Friday, May 30, 2008

Best of Comments Vol. 1, With Cookies

Sometimes, the best part of this blog is found in the words left by visitors, where comments can be profound, hysterical, evocative, and validating. I just want to personally thank EACH and EVERY person who has ever taken the time to leave a comment here - because they LIGHT UP MY DAY. Fellow bloggers out there, you know what I mean - comments are so very much appreciated. Blogging takes time, a helluva lot of effort on some days, plus a certain amount of vulnerability - so yeah - when I receive comments, I sometimes feel I may as well be sitting on George Clooney's lap while receiving a temple rub from Brad Pitt while Halle Berry is signing the papers to donate her body to me. It's that GOOD.

So, over some milk and cookies, I thought I'd share some snippets from some great comments. And wow - I
seriously could've typed ALL of them here, because they're all fantastico - but I feel like you'd probably break up with me over that level of overdoingitness. I think I'll continue this little feature from time-to-time - with cookies, of course - so you'll have to let me know what you think. With no further ado....

Nicisme from Cherrapeno commented, regarding my idea of farting at a baby shower: I think you could get away with a lot more than farting if you serve up brownies like these. [Oh, the ideas are brewing even now...]

Laura from Hungry and Frozen regarding the same farting, commented: But are you saying the essence of you is...gas? If so, I salute you. [Could I ask for a better comment? I think not!]

Lacy from Razor Family Farms, regarding the Miracle Berry, had a genius comment: So, you will be marketing it as "inlaws coming to dinner survival kit" eh? [Untapped market here!]

Sarah B., following some of my value-adding prowess, confessed: My goals for this week are to Drink the Alphabet, call someone a Microphallus, Throw Breadcrumbs to a Helicopter, and get into a Shituation. [Can't beat that with a stick!]

Firefly546, regarding those flirty little tarlets proclaimed: Looking at these darling tartlets, however, makes me think we're all going to have an orgy! I think you can do that in Vegas, too. [Saucy minx!]

Kspin from KSpinning, regarding the same tartlets, and my food creations overall, aptly stated: The thought of working at your office is appealing yet dangerous... [Think my co-workers love me and want to poison me too.]

Diva from The Sugar Bar had poignant advice regarding my inability to quit YA GOTTA DO WHAT YA GOTTA DO. [Plus, awesome use of cuss words in the unedited version - she even 'scused her French]

Tootsie from Vintage Thirty regarding the ____ who parked her cart behind me: WOW. I can't even imagine being that much of a bitch. [I know! Right?]

NV from This Damn House clearly understands frosting: I might as well slather that icing all over my hips and eliminate the middle woman! [With this frosting, she'd end up licking it off her hips, though.]

Jennifer H. from Thursday Drive gave great advice regarding my phone revulsions: You should try this trick...hang up while YOU'RE talking. [Brilliant...unless anyone who knows me has now read this.]

Lisa from Chocolate And had the greatest closing line from the same post above: Love your posts and recipes and OCD - have a great weekend! [I think I was just diagnosed! And I love her for it!]

Kate, regarding the same post of Reasons To Not Be Me expanded on reasons we may not want to be her: I've often found it far easier to just stop at the store and buy new underwear, instead of going out to the laundromat to wash those I have already in a pile on my bathroom floor. [I publicly love her right now for this.]

Readers, commenters - ALL - you're simply THE BEST. Thanks for making my day.

Now, how 'bout some rockin' cookies? Read ON...

Black and White Cookies

Well, I'm a little frustrated with Martha. Yes, that Martha. Having now used more than a few of her recipes, I've found they're - well - often lacking in some vital information. As in, this dough could also be used as a substitute for super glue. GOOD to know ahead of time, no? I know! Step 14: slather yourself in silicone before proceeding with dough - FINE - just keep me informed. I'm not asking much here - just um...instructions Shocker! Well, what I thought looked like an EXtremely simple little sugar cookie nearly had me calling my husband to hotly vent into the phone, for absolutely nothing that had to do with him. Poor fella. I elected instead to bring this dough to its knees - or its...dough...knees, whatev. I battled through, cussing out Martha and every kitchen tool I tried along the way - and somehow all that cussing worked - because the end result was a rather fetching little cookie that tasted quite lovely. So it was good and bad. These cookies both chapped my ass and made me happy. I guess that explains the Black and White. I'm BRILLIANT that way.

