Sunday, June 29, 2014

How Cookies Can Help You Win at Life.

...sounds so much nicer than "Cookies: How to Bribe People into Doing What You Want by Manipulating Their Sweet Tooth," "Cookies: How to Make People like You with Minimal Effort," or "Cookies: You Don't Have to Worry about Being Socially Awkward When Your Mouth Is Full," right? In case you hadn't guessed it, I made a few batches of cookies yesterday to take to a party. Cookies = winning.
Pictured: Tiny discs of awesome.
I figured out how to make my awesome America cake for the Fourth, so I was free to sample a few new recipes and tell you how wonderfully tasty they are. Specifically, peanut butter pudding cookies and lemon drop cookies. Though they look bakery quality, these little tasty little sugar wafers are effortless to make (minus the mess- damn my constant struggle with powdered sugar). I mean, my friends didn't even mind (possibly because they didn't know) that I was using them as little sampling lab rats to see if these cookies could pass the test and be sent across the pond to my husband. Considering I only had a few leftovers, I'd say they're good to go. Let me tell you how you too can coerce people by baking for them in a lovely step-by-step tutorial.
Yeah, don't tell your friends how simple this is, or they may not care so much.
Watch out, these peanut butter pudding cookies may break the bank when it comes to ingredients...heavy, heavy sarcasm. One cup of peanut butter (JIF- because there is no substitute, Skippy...), two eggs, two 3.4 ounce packages of vanilla instant pudding mix, and you're set. You don't even need a mixer for these- neither stand nor hand! Start by cracking your eggs into a medium bowl. My mother taught me to always start with the eggs. In the event the chicken has gone funky (see what I did there?!), the rest of your ingredients are uncontaminated and free to have their own set of problems when the time comes. Then throw everything else except the sugar crystals into your bowl and mix away...
Simplicity can be so comforting. And so tasty.
At this point, you should both ensure your oven is at 350 and your dog doesn't resent you for breaking out the JIF without filling up a Kong, too. Then take your cookie scoop (because I assume you're like me and have a ridiculous amount of kitchen tools at your disposal), and scoop, scoop away. This should yield 16-18 cookies. I say 16-18 because by the time you taste test a few to make sure no one will die if they eat them, you'll be left with 16. Roll your little round pieces of heaven into the bowl of sugar crystals to coat. Plop on a tray lined with parchment paper (or a Silpat if someone loved you enough to buy you one..ahem) and then get your fancy on and use a fork to create hatches in the top of the cookie like so:
Getting to smush things is so, so flag.
Once done fancifying the cookies, bake for 13-14 minutes. You know, I absolutely abhor pudding. I feel as though it is only acceptable for the following groups of people to eat it: the elderly, toddlers, and people who just had dental work. But adding pudding into cookie dough makes literally the best damn cookies I've ever had in my life. I believe this is what is called irony.
Delicious irony.
Now, on to the lemon drop cookies. People will honestly think you're a damn pro if you bring these to a party. And by pro I mean professional baker, not prostitute. Although, you'd be surprised what people will do for a cookie. Again, this recipe consists of so many ingredients you may second guess your chances at becoming an awesome, cookie baking machine.
The bottle of Jameson in the background is actually not a part of the recipe,
but you could totally go for it if you're adventurous.
Guess whose Wal-mart doesn't have plain lemonade Kool-Aid? Yeah, big surprise there. So use a packet of that if your Wal-mart isn't as useless as your grandmother after five apple sangrias. If you're in my boat, just use a packet of Country Time Lemonade- On the Go! Italicized just like on the packet! The only other things you need are a lemon box cake mix, two eggs, the juice from one actual lemon, and 1/3 cup of veggie oil. I used my mixer for this just because I missed it. Can people have separation anxiety from kitchen appliances? Start with your eggs again (just in case, people!), and then throw everything else into your mixing bowl sans the powdered sugar. Save that to make a huge mess later.
Pictured: A future clean kitchen ruiner.
Bump that oven up to 375 and get ready to get sticky. Heeeyooohhh. Seriously though, the one downside to these cookies are they are a friggin' hot mess. The dough has the consistency of cake batter, possibly because the dough is made mostly of...cake batter. Science, bitches. I used my cookie scoop again, but these cookies end up doing a great deal of expanding in the oven thanks to their consistency (I'm told it's key), so I'd go with a teaspoon next time instead. Your hands are going to be covered in batter because you need to roll your scoops around in the giant mountain of powdered sugar you have in a spare bowl. Don't roll these into tight little balls...if you do, when they cook, your powdered sugar will be all spaced out and weird and make something that smells so good look so wrong. I know because I did this after shoving them into the oven for 8 minutes on my still only parchment lined baking trays. Silpat liner, why must you elude me?
They looked so pretty before they went into the oven.
But then I immediately added more sugar to cover up the weirdness.
No one wants to eat an ugly dessert. I will always stand by this. So go the extra mile, make the bigger mess, and add more powdered sugar to the tops of your cookies if they come out looking like Silly Putty that fell into a bag of flour or crack. I'm not judging you, or what you do with your Silly Putty- but now you know exactly what those cookies looked like before I added more sugar, so, you're welcome. This recipe yields about two dozen cookies, but your friends will probably only see 22 of them. Always sample the goods first, ya know, as a public service.
The peanut butter and lemon scents made my house smell surprisingly good
and not at all conflicted. No sarcasm.

These cookies will help you win at life because if you're feeling shitty for whatever reason (bad hair day, feeling gross, Netflix doesn't stream the show you wanted to watch, tired of feeling like you're melting to death when you go outside, etc.), when people make the "yum" noise while eating them (you know which one I mean), you know you brought them that yum. You are responsible for the joy happening to their taste buds. You are a cookie rock star, and people will love you for it. Cookie Monster would have your ass on #1 speed dial if he actually existed. So the next time you need cheering up, a favor, or just a general reminder that you win at life, bake a few batches of these for your friends and family. It brought me out of my "my husband's birthday is today and we can't be together" funk, which is like a level 7 funk. Totally major. So I will definitely enjoy making a few batches of these to send to him in a few weeks...because up next is celebrating 'Merica's birthday with a hopefully kick ass cake to rival even the most patriotic of Americana. Til next time, my fellow eaters!

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