Thursday, February 13, 2014

I'm a Wretched Person and There's Nothing These Cookies Can Do to Change That

I feel awful. We just had a major snowfall which dumped over a foot of snow onto our small neighborhood of townhomes. My husband was out early this morning shoveling the sidewalk in front of our home and around our cars. And since he's such a nice guy he shoveled for the single woman who lives in the townhouse to our right. Sometime in the afternoon, the plow came and took care of all the snow that was in the middle of the street. An hour or so later I saw a couple of neighbors shoveling around their cars. One gentleman started taking small amounts of snow into his shovel and putting it into the street. I saw him pause after each scoop and staring at it as if reevaluating his method. After another couple of scoops into the street, I decided to lift the window of my bedroom from which I watched the scene below, and "tactfully" suggest that perhaps the newly-plowed street wasn't the best place to dump the snow, and I offered our yard if he needed a place to leave the snow.
I wasn't rude about it, but I'm certain he knew I wasn't thrilled with his decision. I told my husband as much, which is when he said that the street is where he put his snow when he was shoveling out the cars. After a little while I looked out the window to see that the gentleman had gone back into his house, job undone, and I began to feel guilty. I decided to apologize for pointing fingers from the cushy position of one who shoveled exactly zero scoops of snow today, but I didn't want to make the apology empty-handed. So, I made him some cookies and brought them over. Well, he came to the door and I told him how sorry I was and handed him the cookies. He graciously accepted my apology, told me I was being too hard on myself, and then proceeded to tell me that he has cancer and really shouldn't have been out there in the first place, because he couldn't lift the snow. Yup. I hassled a man suffering from cancer about where he was putting his snow in the middle of a snowstorm. I don't think I'm going to be getting over this one for months. Or years.

This is a darn good recipe, if I do say so myself, and it's become one of Shawn's favorites, even though he has almost no sweet tooth whatsoever. And it's a great Winter cookie because it's so hearty. But it's still not good enough to redeem me.

Big and Chunky Winter Cookies
by Janna Patterson of Eats and Beats

makes approximately 16 large cookies

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp 
1 cup brown sugar (dark if you really like molasses) 
1/2 cup white sugar
2 large eggs 
1-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
1 3/4 cups oats 
1 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon baking soda 
2 big handfuls of semi-sweet or dark chocolate chunks 
1 big handful of sweetened, shredded coconut
1 big handful of dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Cream the butter and sugar, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Scrape the edge of the bowl and then mix in vanilla until evenly distributed. 
In a separate bowl combine all the dry ingredients minus the chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and shredded coconut. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones gradually, just until fully combined. Add the three remaining ingredients and mix just until evenly distributed. 
Scoop up the dough with a 1/4 cup measuring cup and onto a cookie sheet. These are big mamas. Bake until they JUST start to turn golden, and pull them out (because cookies with oats can feel dry easily, so you want them to underbake a bit.) This takes about 15 minutes in my oven, but every oven is different. Allow them to cool for at least 5-10 minutes before munching so that the form will hold.
Happy eating, and may you be less of a jerk than I am. 

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