I don’t care who you are, or where you’re from: nothing says comfort quite like a cookie. Don’t get me wrong, I love a chocolate cake as much as the next person. Something about cookies though… sneaking that bit of dough before they leave the mixer and hit the sheet, waiting impatiently as the warm scent of vanilla and butter slowly fills the kitchen, and finally getting to taste them, fresh out of the oven and melt in your mouth tender… somewhere in that process the ultimate comfort food is born. I mean “trumps chicken soup times TEN” comfort. Yeah, that’s a lot of comfort.

It could be the heat, it could be my mind, but this week has been exceptionally taxing. I think at the end of the day I was the one who was looking for a piece of comfort. Only in the form of about 3 dozen cookies. My very favorite cookies.

This is basically the Nestle Toll House Cookie, with a few adjustments

Mise En Place

2.25 C AP flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

combine all aboveĀ  in a bowl, set aside

———————————————

2 sticks butter (softened)

3/4 C brown sugar and sugar each

2 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

2tsp butter shots liquor (you KNEW it had to have booze somewhere…)

————————————————————————

gather the following in a bowl

(you won’t add them until the very last minute)

1.5 C M&Ms

1C Nestle Semi Sweet Morstles

1C White Chocolate Chips

The love affair begins...

I initially developed these as a birthday surprise for a work related acquaintance that the office needed to be better acquainted with. Needless to say, they were well received. I later made them for Dude’s office as a “thank you” for all of their support and kind wishes during our closing as first time home buyers. I hear they were a big hit! It’s funny how something as mundane and easy as a cookie can have such a positive affect on a person’s day, isn’t it?

So, like any cookie ever, you cream the butter and sugars until “light and fluffy”. I’ve never really understood “light & fluffy”. Just beat the holy hell out of it on medium speed until you get impatient and need to move on. That’s when you add your eggs (on low speed) one at a time. And then your extract/booze. Eggs act as the main component of moisture for most cookie recipes, so you don’t want to OVER beat it and let it get too cozy with the butter & sugars. You must share some with the dry ingredients too. Dry ingredients are best added in 2-3 additions JUST until combined.

In with the happy!

Now you must summon the “bowl of happy”. (Don’t tell me that bowl of chips & candy does NOT make you the least bit happy. It totally does.)

Add the “happy” by hand in 2 additions, so that every cookies gets the full spectrum of joy.

I have been known to set aside a cup of extra M&M’s to make sure that every cookie has some color. I happened to run out of them this go around though. I can’t imagine how that happened…

*munch, munch, munch*

Drop by scant tablespoonfuls onto parchment or silpat lined cookie sheets. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes (edges will be golden).

Big Ol' Plate O' Happy!

Let cool on the cookie sheet on the rack for about 3 minutes. Then gently lift the cookies from the sheet and place directly on the rack. Or in your mouth. Who could blame you?

You know, I think our society has developed a propensity for equating food with emotions. While this can be unhealthy if the eater does not maintain a balanced diet, we’d be stupid to deny the impact that food can have on our attitudes. Whether we like it or not…it’s there.

I’m not saying you should go eat an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s because you had a bad day, but we can’t deny the healing power that a freshly baked cookie can have on an otherwise dreary or bleak sequence of events. I think that baked goods, home-made, fresh from the oven (and heart) are a great way to show people that you care. Just for their souls though, not necessarily their health. Let’s face it, this is a sugar, butter, carb bomb. BUT IT’S THE HAPPIEST FREAKING BOMB YOU’VE EVER SEEN!

And then, because I’m me, I went all “Martha Stewart at the Dollar Tree” on it:

Oh, HEY there $1.00 ribbon sale at Michael's!

Oooo, and I have another to share with you. So, the new thing in my house is “Blondies”. They’re quick, they’re cheap, they keep well at room temp for a few days, and they’re DELICIOUS! Heat those suckers up with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some caramel drizzle… you’ve got the decadence of a restaurant dessert in the convenience of your own kitchen!

Well, a coworker and friend of mine has a major life event in the form of college graduation this weekend. She is a daily reminder that if you’re going to bother to do something, you might as well go above and beyond what is expected of you. So, for the ultimate kick ass lady, I made the ULTIMATE blondie concoction.

A basket of WIN (appropriately so)

Start with the recipe found here. BUT add 1C quartered mini Reese’s Cups, and 1C quartered miniature Snicker’s Bars, and 1/2C semi sweet morsels. OMG. I happen to know that Tara LOVES Reese’s (and I happened to have Snickers lying around). When I went to gather my chips, it just…clicked. A light shone down and angels sang. These two candies were destined to unite in this Blondie, for this very, very momentous occasion.

Congratulations, Tara! YOU EARNED IT.

Now all of you run to Publix and buy all the Reese’s and Snickers you can get your hands on, cause once you have these…there’s no going back.

 

 

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