Monday, March 16, 2015

Currently Eating 3.16.15

I'm not a breakfast person. Eggs are gross, and no one can convince me otherwise. Toast takes too long. Bacon is amazing, but let's face it, I don't have the patience for toast. What I am always in the mood for is a nice hot cup of coffee and an Italian cookie.

As you may have guessed, Italian cookie is not a technical term. How to describe an Italian cookie - it's like a sweet lump of crumbly goodness, just dry enough that you can give it a good soak in your coffee and it stays solid enough for satisfying munchiness. We make cookies like this around Christmas and Easter time, and whenever we want cookies which is always. My aunt gave us a batch last week, and I've had cookies for breakfast every day since. I'm proud of my life choices.

Alas, cookies are a finite resource. When the last one had been fought over, I got the recipe from my aunt. Have you ever tried to get a recipe from my aunt? Of course you haven't. I'll tell you, it's hard. Italian women hoard recipes like Scrooge McDuck hoards gold. Even if you get one, you have to assume some type of sabotage is going on. For example, my aunt said this recipe calls for two teaspoons of baking powder. Apparently the real amount would be six teaspoons. Typical.

Despite this blatant act of subversion, the cookies came out pretty good. Here's what you need:

  • Two pounds of flour
  • SIX teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • Four eggs
  • One cup of milk
  • One cup of canola oil
  • Three packets of vanilla powder. Apparently these have been a staple in my pantry my whole life and I've never known what they were for. Maybe you can substitute vanilla extract if you can't find them. I don't know, I'm not a chef. 
To my knowledge, here's what you need to do:

1. Dump the flour in a large bowl and make a well. Add the baking powder to the flour and mix. Immediately doubt yourself and call your mother. She'll tell you you should have put the eggs in first. Shrug your shoulders and move on.

2. Add the eggs, milk, oil and vanilla packets. Remember sugar was supposed to be in there and add that too. Stare at the mess you've created and assume you have made a terrible mistake.

Is that right? It doesn't look right.

3. Get your hands in there and start mixing it up, incorporating the flour gradually. Wonder why it's gray. Panic slightly when your hands get stuck in the organic glue you accidentally created and briefly ponder if there's a patent on edible glue. Call your mother again.

4. Turn your glue out on a floured board and let your mother's magic hands fix everything, or just knead until it looks like this:

Now we're in business.

5. Take a break. Making cookies is hard work.

Yeah, I take cookie breaks while I make cookies

6. Cut a strip of your dough, and then cut that strip into rough thirds. Dust with a little flour and shape your dough into your preferred cookie shape (if you don't have a preferred cookie shape, reexamine your life). Remember, your cookies will grow, probably a lot more than mine because I graciously told you the proper amount of baking powder. Brush the tops with water because I read that somewhere and sprinkle with a little more sugar. Then space the cookies out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and put it in the oven at 375 degrees. Oh yeah, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Pro-tip: don't use a dark baking sheet. One of my batches were on a dark sheet and those burned really fast. I gave those to my family.

7. Bake until you remember you put cookies in the oven (I think about 25-30 minutes), or until they're golden. Let cool, or eat them straight out of the oven and destroy your mouth, it's your life. Store in an airtight container and eat them every morning until you're sick of them! Just kidding, you can't get sick of these humble little guys. Enjoy! 


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