Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Joy of Cooking

In continuing to capture the holiday spirit this week, I made Peppermint Sugar Cookies for my coworkers last night!  Full disclosure: I need to make cookies for my book club on Sunday and last night was a much needed test run - my coworkers are just benefiting from the product.  Also - I hate going out and buying the ingredients for one specific recipe and then having the leftovers go to waste.  So I'm going to make these cookies until I run out of flour, sugar, and peppermint extract. I hope you like them, Interface.

This is the recipe I started with:
Let's talk about peppermint extract - If you live in a big city with tiny grocery stores, call ahead to be sure they have it.  Trader Joe's didn't have it.  Safeway didn't have it.  Whole Foods had it - and apparently a "topical" peppermint extract as well, but I told the employee I just wanted it for baking, not to bathe in. Thanks.

Also, in regards to the recipe, I hate peppermint about as much as I hate bananas - so I added some white chocolate chips to balance out the minty.  I started to get everything ready and I wanted my evening to be super Christmasy so I went to On Demand and put on the Christmas Yule Log.  Unfortunately, it only lasts for 5 min - but luckily I have the DVD!  "Really?" you're asking yourself...Yes, really.  Don't ask me why, but I have the yule log DVD and mine is better than the On Demand channel because it makes very realistic fire crackling noises.

I'm just warming myself by the fire.

Then I put my apron on - courtesy of Mrs. Fish

Then I laid out my ingredients - leaving out the ones that weren't in pretty Trader Joe's packaging.
Then I realized how hard it is to be a food blogger - your house has to be SO clean so weird stuff doesn't wind up in the background of your picture.
Luckily, the fire was blazing and compliments this picture quite nicely, I think.

Ok - I was totally ready to start.  Now comes the entertaining part because I'm a terrible cook.  The first hiccup came when the recipe called for room temperature butter. me crazy, but I keep my butter in the refrigerator, so it was chilled.  I was worried this would mess with the texture of my dough - so obviously, I lit a candle and let the butter sit next to it while I prepped the other stuff.  As you might have guessed, the candle plan failed.  Disclaimer: I don't have a microwave, which would seem the obvious solution.  So my next idea was to preheat the oven and sit the butter (which is already in a measuring cup) on top of the stove.  That didn't work either.  My last remaining option was to heat the butter in the oven.  Don't worry, I didn't place the measuring cup directly on the rack.  I put the cup in a pan and put that in.  Guess what happened next?!  The measuring cup melted!!  But so did my butter - so boom.  Problem solved.

My next obstacle arose in attempting to break the peppermints into little pieces.  I couldn't find my hammer, so I used something else heavy and metal.  I unwrapped the peppermints onto a piece of tin foil, folded up the tin foil to make a peppermint pocket of sorts and then started banging.  I didn't anticipate that the foil would start tearing with every whack.  But it did.  So I got out a big knife and cut every peppermint into fourths.  I'm not kidding.  If you have a solution to this peppermint predicament - please let me know by Sunday, as I'm not looking forward to cutting more peppermints like steak.  Thanks.

The final problem was the dough.  I guess sugar cookie dough is supposed to be all crumbly - but mine was as smooth and creamy as mashed potatoes.  But whatever, I pressed on.  I didn't want to do the extra work of rolling the dough into a cellophane log anyway.  

My dough.

My cookies. 
(Excuse the terrible light)

The website's cookies.  Oops.

My cookies didn't wind up looking like the picture, but they taste really yummy! Success! And the white chocolate chips are a really nice addition.  They may not look like sugar cookies, but they were made with a lot of love.  Love, toxins from a melted measuring cup, and tiny flakes of tin foil.  


  1. You took my Yule log DVD!!?? I think we bought that one a while back. Kat, a plastic cup near any real heat is going to melt, pan or no pan. Dad

  2. No! Mom gave it to me one year- you guys have your own!!