Tuesday Takeout

It has been reported that this Momsie might have some, ahem, “issues” with “baking.”

And, if by “issues” you mean “can’t do it” then you would be “correct.”

Anyhow.  Our church’s Christmas pageant was last Sunday night and GUESS WHAT?  A cookie buffet followed.  That means:  everyone comes into the multi-purpose room, surveys mounds of cookie deliciousness, and pigs out.

And I, of course, decided to bake.  I am not giving up.  I just can’t seem to allow myself this option:

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Neener neener!!! Pfffffffft!

Oreos are bullies.  They ARE.  I feel this way every time I open a package and eat (most of) them.

Ok.  So this time I decided to go with a slightly easier option.  I BAKED something, but with a LOT of help.  Like, from Betty Crocker.

I made cake box cookies, OK?  So sue me.  But.  I made them with FLAIR.

Here’s how:

1. Take a box of cake mix* (I usually use chocolate, but the beauty of cake box cookies is they can be MUTATED into ALMOST ANYTHING.  If ever there was an option to Change Your Mind it‘s with this recipe.)

2.  Dump cake mix into a bowl.  Add one stick melted butter, and 1/4 cup packed brown sugar.  I also add a tablespoon of baking powder, to help make those cookies BIG.  Add in two eggs, well-beaten. Stir, but not too much!

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3.  Add vanilla,  a nice glug.  And just a dash of salt.  At this point you can also add a bit of cinnamon or any sort of flavoring that sorta matches the final flavor you are going for.  Like:

Nuts, choco chips, candies of any type you have lolling around the house from Halloween that you really gotta get rid of, coconut, mint flavoring, almond extract…  Really, the world is your cookie at this point.

4.  I decided to add crushed up peppermint candies.  I always seem to have a few stray candy canes around the house, and no one here actually EATS them.  I cannot stand to see candy, in any form, go to waste, so in they went.

5.  Important:  CHILL the dough for at least an hour.  Then, form into golf ball sized orbs and drop your balls into powdered sugar.  Proceed to make a huge mess.

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Powdered sugar everywhere. Be ready.

6.  Preheat oven to 350 and spray up two baking sheets.

7.    Place your balls of goodness on the sheets, nicely spaced because they grow, and bake for about 10-12 minutes.  WATCH them.  LEARN from me.  DON’T WANDER FAR.  You want nice gooey, chewy cookies.  Not hockey pucks.

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8.  Allow cookies to cool on a wire rack if at all possible – a wire rack is really a good tool for bakers. It lets those cookies cool properly so you don’t have, well, hockey pucks.

9.  Ok, now, while cookies are cooling, melt your chocolate chips.  I prefer a double boiler – it’s not hard!  Just put a glass or metal bowl over a boiling pan of water like this:

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Make sure pan does not touch the water – low and slow, people.

10.  Allow chocolate to melt and then let it cool just a weensy bit, stirring in a glug of oil (I use canola) for glossy finish.  Make sure NOT to get any water in the chocolate or it will seize up.  This is not pretty.

11. Spoon chocolate into a bag that has been folded down (almost in half because this is messy.)

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12.  Snip bag’s corner just a bit.

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13.  Get all Julia Child with yourself and squirt that chocolate in nice little piles on top of cookies.  Marvel at the piles of chocolate, just so sweet and chocolately.   (By the way, you can just spoon the stuff on top, but this squirting-through-the-bag thing? It’s FUN.)

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14.  Before chocolate cools, whack up a bunch of those peppermints and sprinkle on top of the chocolate!  Voila!

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15.  Stand back and admit:  this has gotta lotta flair.

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16.  Realize you might have enjoyed, just a bit too much, using your rolling pin as an instrument of torture.

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17.  Feed one cookie (ONLY ONE, you little beasts) to the toddlers.  Then realize they have eaten about six majillion more at the cookie buffet. Then decide to take family pictures.  Rue the decision.

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SUGAR! DA SUGAR! SUGARRRRRR!!

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*Ok, I know usually I push home made.  And home made chocolate cookies?  Not hard.  But sometimes?  Betty is my bestie.

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