Monday, February 15, 2010

Experiment Time!

Confession: I'm kind of a crappy cook. Well, I'm probably not that bad a cook, I just don't know how to cook anything. I have a very limited "actual food" repertoire. I feel a little bad for Luke . . . but at the same time, I know the kind of bachelor meals he was eating until recently so I figure even my hamburger helpers are at least a little bit of a step up. (And I make an awesome hamburger helper, if I do say so myself!) However, I am a pretty good baker, and I kinda love baking (not to mention the results!). And I've been baking a little more than usual lately - partly because I really have nothing else to do in the evenings, and partly so Luke can have some cookies to take to work to break up the monotony of baloney sandwiches all the time (I know, I'm such a '50s housewife, right? :-) However, I wear neither pearls, heels, nor cute-sy apron whilst baking.). Last week I made some chocolate chip cookies without chocolate chips - my specialty, mostly because whenever I wanted to make chocolate chip cookies growing up there were no chocolate chips. It was the weirdest thing - whenever someone else decided to make cookies there were gobs and gobs of chocolate chips, but when I went to make cookies they all disappeared. I think I must have really offended the chocolate chip gods in a previous life or something. :-)

Anyway. The cookies I made last week. I decided to experiment a little, so I tossed some cinnamon in the mix. I thought they turned out pretty good, and Luke declared them the best cookies he'd ever tasted after one bite. Yay!! I'd been thinking about how to vary up the cookies and brownies and adding stuff like nutmeg and ginger and stuff seemed like a good idea to start with. Then last week (same day I made the cookies, actually) we decided to get a bold and splurge-y and rent a movie (side note - you might want to stay away from us for a while as I'm fully expecting one of our cars to quite literally blow up sometime soon now). We rented Extract because we'd seen the trailer a couple of times on other movies we'd rented and it looked pretty good. Long story short: amusing, but not nearly as good as the trailer looked. One of those movies where pretty much all the good/funny parts are in the trailer.

Anyway, the title comes from the fact that the main character is the owner of an extract plant - you know, flavorings. And at one point he mentions that his mom used to make root beer cookies. And, as I'm sure you all could immediately guess, my first thought was something along the lines of "Root beer cookies?!?! Holy crap that sounds fantabulously amazing!!!!!! How do you make those??!?!?!?!?!?!?!!!" And after a few more minutes of thought I recall that the cookies I made just a few hours before called for - *drum roll* - vanilla extract. Stroke of genius, let me tell you. So, (I thought) what if I just switched that one little cookie ingredient with, say, extract of root beer? Pineapple? Cherry? Almond? And now suddenly all these visions of amazing cookies are dancing in my head a la Christmas Eve sugarplums, and it was all I could do not to rush out right then and by out every type of flavoring to be found at both Walmart and Smith's and maybe a few other stores along the way.

And then Aunt Sandra posts this awesome recipe on her cooking blog (oh . . .yeah . . . belated plug alert!), and that recipe is pretty much the only reason I want this book, so pretty much the rest of my year has been made. I can't wait to start experimenting with random/crazy/yummy/sweet tooth satisfying completely original (because even if you've already thought of it, I'm going to claim it as my own) concoctions! This is going to be so much fun!!! Although I have to admit I'm a little hesitant to try out cherry almond cookies, because just the idea reminds me of that one lotion - I think it's Jergen's . . . ? - because that's their standard scent, and it smells so yummy that I can practically taste it whenever I use the lotion. So would the cookies be absolutely amazing, or taste so much like the lotion smells that I would psychologically gross myself out. These are the problems with being an insatiable sweet tooth. Go ahead, be jealous. :-)

So. This is my official call for flavor suggestions, recommendations, and dares. Any that turn out especially amazing or nasty just might end up documented here. Things are going to get interesting . . .

P. ost S. cript
So, so funny. If you haven't seen the whole thing, you really should. Good times.


  1. try basic chocolate chip cookie recipe with chopped up orange slices (the candy, not the fruit) instead of chocolate chips... yummolicious.

  2. Oh, yeah. DEFINITELY the orange slice cookies. Love them.

    I have a basic chocolate cookie recipe that you can easily add things to as well. My favorite is doing them thumbprint-ish and adding cherries.

  3. Peanut Butter and Chocolate ... not separately. Together. (It's also really good in milkshake format ... vanilla ice cream, milk, hershey syrup and a scoop of pb ... tastes kinda like a liquid Reeses Cup)

    I'm also a big fan of white chocolate macademia nut cookies.

    And maybe you should actually put some chocolate chips in sometime, nothing wrong with the classic cookie.

  4. Oh how I wish I could give you an idea of the cookie goodness on my table right now. Six seperate recipies I made yesterday. Double batches all. And soooooo yummy.

    But alas, they are recipies slated to be included in Josi Kilpack's new bood, Key Lime Pie, and the book won't be out until Aug, so the only thing I can do is bake and share the results.

    But, and this I promise, once the book is out, you are going to love, love, love making these cookies.

    And I still need ideas for what recipes to post on the blog. Ask your readers.