1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
6 T unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
3/4 t vanilla
1/3 c. buttermilk
2 c. powdered sugar
1 T + 1 t light corn syrup
2 1/2 t fresh lemon juice
1 T cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt - set aside. Using a mixer, cream the butter - about 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and beat until fluffy and light, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and 1/2 t vanilla, mix until combined. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk, alternating in 3 batches.

HERE, I want to provide some alternatives. You may hand-roll the dough into about 4 dozen, tablespoon size balls; KEEP coating your fingers in flour (detail left out by Martha, roll eyes here). Place balls on cookie sheet and, I'd suggest flattening the ball with the bottom of a glass that has been dipped in flour (Martha's recipe simply says to place balls on pan, I think the cookies are better if flattened a bit). Place cookies about 2 inches a part. The other option is to just flour a surface, roll out the dough, and cut out the cookie, using a 1 1/2 round (or whatever suits you).

Bake until bottoms turn golden, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and cool.

Icing: whisk powdered sugar, corn syrup, lemon juice, remaining 1/4 t. vanilla, and 1 T water in a small bowl until smooth. Add more water if needed (consistency should be a bit thicker than honey). Transfer half of mixture to another bowl. Stir in cocoa; add water if necessary. Spread white icing on half of each cookie's flattest side and cocoa on the other side; allow to set for about 30 minutes. ENJOY!


Jennifer H said...

Ooh ooh! (raises hand) I've done the underwear thing, too!

Great comments (and don't we all live for them?). You've got some clever, funny readers. (Can't wait to hear when you try that hanging up trick...)

That is the best recipe intro ever. Just once, would it kill Martha to say that a recipe chaps her ass, too? Those cookies look yummy.

Missy said...

I'm always sure to leave comments on blogs I like because I'm sure they take a good deal of effort to maintain. And, now I'm glad to hear the comments do mean so much! Funny post today, both the comment snapshots and your contentions with THAT Martha, lol.

firefly546 said...

Those cookies are beautiful! I get pleasure just looking at a picture of them. I like the recap of comments (with comments), too. But then I look forward to every one of your posts and I'm never disappointed. As for Martha, I do love her, but I did toss out her cookbook, because some of her recipes are too much work or just a little off.

Rebecca said...

Interesting because I too have had quite a bit of trouble with her recipes! I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only one. Blog comments are often quite a read unto themselves, I agree. I really enjoy them as well! Those cookies look beautiful.

kspin said...

Ahh. So glad that you too experience the 'comment high'. Sometimes I'll write a post and think the next day that I should delete it, and am surprised when I have comments. Then I stop and go, "wow, other people are as crazy as me". That is validating!

Thanks for the linky-love and the awesome cookie recipe! ~K

Lisa said...

yep, you have our number all right! I mean, who doesn't love to hear themselves talk? so this is the greatest hook - we get to read your excellent posts and we get to hear ourselves talk as well - a sure recipe for a loyal readership. Cookies look elegant and cute at the same time. I never make anything from M that doesn't have to be modified in some way - do they even TEST those recipes??

Ann said...

Jennifer - maybe I've been missing out on the underwear thing here...

Missy - Thanks! That darn Martha. :)

Firefly - See, what is it with the Martha recipes? Does she not have a test kitchen?

Rebecca - Okay, this is getting weird now - are ALL of her recipes "off"?

Kspin - exactly - I'll post something and instantly think it's total shit. Then finally, someone comments and I think "oh gawd, at least ONE person on the planet likes it."

Lisa - EX-ACT-LY! What is it with her recipes - I have yet to have one work, just as it is???

Laura @ Hungry and Frozen said...

Hey, thanks for the counter-validation :) (is me saying this the equivalent of sending someone a note to say thankyou for your thankyou note?) I concur on the comment-love, they always make my day! I've never seen what the fuss is over Martha, but those cookies do look lovely - as in, nice idea, poorly thought out recipe? Sticky cookie dough can be one of the most frustrating things on earth...

BluesLover said...

Beautiful cookies, quite elegant. Loved the recipe introduction, the comments, and the comments about the comments, lol. :0)

Razor Family Farms said...

I love cookies. They are just plain fabulous. Here and now -- to quote Luther Vandross -- I vow my undying love to those cookies. Indeed, they had me at hello. They complete me.

I'm running out of cliches and -- ding dang -- I am hungry.


