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Archive for December, 2009

These were one of my contributions to the cookie exchange I hosted yesterday.  Oh.  Yeah.

I mean, really.  OH, YEAH!

Sorry–just had a Kool-Aid Man moment there.  But seriously, these delicious goodies are my Peanut Butter Milk Chocolate Mallowmars.

Or, as we’ve taken to calling them around here, the Gay Pride Tophats.

Here’s the recipe, along with pictures of other bakers’ interpretations.

But that recipe won’t get you these babies.  No, ma’am’s, these cookies are the result of some serious screwups and improvisations, all of which you virtually witnessed if you follow me on Twitter.  Things started okay–after all, the homemade graham cookies turned out pretty nicely, if I do say so myself.  And I do.  Say so myself, I mean.  But things went a little downhill from there.  Let’s review, shall we?  Pull up a comfy armchair, don a smoking jacket, have your bubble pipe at the ready, and sit back for…

A NIGHT OF CULINARY DISASTERS, FOREVER IMMORTALIZED BY TWITTER:

4:46 PM Dec 21st from web:  First cookie disaster of the day: double boiler, um, boiled over, burning me and causing my white chocolate to seize up!

4:49 PM Dec 21st from web:  Cookie Baking Day totals, so far: 1 boilover (chocolate’s), 1 meltdown (mine), and 1 act of taking it down to a simmer (The Boy’s)…

5:07 PM Dec 21st from web:  Does having a cookie tantrum make me immature? Hmm…

7:28 PM Dec 21st from web:  Cookie Day Disaster #2: homemade marshmallow fluff isn’t setting! I’m either gonna lose it or stop caring altogether, and I’m not sure which!

7:30 PM Dec 21st from web:  AND my mixer broke! I burned out the engine on my freaking hand mixer!

7:44 PM Dec 21st from web:  Dark chocolate isn’t solidifying on the half-dipped cherry cookies–at this point I’m just laughing maniacally…I promise I can bake!

7:50 PM Dec 21st from web:  Accidentally bought unsalted peanut butter yesterday and I needed the regular kind! ARRRRGGGHHH!

And finally, my morning after haiku on the subject:

9:27 AM Dec 22nd from web:  Cookie Exchange Day/You’ve brought me pain and pleasure/Also, sticky floors…

Tell me you’ve had nights like this.  Come on, there must be some good cooking/baking/candy-making horror stories out there, guys.

…guys?  Seriously, I could stand to laugh at misfortune right now.

Someone else’s misfortune.

What ended up happening with these cookies is that I gave up on the failed marshmallow fluff (we’ve since discovered that the candy thermometer was broken), and dug out a leftover bag of jumbo marshmallows, snipped ’em in half, attached them to the grahams with blobs (not smears, not dollops, but blobs) of peanut butter, and dipped them in melted milk chocolate…then in dark chocolate when I ran out of milk chocolate.

The Boy can only be expected to make so many emergency grocery runs in one night.

And then came time for fun–time for the girls to come over and tell me all about their baking issues (dough-eating husbands, peanut brittle that wouldn’t, um, brittle, projects that got nixed and re-started the morning of the exchange…), while we drank champagne (heavily), snacked on meatballs and goat cheese (heavily), and giggled (also heavily).  Seeing as how we decided to go with the as-few-rules-as-possible route (two varieties of goody made per attendee, a dozen baked for each attendee), we were amazed and pleased with the variety and skillful execution in our spread.  There were fudges and barks, cookies dipped in chocolate, cookies glazed with liquor (divine!), and cookies cram-packed with fruit and nuts.  All in all, I’d say we had a good time, despite–

–okay, BECAUSE OF–

the astonishing quantity of alcohol we “dainty” babes put away.

You readers came up with some brilliant suggestions for hosting the ultimate cookie exchange–everything from baking extra cookies for charity to using Chinese takeout containers for the–well, the takeout.  And it was HARD to choose just one winner for the mystery giveaway.  But what is life without challenges?  The winner is…Elsa! Elsa put so much time and effort into her post, and covered so many cookie exchange conundrums (she even offered up a recipe of her own), that I just had to award her the fantabulous mystery prize.  Which is <drumroll>…

A Williams-Sonoma message-in-a-cookie set!  Customizable cookie cutters allow you to choose from pre-set holiday messages, or arrange your own for that one-of-a-kind, only-she-would-give-me-a-cookie-that-says-that sort of effect (some of my suggestions: “Jehosephat, it’s Christmas!”; “U Yule My Log”; “Bite Me”; “Bad Mama Genny RULZ”).  Congratulations, Elsa!

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