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The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation

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cookies like locusts in the kitchen...
children of dune - leto 1
I'm actually serious. The Sand Tarts seem to be breeding.

But. Christmas cookies! Yes! It required nothing short of the highest level of concentration, a steady hand, a keen eye for the differences between teaspoon and tablespoon, and I'm three quarters done.

Sand Tarts--done. All fifty-something of them.

Peanut Butter Blossoms--done. All seventy-something of them.

Seven Layer Cookies--mostly done. Switched to six layer cookies due to an Unfortunate Pecan Situation. In a pan, cooling. Not sure if they worked. If all else fails, will eat happily with spoon directly from pan.

To Go:

Mint Chocolate Layer Cookies--require whipping cream, which got missed on the list.

Forgotten Cookies--require twelve hours in a slowly cooling oven. The cookies, not me. Will do tomorrow.

Might Add, Since There Are Still Excessive Ingredients:

Gingerbread Men
Croesus Squares
Chewy Bars


I am so going to bore you to tears.

I did not sleep last night. At all. AIM died a sad death and left me bored out of my mind and STILL AWAKE come dawn. So. You're talking to a jenn who has had four hours of sleep in the last twenty-nine. Not bad, really. From one to seven-thirty, cookies were made. Lots and lots of cookies.

Dear God, the cookies....

Anyway. There we go. Christmas cookies are on their way to being done. My back hurts, I burned my hand TWICE ON THE SAME DAMN PAN, the blender is slowly burning out and I still have egg whites to make solid, peanut butter got in some Uncomfortable Places (no, not Indecent Places!), sugar is like snow on the ground, and the less said about the state of the flour the better.

And the dishes? Pah. I'm ignoring the ones taht weren't washed as of two hours ago.

Confirmed presence at three family Christmas functions. I'm still working out ways to get out of it. I LIKE my family, don't get me wrong. I just like them better via email or the phone. So far, the list includes taken as hostage by militant cooks, electrocution by Christmas lights, or the flu.

Hmm. I must ponder.

My LJ friends list looks daunting. Lice is going around Child's school. Oh joy. Some clever parent sent out oatmeal in tiny bags with a cute little writing about it being reindeer food. Apparently, this is something people do over the holidays when they have far too much free time. I am sending a bribe--er, gift--of cookies to Child's teacher. I feel accomplished.

*sigh* God, my legs hurt. And my hands. And my ears. And my tongue. Basically, I'm a big, whiney cookie-casualty. I'm also babysitting The Niece tonight, and she is, thank God and reindeer, asleep. Pray she stay that way.

In fannish news...

Er, I have none. I mean, I could talk about the fact that I have officially been unable to call up a single useful Clark Issue, and Livia et al crowed about this excessively the other night, but I won't. Because I resent it muchly. *sticks out tongue*

Mean, mean, told-you-so'ing persons.

Wow, I could be delusional by this point. It's perfectly possible.

Hmm. Just for kicks and the cooks among us, anyone out there have any really good cookies recipes involving chocolate? Yes, yes, I know, but I really don't like my current Failsafe Brownie Recipe. It's not chewy. I mean, not taffy-chewy but well, less cake-like. I used to have a SuperDense SuperChewy brownie recipe, but it's disappeared.

Think--an entire bar of Baker's unsweetened chocolate squashed into a single pan of brownies with minimal flour and no baking powder. Entire Louisiana districts of sugar. These brownies were UberBrownies. And if you ate more than a two inch by two inch square, you might very well die from chocolate shock.

*shakes head* I need to find that recipe.

And dear God, have I rambled. *sighs*

*edited at 945 for two seriously strange typos.

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Chocolate Krinkles and No-Bake Marvels

You asked -- I also have an old recipe for orange-date-chocolate bar cookies which I can't find at the moment, but these will do!

Chocolate Krinkles
These are easy, and really good -- slight crust, melt-in-your-mouth inside, very chocolaty!

