Friday, November 19, 2010

This is going to be one of those recipes

But I have figured out recently that those recipes are actually a huge pain in the ass when you want to go back and actually MAKE a repeat of the damn food in the first place…without the chaos that went in to it. I promise that I don’t always cook or bake in chaos and that I am a successful cook on days without chaos. But I apparently need chaos to convince me to write things down.

Pumpkin cookies go like this.
I received a recipe from Shuff Dog for pumpkin cookies as part of a recipe exchange. I hate these things. Just send me a damn recipe because you like the idea. Don’t make me copy and paste and jump through hoops and feel guilty and email 10 friends. If you love me…give me a recipe. If I love you I will do the same. Anyway. I recently and begrudgingly “participated” in the same exchange that Shuff sent me which either means he was responding to me or I got hit with it twice. Either way the first round made me immune. I only ended up with 3 recipes instead of the promised 30 and that’s only because I cheated. Whatever.

With this recipe resting daintily in my inbox and secretly calling me in my sleep I was faced with a choice at 9 pm (ish…I thought it was like 7) and with no supervision from Boyfriend…I could wash the mounds and mounds of dishes or grade lab reports. So I elected to make cookies.

I always gather my ingredients before I start out or I invariably end up missing something important so I gathered away without reading the process instructions. I was using left over pumpkin from a batch of muffins earlier in the week. I declared the muffins a failure but everyone else seems to think they are tasty enough. I am not a muffiness. I need desperately for someone to give me a whole wheat flour plus whole grains and maybe oatmeal and or mixed grain hot cereal muffin recipe as a base muffin recipe that I can add whatever fruit is in my pantry to and call it a success. I keep trying and failing. Anyway for the muffins I wacked 2 sugar pumpkins (one from the garden and 1 from TJs) apart, baked them, and removed their orange succulent goodness for my own purposes. I had less than a cup left over so I had to supplement my cookies with a few scoops of left over baked butternut squash from my garden. Orange and squash flavored. Perfect.

I am not content to follow a recipe so I elected to swap out the regular flour for whole wheat. I dutifully measured out the requisite amount of flour and suddenly was overcome with the feeling that I was not alone. We have flour moths! Cue horror music and shuddering.

To be fair I found 1 worm in 1 bag of old flour. However this spawned a panic attack which resulted in me shoving all baking products not in jars or Tupperware into the freezer. Then running out of room and becoming despondent. There was nothing else I could do…so I made cookies. (Actually we are like an hour in to the cookie making process at this point and if I hadn’t already started melting the butter I would have gone to bed. )

The all purpose flour was pure and white and both nutrient and worm free so I could proceed. Per usual I mixed all my ‘wet’ ingredients and all my dry ingredients separately. I then planned to mix the 2 sets of ingredients together but I paused to read the directions. I always forget that cookies are more high maintenance than other baked goods. You are supposed to mix the butter and sugar together then add everything else. Whatever. You can skip that. But you really do want a mixer to combine the pumpkin and the butter. Crap.

Luckily, Boyfriend’s mom gave me an old stand mixer from a yard sale. I fired that baby up and…nothing happened. At this point I began to suspect that Boyfriend had disabled the mixer either because he wanted me to stop making baked goods to prevent me from weighing 400 lbs or to prevent me from making baked goods and adding on to the huge stacks of dishes to be done. Or maybe the reason it was at the garage sale was because it was broken. Whatever.

So I used one of the mixer beaters as a hand held tool to combine the pumpkin and butter. I then tried to do the same when I mixed the flour and the gooey stuff but it was a no go. Fork…spoon…spatula…worthless. I had to result to hand mixing literally by hand. This worked amazingly well and resulted in me being coated with pre-cookie. I was forced to eat the pre-cookie before I could start my baking.

At this point the self control fuse was blown in the back of my brain. The doughy goodness was so amazing that about 5 larval cookies lives’ ended before I realized what I was doing and forced myself to stop eating the cookie dough like cereal.

I got the first batch of cookies in the oven, cleaned up enough to make space for the cookies to cool and made the glaze/frosting/icing. Right about the time the first batch needed to come out, Boyfriend came home and I was caught red handed filling up the cookie jar. It was also like 1030-11pm and the first time I had looked at a clock since maybe lunchtime. Which led me to ask the question “what the hell am doing baking cookies when I should be asleep?”

So I finished baking and frosting the cookies and went to bed. The end.

I figured out that the glaze goes on much nicer if you nuke it for about 10 seconds. After that you can drizzle and spread it on to the warm cookies with a spoon and when everything cools you will have a nice crusty frosted top on each cookie.

Boyfriend asked me the next day if the cookies were made with crack because they were so good. I could easily eat 5 in a row frosted or not but I would probably die of a diabetic coma if I tried. Moderation in all good things including cookies….and cookie dough. Which is why we are down to 6 cookies in 3 days. Don’t double the recipe unless you are giving these away. They are too dangerous to have laying about the kitchen.

The REAL recipe.

Pumpkin Cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (I used ½ brown sugar)
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) softened
1 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
Glaze (see below)

Preheat over to 350 F. Grease baking sheets.

Combine flour, baking soda and powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl. Beat sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until well blended. Beat in pumpkin, egg and vanilla until smooth. Gradually beat in the flour mixture. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for 15-18 minutes or until edges are firm. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. Drizzle glaze over the cookies.

Combine 2 cups sifted powdered sugar, 3 Tbs milk, 1 Tbs melted butter and 1 tsp vanilla extract in a small bowl until smooth. (I added a healthy dose of cinnamon as well)

Yields ~ 36 cookies.

For the non-cinnamon types I would suggest substituting ¼ t of one or all of the following: ground clove, ground ginger, or ground allspice.

1 comment:

Dan and Hil said...

My oh my, Jenn. Dan and I laughed out loud at this post. I can relate to this kitchen tale.

My favorite line: "At this point the self control fuse was blown in the back of my brain." I need to remember that.

Dan says: By kitchen, do you mean laundry room?