called ‘I can’t remember but it was white and damn delicious’.

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And my mom gave me a piece of her crabcake sandwich.

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My dad had the other special, the fish and chips. I love fish and chips, but for whatever reason I was of the opinion that my sandwich would be healthier.

Obviously that was not the case.

Fortunately, my sandwich was good enough that I didn’t regret not ordering the fish. I wanted a bite, but by the time I looked up, there were only fries remaining – clearly the fish was not a disappointment either.

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Crockett had a salad with pecans and arugula and who knows what else. He loved it, but he ate half my sandwich too. That’s the problem with salad, yo. Sometimes you just need a sandwich too .

On Thursday, Crockett made beer.

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In an enormous pot in our kitchen.

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With hops from our hops plant.

It’s bubbling away under my feet right now.

Yesterday, Crockett went to the CU homecoming game and I stayed home to work. I took two quick breaks – one to make chocolate chip cookies and one to make cauliflower gratin.

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For breakfast today: plain yogurt with cherries and a crumbled cookie.

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For lunch today: cauliflower gratin (made with orange cauliflower, not purple and orange like Deb’s).

The cookies are mediocre, due to some changes I made to the recipe because of last minute ‘holy shit I haven’t gone to the store lately’ shortages, but the gratin? People, it’s like macaroni and cheese if the macaroni were replaced with delicious firm cauliflower instead.

Anyway. I’ll be better about posting this week, promise.

How was everyone else’s week?

So close

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

I am done with everything but my 20 page term paper on the implications of Fair Trade on global poverty levels.

I have been avoiding this paper for a month.

It’s due at 11 on Thursday, and I basically just started this afternoon. I mean, I’ve been ‘researching’ it for several weeks, but when I looked at what I had this afternoon when I put pen to paper I realized I was missing ~75% of the actual research I needed.

For the past two days, one of my avoidance methods has been cooking. Oh, and organizing my recipes. I just started using MacGourmet – any experience, anyone? I’m all in now, so I’m using it either way, but I’m not as pleased as I’d hoped. Mostly I bookmarked recipes I wanted to try before, but that had the potential for things to get lost in the morass, so this is definitely an upgrade.

One of the lost recipes was Sweet Pea’s Kitchen Baked Chicken Fingers.

We ate them with homemade baked beans and mustard to dip them in, and they were pretty tasty. They were even better the next day, sliced up for open faced sandwiches with a garlic herb cheese spread and strawberry jam, as shown above.

I totally didn’t used to get panko. What, I said to myself, could be so freaking special about bread crumbs?

Yeah, I’m not very smart sometimes.

Also, there are these artichoke croquette thingies that… ok, I missed it when I made them the first time (I mean, I was there, but we had a bunch of people over and I didn’t manage to take pictures before they got all snapped up), but I’ll make them again and then share them with you guys. SO GOOD.

Anyway.

This weekend I did some homework, and made some chocolate chip cookies so that our cookie jar didn’t look all sad and lonely.

Don’t worry, I made more than this. The rest are in the freezer. I’m rationing.

Also, we went to Lowe’s.

While we were driving home with my plants, it started to snow.

Since I suspected that seedlings wouldn’t do so well in the snow, I relocated them all to the front window. Those two flowers in front are the extent of my ornamental purchases. Behing them is some special ground cover kind of basil, romaine, corn, peppers (NOT bell)…

… thai basil, genovese basil, sage, mint, greek oregano, and probably something else I’m forgetting.

I also bought a whole bunch of seeds to plant around these – it’s the best combination of instant gratification and self control.

As you can see, our front window is sort of a greenhouse thing. It has glass on all three sides and the ceiling. It’s been killing my plants since I moved in.

I solved that problem by turning it into the desert.

An alien cactus dessert.

Some miniature Jade trees.

A grafted cactus.

Are you asking yourself if these plants are in a bowl, a gravy boat, and a mug, respectively?