½ cup oil
4 oz. melted chocolate
2 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
1 cup confectioners sugar

Mix oil, chocolate and sugar. Blend in 1 egg at a time. Add vanilla. Stir in dry ingredients. Chill 8 hours or overnight. With moist hands, roll 1 teaspoon of dough into a ball. Roll in powdered sugar. Place 2" apart on greased cookie sheets. Bake in 350º oven for 10 minutes. Makes 6 dozen.

You may substitute 12 Tbsp. cocoa powder plus 4 Tbsp. oil for the melted chocolate.

No-Bake Marvels

Super-quick and easy, and amazingly good. Try different things--I tried a variation without cocoa and peanut butter, with candied fruit--strange, but good too..

2 cups sugar
1 stick oleo
6 level tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoons vanilla
3 cups quick rolled oats---use dry
1 (12 ounce) bag Spanish peanuts, chopped in small pieces

Mix sugar, butter, cocoa and milk in a pan. Bring to a hard boil. Count to 60; remove from heat. Add peanut butter, vanilla, nuts and rolled oats. Stir vigorously to melt peanut butter. Drop by tablespoons onto waxed paper-lined cookie pans. Leave out overnight to cool.

You know, just because AIM crashes my entire computer, doesn't mean you have to go sulking off.

You're going on about the cookies on purpose, aren't you, knowing that I have none?

I do have to admit, though, I've had the no-bake chocolate oatmeal ones, and you should definitely make some. They are like crack.

As if enough hadn't gone wrong tonight, LJ ate this comment the first time around. It was wittier before.

::skulks off to bed::

I modified the one bowl brownie recipe that's on the back of the Bakers Unsweetened Chocolate for cakes and brownies. I have it memorized, so here goes.

4 squares bkaers chocolate
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 stick butter (margarine is not an option. It just doesn't taste behave properly)
3 eggs (large or 4 med)
1 c flour
1 tsp vanilla.

melt chocolate and butter together in microwave, beat in sugar then eggs and vanilla and then the flour. bake 25-30 @ 350. the trick is to use a smaller pan than 9X13 and larger than 8X8. the aluminium foil pans for brownies are perfect (go figure). My secret flavor is to use 1/2 tsp of almond Extract instead of vanilla. You can also divide the batter in half, put down one layer of brownie mix, smear on about 4 oz of raspberry preserves or marshmallow creme then cover with the rest of the brownie mix. I have used peanut butter as well, but they are a little dry.

an absolute smash hit every time, and they are not cakey and dry, nor are they too chewy. the recipe on the box uses more butter and sugar, but I find them overly greasy and sweet.

I went wild at thanksgiving and made apple and pumpkin pies-- I haven't baked like that in probably a decade-- I think christmas will find me quite happy to leave it to someone else!

Hmm. Just for kicks and the cooks among us, anyone out there have any really good cookies recipes involving chocolate? Yes, yes, I know, but I really don't like my current Failsafe Brownie Recipe. It's not chewy. I mean, not taffy-chewy but well, less cake-like.

Cream Cheese Brownies:
1 pkg (250 g) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar (divided)
3 eggs
1 pkg (250 to 300 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks (divided)
1/4 cup butter
2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Beat the cream cheese with 1/4 cup of sugar and one egg until smooth and then set aside. Melt 1 cup of chocolate chips with a little butter in the microwave, put it in a separate bowl from the cream cheese and mix in the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and 2 eggs until well blended. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt. You should now have a bowl of chocolate mixture and a bowl of cream cheese mixture. Stir the remaining chocolate chips into the cream cheese mixture. Pour half to two thirds of the chocolate mixture into a greased pan approx. 9x9 inches. Pour the cream cheese mixture evenly overtop the chocolate layer. Put the remaining chocolate mixture on top in swirls. Bakes at 350 F 25 to thirty minutes or until it passes the toothpick test.

These can be frozen forever and still taste great but they're absolutely irresistable when they're just a little warm--the microwave works for that. My mother's standby, always yummy.

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