Wednesday, December 17, 2008


I don't like to bake. Do you? And as far as baking goes, cookies to me are the ABSOLUTE worst---I mean really---one batch in, out to cool, repeat, and repeat and REPEAT.

So, internet, why today am I in the mood to make COOKIES? I am clueless as to how my addled brain gets these nutty ideas. I am sure I'll regret the cookie making of 2008 before the day is over.

So, tell me, what are some of your favorite cookie recipes? I know, I know, chocolate chip....M & M, Oatmeal......but really, people, what is your favorite NON-BASIC cookies? Here are the ones I'm thinking of tackling today:

Graham cracker toffee (toffee-ish candy over graham crackers)
Mint thins (ritz crackers dipped in minty chocolate with candy canes crushed on them)
Forgotten Cookies (meringue cookies)
Maybe some oatmeal, choc chip, cranberry cookies?

I've already made the graham cracker toffee--it's the easiest thing in the WORLD to make....and it's generally pretty popular!!

1 and 1/2 sticks butter (BUTTER not margarine)oh, and I use salted.....I know baking pros always say use UN salted, but I always have salted in the house, so that is what I use.
3/4 c brown sugar
1 t vanilla
3/4 chopped pecans or almonds (optional)
graham crackers.

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil (ease of cleaning only)
spray foil w non-stick spray (lightly)
line entire cookie sheet with graham crackers

melt butter and sugar into a heavy bottomed saucepan over med heat. Boil and stir for 2 minutes.

After 2 minutes, remove from heat, add nuts and vanilla BE CAREFUL---VANILLA CAUSES THIS VOLATILE MIXTURE TO BUBBLE AND POP----stir in well.

pour brown sugar mixture over all graham crackers

bake in 350 oven for 10 minutes.

Let cool completely, break into random pieces and serve.

HELLOOOOO---can it be any easier? Or yummier? Today, I added chocolate chips to a third of them and let them melt. We'll see if this adds or detracts from the toffee goodness of the originals. Toffee is my absolute favorite candy--so these are one of my all time favorites. That and the forgotten grandma Winnie made them every year...and they were always my favorite.

Okay---office gifts. Mr. Perfectly has to come up with 15 (maybe 13) office gifts. He wanted to get embroidered polo shirts for everyone---with the name of their group on it. Well---the budget won't allow THAT, so we are back to square one. He wants to get something 'DIFFERENT' every year, so we are running out of ideas.

I had an idea, and so far he's ignored me.......we could get a bunch of dried beans and spices and make those 'soup in a jar' type of recipes. Then in a homey/kitchy way, type up a cooking recipe, attach to the jar of goods, and let the people add their own water, stock or leftover turkey (or whatever) you think that's too stupid? Cheap? Backwoods?

We can't spend alot, and this would be reflective of him, since we do cook alot...and enjoy it.....(hey, I'm grasping here).

I NEED IDEAS!!! 5 bucks and under. No alcohol. No popcorn tins, coffee mugs or baked goods. No pens, ornaments or anything ELSE that is feasible, because he'd be REPEATING it (she pulls her HAIR OUT).

Okay, I want your favorite cookies and cheap gift ideas. BRING IT ON, PEOPLE!!!

Toodles, for now.


Kristen said...

Listen, easiest thing in the world and they are totally delish!

get a bag of pretzel snaps, you know, the square pretzels. Snyder's makes them.

get a bag of m&m's and a bag of chocolate melting wafers.

Get a baking sheet and put a wafer on top of each pretzel and put in the oven just enough to melt the chocolate a little bit. Pull them out and stick the m&ms on top of the melty chocolate.


So easy and so yummy!

Perfectly Shelly said...

OH!! OH!! OH!! (that's my Horseshack impression)......I've got a SIMILAR one, that is awesome to the MAX (yes, I am an 80's girl).

small pretzel twists
a bunch of rolo candies
pecan halves

lay out the pretzels on a baking sheet---top each pretzel with a rolo candy. Put in 200 degree oven for like 2 minutes--just long enought to soften the candy. Press a pecan into the rolo and let sit (or in the fridge for faster setting).....and VIOLA!!!!!!! You have a turtle.....sort of. And they are the best thing EVER.....maybe even better than toffee.

MsDarkstar said...

I LOVE to bake! If I had the space (and didn't fear morphing into Jabba the Hutt), I would bake ALL THE TIME!

Daisee579 said...

Can you believe I spent the entire day at work with no internets?? Something about possible virus/hackers, so they blocked the internet all day. I still can't believe I survived.

I love the idea of your toffee candies/cookies. They sound fab. Since I'm suddenly hosting family for the holidays, I'll give em a try. And those Rolo pretzel things? YUM-O!

As for Mr.'s work gifts? I got nothing. The polos sound like a great idea, so I'm sorry they're not in the budget. The soup in a jar actually sounds kind of neat - especially if you guys are known for your cooking. Fun little way to share with the office.

But I'm a bit of a dork, so what do I really know???

Perfectly Shelly said...

Kristen, I made your pretzel m & m things, and YUM! I had to improvise, because my store didn't have melting wafers. I used Toll House chocolate chunks......

MsD--Cooking? Love to cook, real food, but baking? no patience for the precision and TIME it takes.

Daisee---Oh, the toffee stuff? The best---The rolo pretzel things are always my kids' favorite.

Kristen said...

OMG! I am sooo gonna try that rolo thing! Great idea!

I'm glad the chocolate chunks work too. That saves me from making a trip to the candy making store.

Kristen said...

I freaking love Horseshack.