Yes, yes they are.

These are all things that I used before I moved. We integrated our favorite things, and some crockery just didn’t make the cut – which doesn’t mean I can’t use it.

Also? A GIGANTIC yucca.

Oh wait, I mean a mini Yucca.

Ok, fine – perhaps it’s roughly a head sized yucca.

Way to ruin my fun.

For dinner that night I found my self starving allofasuddenhadtoeatRIGHTTHEN.

I made a super quick quasi-ramen – the broth is water with a little soy sauce, ketchup, siracha, and rice vinegar. I just boiled it up and poured it over some soba noodles and some microwaved stir fry vegetables.

Classy? No.

Stomach void filling? Yes.

Ok. Coffee. Fair trade. Poor people. Etc.

Later dudes.

twas a week, it was

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Monday was the day of two things.

Thing one: a cold but quite lame attempt at snowfall. (Included for reference, a very short puppy.)

Thing two: A Theory of Computation mid-term related breakdown. It was a very short breakdown.

I ended it by making coffee cake.

Blueberry coffee cake.

Blueberry cheese coffeecake.

Blueberry Cheese Coffeecake
Adapted from The Best Quick Breads by Beth Hensperger

Cheese Filling
8 oz cream cheese (light if you’re so inclined – I wasn’t) room temperature or microwaved until soft enough to stir
1/4 cup sugar
Juice from half a lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
1 egg
1 tablespoon flour

Crumb Topping
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces

Cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup milk (anything but skim)
2 cups frozen or 1 pint fresh blueberries

1) Heat the oven to 350. Grease a 10 inch springform pan.

2) Mix together the cream cheese filling ingredients until smooth (or at least until the lumps are so small you can’t seem to catch and defeat them – that’ll do).

3) In a separate bowl, mix together the flours, sugar, and cinnamon and then rub in the butter until the whole thing is crumbly.

4) In a third bowl (I know, it’s a lot of bowls, but it’s good coffee cake), stir together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla. Add the flours, baking powder and salt and stir until mostly mixed. Add the milk slowly and stir to combine, then scrape all the batter into the prepared cake pan.

5) Press half the blueberries into the batter, trying not to get all the way to the edge.

6) Pour all of the cheese filling over the blueberries, again avoiding the edges by about half an inch, and then pu the remaining blueberries on top of the cheese filling.

7) Cover the whole thing with the crumb topping and gently pres down, being careful to get it around the edges.

8) Bake for 45 – 55 minutes, until lightly browned and the cheese is set in the middle.

Also produced by the Emma-breakdown-machine: almond oat no bake cookies and crunchy garlic cheese crackers.

After all that baking, I put dinner in Crockett’s capable hands. Baja mahi (say it out loud, it’s fun!) and lime pilaf. Delicious.

cookie hangover

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

The only cure for a cookie hangover is taking cookies to class.

I actually only ate alf the cookie during class. Then, during my lunch break, I ate my turkey and green chili mustard sandwich.

See the green? That green chili mustard is the best mustard purchase I’ve ever made. It was totally worth carting from Santa Fe.

I lazed in the sun for awhile.

And then I went for a run around Golden.

And then I ate the rest of my cookie.

And then I went to more classes.

And then I came home.

Tuesdays are always very exciting.

I’m going to go eat another cookie now.

lovey dovey day

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

I have this very similar picture of Crockett, taken in this very kitchen, from about a month after we started dating – our first Valentine’s Cookie Day.

In that one he has flour on his nose. I couldn’t make him repeat that part this time. Partially because he’s cutting up avocados, which are well known for being non-floury.

I made my favorite sugar cookies (recipe from The Good Cookie – my absolute favorite cookie book ever). I don’t alter the recipe as printed at all, so I’m not going to write it down for y’all – just buy the book and use the Decorator Cookies. These are very mildly lemon flavored, perfectly soft, and just delicious.