Diane said...

Very pretty cookies! How does the icing taste? Did you find it cloying? I've never commented before, but am glad to hear that the comments do mean something! Love this blog and the pictures.

Maria of Napa said...

I have a Martha cookbook and have actually experienced so many issues with her recipes that I wrote her website a long letter of complaint. Never heard back. Not a "Good Thing", Martha. So, I'm not surprised that you had to cuss a lot during her recipe. If I was making one her recipes, I'd always make sure it was on a day that the kids would be out of the house, because I knew the F-bombs would be flying.

All Adither said...

Nice cookie shots! I've found the same thing with Martha, but I always just assume I'm doing it wrong. I'm such a cliche.

Ann said...

Laura - You're so welcome. :)

Blueslover - why, thank you! Love the screen name too.

Lacy - you always just crack me up, girl! I love the cliches, keep 'em coming.

Diane - the icing is pretty typical, as far as icings go - not terribly cloying, but not rich like a frosting. We found the best way to eat this beauty was to eat one flavor first, then the other - that way, we were able to enjoy the distinct flavors.

Maria - lol, thanks for the validation! What is with her recipes? I feel like we're uncovering a conspiracy here! Also, totally with you on the F-bombs.

All Adither - thank you for the compliment and for the validation on the Martha thing...weird huh?

Manager Mom said...

OK... it's pretty early so my wit machine is not warmed up yet. Let me think on some stuff that could match the great comments you got above... and can I come over for some of that ridiculously good looking cake? I love velvet cake and I can't cook for a darn.

insane mama said...

That is a great idea, I have had the strangest comments on my blog
mmm cookies

Ann said...

Manager Mom - Come on over MM - I'll whip up somethin' for you anytime!

Insane Mama - lol, I swear - comments are often my favorite part of this blog. :)

diva@theSugarBar said...

i love those cookies. quote britney o spears, gimme more gimme gimme more.

great post. had major giggles reading through all of them. i agree. it's great having readers. it's like having a major life and food chat session which is fantabulous.
and once again, apologies with all that swearin. don't know why i got so worked up reading that post.

must be a woman thing. haha!!

i look forward to more food porn my friend. cause you never seem to let me down in that area.

best love

diva@theSugarBar said...

ALSO. martha rules because she thinks up some amazing stuff but her recipes are crap. crap instructions too. i recently made an apple spice cake of hers with my housemate...sounds simple? yea pretty much. the cake ended up like a steamed pudding. mushy and wrong.


VE said...

It's really not fair to photograph cookies that large and I'm heading to get a snack...

firefly546 said...

Wow, I feel soooo validated about Martha's recipes being not-so-good! And, yes, Martha does truly rule. She's amazing, but again...the recipes, not so much...On the other hand, Ann, your recipes are amazing, you're amazing, and I'm amazed at your amazingness.

Kelly said...

I just made some black and whites for the first time last weekend (having never actually even tasted them, but the pictures looked so yummy!). I used Eleanor Klivan's Big Fat Cookies, which is the only cookie cookbook I use these days. They turned out excellently. I wasn't overly impressed with the icing recipes, but figure those could be easily tweaked. You might want to give the cookbook a shot if you want to eat some yummy cookies. I got it as a gift for Christmas and haven't stopped making cookies since.

I'm bummed to hear this about Martha's recipes, though, because I just bought 3 copies of her Everyday Food: Great Food Fast cookbook (two as gifts and one for myself) because it got such great reviews on Amazon. Have I set my friend (not the most excellent cook) up for failure?

Ann said...

Diva - I actually loved the swearing - I'm all for well placed cuss words. And the Martha? Wow, we all have the same story!

VE - oops, that happens a lot here. :)

Firefly - I know - isn't it validating to hear we're not alone in our failure???

Kelly - I don't know if it's all of Martha's recipes or just a portion that we've all seem to run across. It just seems a lot of them need to be tweaked a bit to really work.

nicisme said...

Great post - you've gotta love some of the comments for sure!!

Now, even though I lived in Az for nearly 6 years, I don't remember getting a chapped ass, or anyone else mentioning that they had one. I'm guessing it's a good thing and not something you need Chapstick for?

cook eat FRET said...

there are no words to tell you how i love black and whites - they are my fave cake cookie thing.

overall, martha's recipes tend to SUCK. i found that out long ago...