Sunday, January 9, 2011

How to Hide Your Cookies

My cookies are legendary, even if just in my own mind.

They originally were from a recipe I found online.  The trick with recipes like that is to try them a couple times, first following the recipe literally, then adding ingredients as you see fit.

Chocolate Chip Cookies are not everyone's favorite, and the recipe was originally a cookie without chips.  The chips were added by accident and a cottage industry was born.  I add extra Vanilla and some Pecans in a ratio of 2 parts Chocolate to 1 part Pecan by weight.

The specific recipe I use is a clone of the Mrs Fields recipe, and I'll let you go search for it.  I may have even listed it here.  A lot of the fun of baking is for a person to find a new favorite, and trust me "my" recipe is still online.

The thing is that when I get to my recipe, I add twice the amount of vanilla, all those chips and nuts and usually I bake it with home churned butter since it only takes an extra 5 minutes to prep.  Most commercial foods are using the "least common denominator" of  the cheapest ingredients they can get away with.  Since I'm making them a batch at a time, I can bake with what I like, and it shows.  Anyone who enjoys what they are making will have the same results, an excellent piece of pie, loaf of bread, or chocolate chip pecan cookie.

When I make the recipe, it makes up around 5 pounds of cookies which I roll into 1 pound rolls and freeze or chill to slice and bake the next day.  Slice and bake saves a lot of time trying to make 32 to 16 cookies per pound.  Trying to do it with a tablespoon is just painfully slow.

So I had a visitor who had my cookies once before and I had promised her some.  We never seemed to mesh our times of my baking and her visit.  The one time I hit gold - cookies plus my friend visited at the same time.  She's a wonderful person who I have worked with here in town on Volunteer efforts and I truly enjoy her company.  We both talk too much so when I have her on the phone, a short call is 30 minutes.  Visits are much better anyway.

As we chatted about the cookies that I had pulled out of the oven the day before, she told me that she didn't know how she'd get them in the house and past her hungry husband and daughter who was there for a visit.  With a twinkle in my eye, I told her I knew how.

Leading her to the kitchen I opened a cabinet and pulled out my secret weapon of cookie stealth, a nondescript plastic plain yogurt container, 32 ounces.

That boring bit of plastic was just the ticket.  If you raid the refrigerator, you just aren't going to say "Hmm, plain yogurt! It's just what I want!", are you?  It usually is one of the last things you will have as a snack, even if you are like me and like yogurt.  Add some fruit and some honey and we may be onto something, but usually it's a safe place to hide your valuables in the house.  Look at the back of your refrigerator shelves and you'll see that is where all the "boring" food goes to hide.

Stuffing as many cookies as I could possible stuff into a small space, I sent her on her way home with a smile on our faces.

She was able to enjoy a cookie a day for some time all the while with that boring plastic store brand container of "plain yogurt" sitting there in the back of the refrigerator and nobody being the wiser.

If you're trying to hide something in plain sight, that may be the ticket, boring food containers.  You just may be able to have your cookies and eat them too.

I recommend having the cookies with some coffee, it really brings out the chocolate flavor!

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