Monday, December 24, 2012

Cookies ... Round Or Square? Who Cares?

First things first.

***Julie, I apologize for stealing your photo without asking.  I hope in the spirit of the season, you will not sue me.  I steal it in a sense of sharing the perfect examples of what cookies should look like.  As you will see later, neither they, nor you, have anything to fear from this individual.***

Julie DeNeen's Perfect Cookies And Pastries!!!
See and read more from Julie at  Life According To Julie

As most of you follow Julie's blogs, you know she's is a fanatic in the kitchen, especially this time of year.  Her efforts are well documented in the photo of her efforts that I have stolen without permission.  

My wife has to work tonight, Christmas Eve, in the pharmacy, and all day tomorrow.  I've already volunteered to try to duplicate my Thanksgiving efforts in the kitchen for Christmas Day, but about two hours ago I thought, "Why don't I surprise her and try to make some cookies?"

This may not seem like much of a challenge to most of you.  Let's remember two things here:  1)  I'm a man that has had no training in the kitchen, and 2)  I've already written an entire blog about my efforts and a German Chocolate Cake, that I finally got my wife to bake.  These two items should tell you that what I'm about to relate may not make sense to you, but to me, seemed perfectly normal!

So, not having a tremendous amount of cash, my standard state these days, I remembered seeing Chocolate Chip Cookie mix in Dollar Tree.  I jumped in my Ridgeline, started it up, and hurried there hoping they were still open.  

They were!  Amazing!  

However, I witnessed dirty looks from the cashier as I rushed through the door.  

"We close in ten minutes!"

The voice behind me was somewhat demanding, and somewhat begging in manner.  No fear!  I knew right where the mix was located.

I rushed to the aisle, grabbed three boxes of the mix, rushed to their cooler and picked up a box of Blue Bonnet (just to be safe having not checked at home in advance to see how our home supplies stood), and rushed back to the register.

They were locking the door as I checked out.  Watching the frowning cashier bag up my purchase, I tried to be as friendly as possible and wish the Grinch a Merry Christmas!  

"Yeah, you too."

Whatta season spirit filled greeting!  My insides filled with emotion.  Actually, I'd just drank a Diet Coke on my way to the store and a delayed burping reaction was working its way up my torso.

I passed the store manager (who was arguing with several people that wanted to come in at the door) and headed to the truck.  On my way, a group of five young men (resembling a scene from South Central in the 90's) were assembled close to my truck.  As I jumped in the truck and started it, they made their way over and knocked on the window.  I put the truck in gear, and in the spirit of the season, lowered my window about halfway.

"Yo, bro, I's jes gottsouta jail en needs sumthin ta smoke.  Yo gots a cig, man?"

"Sorry, I don't speak Spanish."

I pulled out a little faster than normal, making sure I didn't turn my lights on, just in case I hit one of them.  Why no lights?   It makes it harder to read the license plate!

Faletame Acting Cool Again!
I make the drive home, walk in the house, and Faletame goes, "Hey Rich, what's to eat tonight?"   

"I don't know, why?"

"Well, you and I know you're going to give me some turkey roast tomorrow, so I was thinking tonight would be a good night for some sort of fish or tuna Little Friskies, instead of chicken or turkey.  You know, poultry two days in a row gets old."

Gabriela looked up from her habitual prone position and agreed with him.  I was outnumbered.

"I'll see what I can do.  First, I've got to make Millie some cookies."

"Cookies?  Hell Rich, you can't make cookies!  Give it up, man!"

Gabriela Agreed ... "Rich, You Can't Bake!"
Perhaps, if Faletame hadn't rolled over on his back laughing so hard, I might not have had thoughts of checking.  However, yep, there it was, a can of turkey Little Friskies left.  Laugh at me will you!  Muhahahah!

Reading the directions, I put all three packages of cookie mix into a bowl.  Next came the three tablespoons of Blue Bonnet, one for each package.  Three teaspoons of water came next.  

But, when I got to the next part, I was paralyzed with fear.  Add three egg yolks read the directions.  Three egg yolks ... how do you separate the yolk from the white?   Not having any idea, nor patience to search endlessly on the web, I simply said the hell with it and put three eggs, whites and yolks, into the mix.  I've never been one for segregation anyway!

I then saw that I was supposed to put the cookies on an "ungreased cookie sheet."  I'd already sprayed the sheet with a cooking spray, so, once again, the hell with it was my reaction.  We must learn by our mistakes.  Right?

I went ahead, measured out slightly rounded teaspoons of cookie mix, and was able to get almost all of the mix on one cookie sheet.  I'd already preheated the oven to 375 degrees, so after sticking them in it, I only had to time them.

As I waited, I changed into my sweats (God Bless Sweats!) and returned.  Bored, I went ahead and reread the box directions.  "Place each teaspoon of dough three inches apart."

"Three Inches!"


Okay, Damnit!  I Know I Can't Bake!
Still, Ya Gotta Give A Guy Credit!

This is the picture of the cookies, or what should have been individual cookies.  In this case, it became a mat of cookies.  Oh well, I cut them apart into nice square pieces.  

My wife will be home in less than three hours.  I can't wait to see the look on her face when she sees the container of square cookies awaiting her!  (I'd like to see Julie's when she sees the above picture!)

These aren't hard cookies (must've been the egg whites), but they really don't taste so bad.  I really can't understand why Faletame's laughing so hard.  (He won't be laughing so much when I stick the turkey Little Friskies in front of his face.)

So, Julie, you now know why I stole your picture.  Yours are the picture of perfection.  Mine are not.  

So, let's talk about your German Chocolate Cake making skills!

Merry Christmas to all and to all ... a square cookie!