Monday, February 16, 2009

sweet, literally

Since my cookie-baking spree over Christmas, I've had, or am planning on having, a number of what I like to call "platonic cookie dates." It seems to me that, while cooking dinner is easy to make into a one-person show (especially in my minuscule and under-equipped kitchen), baking cookies is seen as a more inclusive endeavor. It's reminiscent of the kitchens of childhood, I think; I'm sure I made other things with my mom (I believe one day we made our own doughnuts, which is kind of awesome), but mostly I remember cookies. Rice Krispy treats, lemon bars, peanut butter cookies (which I actually disliked but enjoyed smooshing the criss-cross fork pattern into) were all featured at one time or another. We weren't fancy, but we cooked the shit out of those cookies, and I loved it: mixing, plopping dough, frosting, licking the beaters... I loved learning to measure. Dorky!
I have a platonic cookie date tonight with my friend Sarah, and I've been perusing cookie recipes all morning. Consequently, I am now intensely craving cookies. What will we make tonight? Chocolate Sugar Cookies? Banana Oatmeal Chip Cookies? Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies? My mouth is watering so hard, I'm glad I'm not drooling yet. And better even than the option of making any of these tonight is that there are so many other cookie recipes in the world. I am a fairly recent convert to online recipes; until a few months ago I made almost all of my food from two cookbooks, both based on restaurants (Moosewood and the Chicago Diner). I'm also an even newer convert (as of, like, this morning) to cooking blogs, thanks to Rose-Anne's lovely list of links. (I'm a bit in love with Smitten Kitchen in particular.) Now I just want to bake cookies all day long, to taste all of the potential sweet salty buttery goodness that I can.
Although pie is also good, of course. For Valentine's Day, instead of going out and being fancy and googly-eyed and normal, Shana and I stayed home, ate cheap falafel, and then made an absolutely delicious lemon meringue pie together. Something about lemon meringue seemed so intimidating to me (I think it's the layers, or the meringue in general--I am so mystified by stiff egg peaks), but it turned out to be not so bad. Shana made her first pie crust, we zested and squeezed lemons, took turns holding my borrowed immersion mixer (omg I want one!), and ended up with a perfectly lovely pie. We're thinking of making it a tradition, this periodic preparation of pies and other baked goods. It made me terribly happy, to work together to produce this amazing and yummy thing. I love cooking with other people.


Jesse said...

Ok, I love the idea of cookie dates! (Platonic or otherwise).

Here is one excellent recipe I recommend -- easy and terribly delicious. I have to add that I have never made these myself, but I did have them at a party -- they were so good that I had to get the recipe, which is why I have it here. Thus:

Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup good peanut butter that is made from ONLY PEANUTS
1 cup brown sugar or sugar substitute
1 egg or 3 tablespoons egg white
1 teaspoon vanilla
optional: 1/2 cup unsweetened, bitter-sweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mix and then bake at 350F for 12 minutes or until set. Be sure not to over-bake if you like moist cookies!

You can double the ingredients in this recipe for a larger batch as this only makes 12 cookies.

Rosiecat said...

Smitten Kitchen does tend to have that effect on people ;-)

I am a compulsive cookie-baker! Every week or two, I just HAVE to have a new batch of cookies in my oven. I will skip work-outs to make this happen, I will stay up late, I will leave a mess in the kitchen at the end of the night, but DAMMIT I WANT MY COOKIES!

By the way, for OUR next cookie date, what do you think about making those Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies? Hubba-hubba!

ammie said...

Cookie dates are the BEST. And I will put these on my to-bake list!
And Rose-Anne: YES. My thoughts exactly.

Alicia Dabney said...

I love the way you write. There's such an eloquence to the way you go about communicating. In any case, cookie dates sound like such a cool idea!

I hold you responsible for the fact that I have been craving a lemon meringue pie for a couple of days now. ;)

ammie said...

Alicia! Thank you for the kind words!
Also, thank you to the link to your blog. Have I mentioned to you how exciting it is to have a family member reading mine? And I am truly enjoying yours.
I'm about to add a link to the pie recipe within this post. I'm sure having a tiny baby complicates things, but I swear it isn't too hard... :)

Alicia Dabney said...

Mmm! I book-marked that recipe. I hope to have the time to make it soon. Funnily enough, I always request lemon meringue for my birthday and that is four days away. ;)

I'm glad you have found my blog, and can now read that and my journal whenever you please. I, too, am glad to have some family reading me.

Feet Animal said...

Thank you for the cookie date!! I think we did a pretty good job, I'm just surprised I haven't eaten them all by now :)

ammie said...

We kicked those cookie's butts! Mine are all gone :)