Monday, December 15, 2008

The one with 3 Cookie-Making Secrets

We had fun last week celebrating the CHRISTMAS season. Kids make this time of year great, don't they? Some of the things I want to remember when I look back on this year are:

1) The funny things Drewbie says. Like last night, as he was watching the cartoon version of the Nativity..(if you've never watched it, there's a part where the soldiers are killing the boy babies)...and so when the soldier sticks his sword in a cradle, Drew gasps and says "I HATE THAT GUY!!!!" with the kind of intensity only he has. And then later, when they call Jesus the "King of the Jews", he says..."Hmm.. Yes, I would like some juice", and heads down to the fridge.

2) The look on Halle's face when the Gingerbread Men ran away! I just hope there are a lot more years of the magic. . . I will miss it when she's all grown up- it hurts to even think of that day.

3) Decorating our new home for Christmas. So what if it took five days to get the tree up? The extra "helping hands" may have slowed things down, but we did it!

4) Getting all dressed up and going on a rare date with my hot hunny in the middle of the week! I can't wait for this weekend when FINALS will be OVER and we can spend more of that kind of time together. The 3 weeks of the year I look forward to the most will start this Friday, when his last final will be turned in! Can't wait.

5) Buying (and celebrating) that gas got down to $1.39 a gallon! Woot woot! We bought the SUPER unleaded at $1.49 on Saturday night. Craziness!

6) Delivering a bazillion cookies to friends and neighbors with the kids. The kids looked like two little elves, all bundled up and tramping around in the snow.
Here's the recipe to our cookies this year. They were just good old-fashioned all-American
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Cream 1/2 lb butter with 1 cup brown sugar, 3/4 cup sugar and 1 T. vanilla. Add in 1-and-a-half eggs, 3/4 tsp soda, 3/4 tsp salt and 3 cups flour. Last mix in 3 cups chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-11 minutes.

Super easy, huh? They're really yummy.

Here's 3 secrets I have for 100% of the time perfect cookies. The kind that are beautiful inside and out. :) Even though chances are, if you're reading a blog you've known these secrets for years. . .I'm sharing anyway. I was in the cookie-making-failure shoes for too many years. If these tips help even one fellow lost homemaker, it's worth it.

Secret #1) Start mixing your cookies by hand. When I asked my friend Jen (who makes amazing cookies) what her secret was, she said she stopped using an electric mixer. I decided to try it out. . .and I swear by it now. Try it and let me know what you think.

Secret #2) The temperature of the butter has to be right! Leave out your butter a bit before you're baking so it's at room temperature. That way you'll be able to cream the sugars and butter BY HAND. (No cheating by putting it in the microwave! You're cookies will spread out too far in the oven) Then, when you're cookies are on the cookie sheet, let them cool for a while in the fridge. The butter will harden up a bit and you're good to go.

Secret #3) Unless you like your cookies crunchy, don't leave them in as long as the recipe says . . .with "golden brown edges" you're cookies will be hard in a hurry. If you like your cookies the way I do -with luscious-drool-producing softness for days- take them out the second you see any hint of golden. They'll continue to bake before you can get them off the cookie sheet anyway. When I take them out, they're borderline-gooey. But as they set up, they're these tight little bundles of goodness. Mmmmm. Good thing they're gone or I'd be devouring them right now. All this cookie chat is getting me goin. :)

Enjoy! And please feel free to share any success stories, or other tips you might have.


JustusJohnsons said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JustusJohnsons said...

I love love LOVE your Christmas tree! You should post pics of your decorated house! :)

Emily said...

Very fun post. Your tree looks great! I just love the little Drew-isms you shared. Especially about the "juice"! So funny.
As for the cookies- I'm very impressed with how many plates you had there! I think you were the one that told me to mix cookies by hand...I've been doing it ever since and my cookies are great.