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The Lengths to which a Sweet Tooth Will Go

It is kind of a long headline, but I like it.  The sweet tooth in question belongs to my sweetie.  He is in the kitchen, baking with wine.

We have eaten all the candy we gave each other for Christmas.  OK, we ate all that a long time ago.  I never did as much baking for Christmas as I had planned, so we still have a few bags of chocolate chips.  Steven wanted cookies.  What to do?

I remembered once using a recipe for sugar cookies I found on a box of Jiffy Baking Mix.  I looked at our Hannaford store brand box.  No luck.  BUT, I have gotten better at finding things on the computer.  I opened the laptop and typed in “Bisquick sugar cookies.”  Bingo!

I wrote down the recipe.  Steven is putting it together, forgoing the granulated sugar they suggest you roll the cookies in but adding chocolate chips.  IT! COULD! WORK!

Wouldn’t that be a nice end to a Wrist to Forehead Sunday?  Chocolate chip cookies and some semblance of a blog post.

It was not until I got thus far in the blog post when I realized: I looked for a Bisquick recipe.  Why did I not look for a Jiffy Baking Mix recipe?  So just now I opened a new tab and did.  Ooh, lots more ingredients.  Forget that!

I will let you know in tomorrow’s blog post how the cookies turn out.  Happy Sunday, everybody.


So Many Sweet Choices!

Last Saturday, my husband Steven and I made another sweet stop (in addition to the stop at So Sweet Candy Cafe, which I wrote about on Monday), at Honey Brook Hobbies in Ilion, NY.  Alas, I did not take any pictures.  But I thought in lieu of my usual Wuss-out Wednesday,  would give a fun business a quick shout-out.

In addition to freshly made baked goods and candy, Honey Brooks offers a variety of toys, decorations, and gifts.  I love reading all the hand-made signs with sweet and funny sayings.  Steven looked speculatively at some soft fuzzy blankets, and I found a good Christmas present for my great-nephew Shepherd (I don’t have to worry about him seeing this; he doesn’t read blogs yet).  With great self-control I did not purchase any baked goods, but Steven treated himself to an eclair.

As I looked over Honey Brook’s Facebook page just now, I keep seeing all these pictures of cookies.  Dammit!  I just bought some cookies at Friendly Bake Shop in Franklin, and I was NOT going to purchase any more!  Well, if I refrain from getting any of these yummy cookies, I can always go back around Steven’s birthday and order a wonderful custom-made cake.  Or should I do that from the So Sweet Candy Cafe?  Or Friendly Bake Shop?  Oh dear!

As we paid for our purchases, on Saturday I told the Honey Brooks lady how we had been at the So Sweet Candy Cafe earlier.  She did not seem to mind us talking about the competition.  Well, I think there is plenty enough room for more than one bakery in the Mohawk Valley.  Of course it will not help me reach my weight-loss goals if I feel I must purchase yummy baked goods from all of them.

Honey Brook Hobbies is located at 4 E. Main St., Ilion, NY, 315-444-8254. You can Like them on Facebook, and visit their website at


Return to the So Sweet

I’ve talked about my friend Margaret’s shop, the So Sweet Candy Cafe in Utica, NY.  I thought I’d give her another brief shout-out, in lieu of the Wuss-out Wednesday post that has been lurking in my brain all day.

Ever since I went to the So Sweet once, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to bring my husband Steven there.  He would love it!  However, when I got the opportunity to go without him, I did not hesitate, because, yum.  My older sister, Vicki was in town, and she had not visited the So Sweet yet.  Vicki and Margaret were best friends back in the day (we did not use the term BFFs nor yet besties).

It is the cutest little shop. Once again I noticed candies remembered from my childhood:  Boston Baked Beans, Lemonheads, bubble gum cigars.  I could not resist a few of the caramels with sugar in the midde:  3 for 75 cents, who could argue?  For Steven, I got a large brownie and two chocolate chunk cookies (full disclosure:  according to my evil plan, I ate one of the cookies and half the brownie).  These tasty delights were made by Margaret.  What a great talent!  I also grabbed a bottle of water, because, you know, hydration.

I still have not gotten a cup of coffee or tea and sat for a while.  I hope to do that one day soon.  Either I will bring a notebook and write (as Hemingway used to do in cafes), or I will bring Steven and visit.  Either way will be, you guessed it, so sweet.

The So Sweet Candy Cafe is located at 531 Varick St., Utica, NY.  Phone number 315-765-6463.



My Cookie Adventure

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.

Something Worth Craving

When I do laundry at the Colonial Laundromat in Ilion, NY, I always notice the Crave Bakeshop next door. Unfortunately, I always seem to be doing laundry at a time when they are closed. Last Tuesday, when Steven and I did laundry together, we made plans to get there early and get our treat first.

It was about quarter to four when we arrived. Luckily, they still had some baked goods left. I chose a chocolate bottomed half-moon cookie. Steven got a sandwich of two chocolate chip cookies with frosting in the middle. We both got coffee.

I think we were their last customers. We managed to get our laundry in the washing machne before eating our cookies, although we started sipping the coffee immediately. The treats were delicious. The coffee was pretty good. The attendant at the laundromat noticed us enjoying our snack and said she didn’t always think to stop over there.

“If I worked here,” I said, “it would be terrible, because I would get in the habit of going over every day for a treat.”

Of course at my age, I cannot eat as many treats as I would like. Oh, OK, I never could. However, I think I will make my way back to Crave for the occasional indulgence. Every once in a while.

Crave is located at 59 Central Ave. in Ilion. Phone number is 315-895-0216. They are open Tues. to Fri. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can also Like them on Facebook.