Snow Day = Cookie Day!

Snowmageddon keeps hitting St. Louis. Over and over. What to do when it looks like a small mess of people might be trapped in your house? Get them all sugared up and then it will seem at least a little bit more fun than getting stuck in a paper bag.

My first stop- allrecipes.com, my go-to site for all things baking and cooking… especially when I don’t know what I am doing. This was my first time making chocolate chip cookies, and I stumbled across a recipe that called for adding a package of vanilla pudding to the cookies. I didn’t have vanilla, but I *did* have cheesecake flavored pudding and white chocolate flavored pudding hanging out in the cabinet.

My very pregnant best friend, who was staying a few nights during a trip to St. Louis, voted for the cheesecake pudding. In her words, “Either one will be good, but if you try the cheesecake you may have something amazing.” Trust the pregnant lady when it comes to sweet inventions… she is, after all, the one dipping everything in your fridge in a tub of leftover chocolate icing (true story).

It’s too good not to share!

Sugar rushes make everything seem more fun.

It’s A Snow Day So Let’s Cram Everything Sweet in Our Mouths, Chocolate Chips Cookies (adapted from someone’s Mom’s Chocolate Chip Cookies)
Yields 24

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened just to the point of melting
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 (3.5 ounce) package instant cheesecake pudding mix
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons milk

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add pudding mix, eggs, vanilla and milk. Combine flour and baking soda. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned.

 

On Baking and Being Neighborly

The implements

In what could be a sad commentary on what it is like to be my neighbor, I recently had to ask around to make sure delivering cookies to neighbors didn’t make me look like a weirdo who wants to poison their children or someone who is is looking for an in to start peddling Amway products. The answer was a resounding no from all who responded, so I decided that baking twelve dozen cookies to disperse throughout our new ‘hood was ok, and wouldn’t put me on some neighborhood weirdo watch list.

I started the baking on Saturday night, just before Snowmageddon 2010 struck St. Louis. I got all the fixins for Gooey Butter Cookies, Chocolate Mint Cookies, Peppermint Bark, and Snickerdoodles. (All nut free recipes since I didn’t want to be the crazy lady who ruined Christmas for some unsuspecting neighbor child… who would surely take it out on Boogie in the future.)

What the neighbors may or may not have thrown in the trash

For me, the baking was the easy part. I threw on an apron and set about mixing, chopping, stirring, and finally using my pastry blender for it’s intended purpose. (It really is a handy stand-in for a potato masher.) The hard part was after I filled the tins and cut little parchment paper circles to keep the contents (which hopefully didn’t end up in the trash) fresh. I had to deliver them. The snow put a damper on car deliveries I had planned to make to close friends – they get cookies, too. And that afternoon the winds were whipping the snow all over up in here.

Finally the blizzard abated, just after the sun set and of course right when The Simpsons came on. If you know me, you know that I get really nervous about meeting new people. I put on a good act though, so when I told the Mister I would just stay in with the baby and let him do all the delivering, he balked and told me that not only was this whole thing my idea, but some random dude delivering cookies really would put us on all those watch lists. I bundled up Boogie in her snowsuit a’la Randy, made the Mister put on a pair of shoes that weren’t covered in paint, and headed out with my canvas bag of cookies. We stopped by the neighbors houses, and yes it was kinda painful since we just moved in a few months ago, but I felt really good about it after after the feeling returned to my toes. (Lesson learned: canvas tennis shoes in the snow is never a good idea.)

I had never heard of Gooey Butter cookies before, and haven’t really heard much from them since trying them the first time. I guess they are the strong silent type, or since Gooey Butter Cake is a St. Louis thing that may explain it. But I really thought it was an easy, delicious recipe… and perfect for making massive quantities for say a brunch (and yes, I am serving these at our family’s Christmas brunch). I thought it would be fun to pass along the recipe and share the gooey butter lovin’s with all of you who haven’t had the opportunity to dump my cookies in your own trash can.

Dusted and ready to eat

Gooey Butter Cookies
(yield 4 dozen)

Ingredients
1 stick sweet cream butter
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 package yellow cake mix
1 pkg cream cheese
1 bowl powdered sugar (for dipping)

Directions: Beat butter, vanilla, egg & cream cheese until light and fluffy. Mix in dry cake mix. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly coat cookie sheet with cooking spray. Form 1 tsp of dough into a ball. Roll in powdered sugar until coated. Bake 12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Let cool and serve (they are especially good when served cold from the fridge).

I would be happy to send along the other recipes if you are interested as well. Just drop me an email!