Friday, September 9, 2011

.junk cookies.

the new school year had just begun and i had 170 teenagers, before 5 am alarm clocks and so many other numbers practically falling out of my mathematical teaching mind. to say i was exhausted that first week is an understatement. i had just come home to find my non-work life waiting for me. my fur babies needed lots of attention, the laundry was squealing my name, there were some dishes dancing in the sink and i had my first set of papers waiting anxiously to be graded in my bag. i made the mistake of sitting on my sofa and closing my eyes for a second. really, just a second. almost as soon as i did, i remembered that one of our math teachers was retiring and her party would be the following day. and i was supposed to bring something.

did i mention how exhausted i was? sitting on that sofa in my most comfortable p.j.s, the very last, really, the very last thing i wanted to do would be to go to the grocery store. leaving to pump gas would come in a close second and i had already done so an hour prior. instead, i closed my eyes and began picturing what i had in the pantry. enough chocolate chips to make cookies? no. any frosting in the freezer to add to a basic cupcake? no. enough oatmeal for oatmeal cookies? no. what i'm getting at here is that i had nothing but odds and ends ingredients and not one single ounce of motivation.

what am i gonna do with all that junk, all that junk inside, my pantry? i took the last bit of energy left in my bones and began throwing every quarter of a bag of leftover ingredients i had onto my counter until it became a ridiculous amount. shall i name these my everylittlething cookies? leftover cookies? scrap cookies? a little bit of this a little bit of that cookies? no, i shall call these....

junk cookies.

i start by creaming 3/4 cups of white sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar together with 1.5 sticks of butter. to this, i add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 2 large eggs. once all the wet ingredients have had their turn frolicking around the mixer, it is time to add the dry ingredients.

with 2 cups of flour, 2 teaspoons of baking soda, and 1/2 a teaspoon of salt added to the mixing bowl, i set it on medium speed and let it get to work. the dough is very heavy so i have to stop it several times.

now the variety pack of yummies are about to be thrown in. with the bowl still in the mixer, i add a cup of oats and almost a cup of pecan granola. it was all i had left in the bag. mixing on low, i quickly found that this dough was too heavy and had to say goodbye to the mixer.

with the bowl now resting firmly on the counter, old-fashioned style, i started adding my hodgepodge of other ingredients. a little coconut? about 1/2 a cup of that.

with my hands i mix and knead as they work much better than my spoons. next comes the remaining white chocolate chips in my bag, about 3/4 of a cup worth. why are my hands so freckled? oh yeah, that's just how my skin rolls.

(please ignore how awful this picture is)

next on the chopping block is some already chopped walnuts and i dazzle my crazy dough with between 1/2-3/4 cup of these. with as much junk as i could fit in the batter, it was time to bake the cookies.

i scoop rounded spoonfuls onto a wax-lined cookie sheet and place them in my pre-heated to 375 degree oven. after baking for ten minutes, i bring them out with my fingers crossed (inside my oven-mitt of course).

it is not love at first bite, but i persevere and fall in great-like. when my husband comes home, i ask him to taste one. he tells me they are so bad that i shouldn't take them to the retirement party at all and should leave all of them at home. nice try, eye guy.

if i had to do it over again, i'd aim to make them a little fluffier. but it was hard for the batter to do much with all those additions in its way. all in all, the cookies are full of some good junk and i'm pretty pleased.

*update* they were a big, junky hit at the retirement party!

my junk cookies

1 1/2 sticks butter
3/4 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 whole eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup oats
1 cup maple pecan granola
1/2-3/4 cups walnuts
1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup white chocolate chips

in a mixer, cream the butter and both sugars together. add in your eggs and vanilla, mixing another minute until well blended. add your basics: flour, baking soda and salt. once all of those components are blended well together, mix in your junk. i would mix your junk in with a spoon because the batter gets too heavy for the mixer.
use a small scooper to drop cookie dough on a parchment papered or sprayed cookie sheet. bake them for 8-10 minutes at 375 degrees f.
eat and enjoy.

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