While the hearts were in the oven, we started Crockett’s new V-Day request. He IM’d me yesterday and specifically requested that we add chocolate chip or oatmeal raisin to our V-Day repertoire.

Oatmeal raisin cookies are of the devil, so we made chocolate chip cookies.

MASSIVE chocolate chip cookies.

On the principle of not messing with a good thing, this is the Nestle recipe. I only make four changes. First, I use dark brown sugar instead of light. Second, I use 1 cup of brown sugar and 1/2 cup of white instead of 3/4 cup of each. Third, I decrease the baking soda (but that’s an altitude thing). Fourth, I use about 1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips instead of 2 cups.

This makes chewy delicious cookies in which you occasionally get a chocolate free bite.

Sometimes I like a chocolate free bite.

I know, I’m a lunatic.

While we waited for the heart cookies to cool enough to decorate, we ate the dinner that Crockett made.

Spicy black beans, brown basmati rice, guacamole, chips, and grilled chicken.

That’s right, we busted out the outdoor grill in February. It was like 60 yesterday.

By we, I mean Crockett.

I was distracted by cookies.

We didn’t do official Valentine’s Day presents, but I consider this guacamole my present.

I ate my weight in it, I’m pretty sure.

We also watched The Social Network.

I found it depressing.

The we decorated cookies! See how layer-y flakey they are? I’m not kidding. Best sugar cookies ever.

We did two styles. One with a pink royal icing…

… and one with a pink cream cheese frosting and crunchy pink sparkles.

Pink.

Pink pink pink.

Plus, did I not tell you these were gigantic?

You can barely see my hand.

Gigantic chocolate chip cookies, pink cookies, and guacamole.

Best Valentine’s Day ever.

inside joke or coincidence

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Do you ever spend an entire day feeling like you’re trying to catch up with yourself?

Every time we go to Costco, Crockett buys a big old container of Naked Green Monster juice. Yesterday morning, he poured me a big tasty glass. I’m not sure I’d actually ever had it before, because it was wayyyyy sweeter than I expected. My love of sugar knows no bounds, but I wasn’t able to finish it.  The coffee though – that I finished.  By the time I was done with it, though, I was running late for school.
I headed home before school to make myself breakfast. I think I’m in a rut. An oatmeal rut.

Do you see how pretty it is with the little red flecks of cranberry, though? How can you say no to such a thing?

The lunch I packed was a little schizophrenic.

Can a lunch be schizophrenic?

If it can, mine was. Salad with turkey and celery and blue cheese dressing and hot sauce, and my dad’s cinnamon orange rice pudding.

I had meetings between classes, but since I had to stay on for the inaugural meeting of the Women in Computing meeting at school I made it to the gym at 4. I ran 1.4 miles and felt like I was going to die. I think, perhaps, that my turkey passed it’s prime several days ago.

When I organized the meeting (*pride face*), I mentioned to our department admin that it would be nice to have snacks, and then promptly forgot. She, happily, didn’t – cookies and candy and juice and soda.

No diet soda though.

I refuse to drink regular soda.

I may have had a cookie though.

The problem with Thanksgiving is that one small person and one gigantic fridge full of leftovers leads to lots of wasted food. When I was shifting stuff around last night, I realized I still had half a bag of brussels sprouts. So I made cheesy salad.

Enjoyed with a small glass of wine and….

Pumpkin soup! After my tomato soup from Tuesday night, I was in a soup mood. This one is shallots, garlic, red curry paste, chicken stock, and pumpkin, all blended up in my little smoothie blender.

Yes, blending a curry soup in my breakfast blender was a risky move.  My hand blender is still at Crockett’s, though, and a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Then, when watching Supernatural while doing homework, I saw something that blew my mind. This? Is Harmony. Harmony the vampire. From an entirely different television show – a little thing called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

In case the blood around her mouth doesn’t tip you off, she’s a vamp here too.

Inside joke or coincidence?

Who can say.