Cheerful cookies to celebrate the season.
I am not by nature a rule-breaker. I never sneaked out of the house as a teenager. I’ve had one speeding ticket in 15 years of driving. I don’t think I have intentionally skipped a homework assignment in my life. I can count on one hand the number of house parties I went to as a college freshman. Mostly, this is because I’m the squarest and shyest person you’ll ever meet. It’s also because, while I never gave my parents heartache over boys on motorcycles or cigarettes smoked behind the house, I stayed busy making their lives miserable with an eating disorder.
But that’s not the point. The point is, I’m the last person you’d expect to find not following the instructions. However, I also have a lazy streak. (Just look at my apartment. I’m the only 29-year-old with a nightlight, because I’ve nearly killed myself tripping over crud on the floor in the middle of the night.) And that lazy streak means I usually melt my butter instead of taking the time to cream a room-temperature stick into the sugar. I don’t let my eggs come to room temperature before beating them into the batter. I use my mini food processor to chop cranberries and nuts instead of whacking at them with a knife or a hand-chopper. I avoid like the plague recipes that require chilling the dough.
Sometimes, though, I actually want something to turn out like the pictures. I’ve never had too much of a problem with flat cookies, even though melted butter is meant to be the kiss of death, but I’ve never ended up with particularly thick and puffy ones either. When I meticulously followed the recipe for the much-ballyhooed New York Times chocolate chip cookie recipe, the chilled dough did indeed produce cookies with rich, melded flavors and a thick crumb.
Seeing as these cookies were destined for Christmas delivery to my best friend, I decided to actually go by the recipe. And you know what? My cookies came out as round and happy as Santa’s bowlful-of-jelly stomach. They looked great, especially after I stuck a few extra mini M&Ms on top before baking.
It was also the first time I’d made pudding-mix cookies, and that’s something I think I’ll try again. I’m not yet convinced that blending black beans into brownies will really create a taste sensation, but yes – I’m now a pudding convert.