Give Me A Break

A million years ago when I first started blogging, it was a different world. Mostly, it seemed like a nicer world at least in terms of how folks felt about making comments on blogs and such things. It was before “never read the comments” became the modus operandi of most folks. Is it me, or has the cyber world started to feel less polite? (That is a rhetorical question, of course. Because it really has become a dangerous place for many, and an uncomfortable one for others.)

Because of that, there are many, many topics I refrain from writing about these days. It just isn’t worth the feedback sometimes. However, I decided to stop biting my tongue on one topic and hope that the responders are at least polite on this one. Continue reading

It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Cookies!

It appears the universe noticed my bah-hum-buggy self the other day after my post about there being no rum balls this year. And so I have to thank the universe for noticing my lack of holiday happiness and then providing so many opportunities for me to fix that issue of mine. First I got invited to a cookie exchange party this Saturday. Then I got invited to a virtual cookie exchange party. It’s almost as if the universe wants me to bake cookies, eat cookies, and buy new pants!

The things I do for the universe.

VirtualCookie Exchange Blog Hop (1)I was tagged by my dear friend and fellow writer, Kerry Schafer, to participate in a virtual cookie exchange. When I offered up a wee bit of a balk over the whole thing, she very gently reminded me that “everyone has a cookie recipe” which was precisely the kick in the pants I needed to find my holiday mojo. Because while I  may not have my cherished box of Christmas recipes, I do have the internet and after this virtual cookie exchange, I’ll have a whole passel of new recipes to try out.

For instance, Kerry shared with us her recipe for “Melting Moments” which sound like something I might do after a few of Mister Soandso’s fortified egg nogs. Seriously, the recipe sounds yummy and super easy. And I could convince myself that they are healthy based on the oatmeal, right?

I, myself, am sharing a recipe that may not be healthy in any way other than its potential to bring about world peace. These are my favorite morsels of joy to have with an afternoon cup of coffee. Pinky-swears, they are delicious. Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for World Peace Cookies is all over the internet, but as far as I’m concerned, a person can’t have too many links to deliciousness. And in case you are link-adverse, I’m posting it (with some minor adjustments) below.

World Peace Cookies

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour OR gluten free flour mix (I’ve had good luck with Bob’s Red Mill and Pamela’s)

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick plus 3 tablespoons (11 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips, or a generous 3/4 cup store-bought mini chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with either silpat or parchment.

  1. Sift the flour, cocoa and baking soda together.
  2. Using a mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, the salt and vanilla extract and beat for 2 minutes more.
  3. Turn off the mixer. Pour in the dry ingredients, drape a kitchen towel over the stand mixer to protect yourself and your kitchen from flying flour and pulse the mixer at low speed about 5 times, a second or two each time. Take a peek — if there is still a lot of flour on the surface of the dough, pulse a couple of times more; if not, remove the towel. Continuing at low speed, mix for about 30 seconds more, just until the flour disappears into the dough — for the best texture, work the dough as little as possible once the flour is added, and don’t be concerned if the dough looks a little crumbly. Toss in the chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, shape the dough into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap the logs in plastic wrap and refrigerate them for at least 3 hours. (The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months. If you’ve frozen the dough, you needn’t defrost it before baking — just slice the logs into cookies and bake the cookies 1 minute longer.)
  5. Using a sharp thin knife, slice the logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick. (The rounds are likely to crack as you’re cutting them — don’t be concerned, just squeeze the bits back onto each cookie.) Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1 inch between them.
  6. Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 12 minutes — they won’t look done, nor will they be firm, but that’s just the way they should be. Transfer the baking sheet to a cooling rack and let the cookies rest until they are only just warm, at which point you can serve them or let them reach room temperature.

Excerpted from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan (Houghton Mifflin, 2006). Copyright 2006 by Dorie Greenspan.

Now, I realize that not everyone enjoys chocolate quite the way I do. (Gasp.) So just in case you aren’t inspired to bake cookies after Kerry or my recipes, I am tagging 4 other folks who will post their recipes next Tuesday (12/16). You’ll also notice that in Kerry’s post, she tagged 4 folks as well, as well as the originator of this gastric goodness, Linda Pointevin. All in all, there will be lots of cookies being shared so get your link-click on and then get baking. Because any day with cookies in it is a good day!

Okay, here’s my four dear cookie bakers. I promise you, you are in for a treat with these folks so check their blogs on December 16th for deliciousness!

Charlotte Rains Dixon

Kim McNally

Kate Adams Lydston

Sarah Hendrix

Never Read The Comments; My GF Plea

I’m warning you, I’m feeling grumbly today so if you don’t want to read my grumbles, you should go Google cute photos of kittens or puppies or something. Why am I so grumbly? Oh, I did that thing I promised myself I would never do. I let myself scroll down on an article and started to read the comments.

Why are so many folks such meanie-pants in their comments? The things people think it’s okay to say on the internet makes me lose my faith in humanity. Like to the point that not even sparkly kitten GIFS really helps.

Continue reading