I hope nobody thinks I am trying to turn this into a culinary blog by immediately following a cooking post with a baking post, but it occurred to me as I was making these morsels that it might make a good blog post. And, you know, it’s Christmas week. I celebrate and I’m not ready. I think this will be something I can write fast but still be worth a read. We’ll see.
So I had this bold idea to make cookies for Christmas. I used to do this a long time ago, make scads of cookies and give them out by the plateful. Till one year I was pressed for time and got so stressed, Steven suggested I cut back. I thought this good advice and took it. However, I find if I don’t make cookies too often or too many at once, it can be an enjoyable occupation.
Fast forward to 2014, when some people at my place of employment had a pig-in one of the last days before shut-down. Naturally I participated. And proceeded to make rather a pig of myself over these little round cookies with mini chocolate chips. I asked my co-worker for the recipe, if it wasn’t a family secret. It was not. I wrote it down in the crappy notebook I keep in the cargo pocket of my BDU pants (which I wear to work).
When I was at the store this morning I purchased mini chocolate chips. I was pretty sure I had the other ingredients (and here’s where I hope this recipe isn’t copyrighted and illegal to share): 3 sticks butter, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 cups flour, bag of mini chips. My friend said he uses margarine, but I used real butter. I put it out to soften and puttered around doing other things for a while.
After preheating the oven to 375 degrees, I got out a bowl and started putting in ingredients. Oh dear, there wasn’t a whole lot of powdered sugar in that box. Surely there would be 3/4 cup. There was. Phew! Now the bottle of vanilla doesn’t look if there is a tablespoon’s worth. Mmm… no. Crap! I went to six stores this morning and they all had grocery sections! Why oh why do I never check these things before I leave the house? I looked once more in the cupboard, just to be sure. Oh, there is an unopened bottle of vanilla. Silly me.
I began to stir the mess with a wooden spoon. It was tough going. That butter had not softened very much. I tried the potato masher. Mash, scrape off masher, mash, scrape off masher, repeat till arms get tired. I began to question my recipe. Surely there must be an egg or something to add more moisture. This is what I get for following a recipe that was verbally told to me while I wrote it down. I admit I am not the most reliable scribe.
Then I remembered my friend telling me he mixed it with his hands. I knew I was going to have to use my hands eventually, because you roll these into balls rather than dropping them onto the cookie sheet by the spoonful, like civilized cookies. I washed my hands carefully (YES, I washed them before I started, but since I was going to get them all in the dough I thought I’d better be extra clean).
It was a miracle! As I started to mush it around, it magically became cookie consistency. I was delighted and only wished I had gotten the cookie sheets out of the cupboard and sprayed with no-stick before I had gotten my hands all doughy. No matter.
I fear I was not consistent in the size of my little cookie balls, but I’m sure they’ll do. The recipe called for baking them 10 to 12 minutes; mine went the full twelve. My friend had put food coloring in some of his before baking and rolled them all in powdered sugar after baking, but I omitted these steps.
When they had cooled enough, I tasted one of the cookies. Yummy! It will take stern self-discipline on my part to make sure these cookies last long enough for me to share with people on my Christmas list. Hmmm…. perhaps I should not have written this blog post. Now all my friends and family will want cookies. I’m going to need more powdered sugar.