Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Beat the Flu Chocolate Mint Cookies

I work in a rather large medical institution, for a department that only treats the employees. With the recent Swine Flu hysteria, we've been making a lot of soothing noises and doing nasal-pharyngeal aspirates. The former to reassure that no one has the flu, and the latter to prove it.

Understandably, my colleagues are on the edge of our own hysteria, so I decided to boost morale and make cookies. That's my MO - When things get stressful, I bake.

Well! I was pondering this morning what I had, and I realized I was out of chocolate chips! Travesty! So I sidled over to Epicurious and did a search for "chocolate cookies". Well, there were many tempting results, but most of them demanded chocolate chips or sweetened chocolate – of which I had neither! Finally, I came across this little number. Bingo! I had all of the ingredients, and more importantly, it was quick and I had the time to do it.

Then, as I was assembling, I made some minor changes, so I'll repost the recipe with my alterations here. The over-all result was surprisingly light and cakey with a bright mint aftertaste, all without losing the darkness of the chocolate. We made a pot of coffee and took a moment to enjoy a cup with our cookies. I hope these go over as well for you as they did with my coworkers!

Beat the Flu Chocolate Mint Cookies
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
*1 tbsp dried mint flakes [once measured, crush into a fine powder in your palm, using your thumb. Who needs a mortar and pestle!?]

1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) salted butter, softened
*1/2 cup raw cane sugar
*1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and crushed mint flakes in a medium bowl.

In a separate bowl, beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until pale and fluffy, then beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.

Drop level tablespoons of dough about 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets and bake in batches in middle of oven until puffed and set, about 12 minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool.

*A few notes: The original recipe called for 1 Cup of sugar. When baking with chocolate, I generally like to mix my sugars. I find that using half brown sugar makes a fudgy, rich taste. In this case, I had recently run out of granulated sugar, so had only brown and cane.

I added the mint flakes to fulfill a promise that they would be minty. V. glad that I did!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

heavens to betsy.

My upcoming exciting times:

    April 25/26:
    Farmers Market and breakfast w RS, Nina and Bizzy.
    Matinee showing of Bye Bye, Birdie at Fort Meade High w Rosemary.
    Janna's Dirty Thirty pub crawl.
    Bed, sleep, drool.
    Brunch w the gang.

    May 1-3
    Fly to Ohio for cousin Henry's fiance's bridal shower.
    Make cake for shower?
    Saturday: Ooh and Aah over gifts. Hang out with other cousins.
    Sunday: fly back home.

    May 9/10
    Cynthia's birthday party?
    Mothers day

    May 16/17
    Delaware for Highland Games [beefy kilted men throwing logs? WELL I DON'T MIND IF I DO.]
    Celebrate my birthday with the folks.
    Carrol County Farm Museum for BLACKSMITH DAYS w pops.

    May 19 - MY BIRTHDAY!

    May 23
    Birthday party? 24 omg!

    June 4th
    June 7th
    baby shower [not mine].

I'm exhausted already.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

taxes again.

So, I'll tell you what I won't be protesting this year. Taxes. I pays 'em without complaint, because, for me, it's not about my money being sucked away, it's about making the world I live in nicer.

So. There you go.

Friday, April 10, 2009

the microsoft discount

this is a really fantastic article about the mac to pc spec comparisons going around.

i do know windows. i am forced to use a windows machine every day at work, and i go home to my old little emac with its 300 megs of memory and i sigh with happiness. yes, it's slow. yes, it's CRT. but dude, it does what i want how i want and makes sense.

so, i'm a mac user. always have been, always will be. yes, i'm having to save up forever for a new laptop, but it's worth it to me. one day i'll have my little macbook with 300 gigs of memory, and it'll be fast, and it'll be a flat screen. and that's fine. i'm not in a hurry.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

poetry repost

Just looking over my older stuff. I found this in some things I wrote in 2004.

Eagle Butte

we mourned together, you and i
in those ruins, by that tree.
pages were everywhere and nothing was left

the quiet, fierce wind blew my hair in my eyes and you laughed
on the prairie, smelling sage and the sweet-hot liver someone offered to the eagles
to the butte
tobacco strings and rock piles

and you, dear, shook me like a handful of blossoms
the paper you picked from the bushes and ran
to me
scattering violent drops behind you

the colors bled
purple into red into a black
night sky
and we smiled, the moonlight glowing bright on our teeth

thats the way, you said
over the hill there, we can see eternity

i'm still waiting.