A random, eclectic mix of thoughts, feelings, observations, and experiences – LIFE

Archive for December, 2012

Pillow Cookies!

I just came across this recipe. Actually, I think the universe sent it to me. Or me to it? I don’t know, but I HAVE to make these babies! YUM!

What are pillow cookies, you ask? Cookies with brownies inside? Madness, I know. The kind of madness you just have to have. Or I do. Whatever. This is one limb I don’t mind going out on all by myself.

Just in case you wanna be there with me, I’m sharing the recipe. I’m THAT confident that it’s gonna be awesome. Sharing the recipe before I even try it.

1 package brownie mix

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 oz. bag miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

Make brownies according to package and let cool. Cut about ten 1 inch squares. Enjoy the remaining brownies. (I used a pan about 8 X 8)

For the chocolate chip cookie dough, beat butter with a mixer until creamy.

Add brown sugar and beat until smooth.

Add eggs, yolk and vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Combine flour, baking powder, soda and salt in a medium bowl and stir together with a wire whisk.

Add flour to butter mixture and beat until combined. Stir in mini chips.

Let dough chill covered in the refrigerator for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Use a measuring cup to scoop batter by the 1/2 cup. Since it’s chilled, you may need to pack it with a spoon. Then use the spoon to remove the dough from the cup and place it on parchment paper. Work quickly so the dough remains chilled or either prepare one cookie at a time so the rest of the dough remains cold.

After the dough is on the parchment paper, make an indention and place a 1 inch square brownie in the center. Press the brownie down gently and work the remaining dough around the brownie. You can use your hands to shape the dough into a ball.

During this step, I found it easier to use a piece of parchment paper as a work surface since the dough can get sticky and then I used another piece of parchment paper for the baking sheet. If your dough gets too soft, you can chill the rolled dough balls for a few minutes right before baking.

Prepare six cookies at a time using a large baking sheet (15 X 20) and bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. Return the remaining dough to the refrigerator until time to bake the second batch.

Cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes about ten cookies using a little less than a 1/2 cup of dough for each cookie.

If your cookies start to get too brown before they are done baking, you can place a sheet of aluminum foil over top for the last few minutes.

I got this recipe from Bakerella.com. You MUST visit that website for more greatness, and to see the beauty of these pillow cookies.

You’re welcome!

Come across any awesome recipes lately? Share ’em!


Wordless Wednesday: Authenticity


One of Those Days

It’s one of those days. You know the ones, don’t you? They follow a less than great night. You wake up with bits and pieces from a day gone by lingering… You’re wondering. Questioning. Over-thinking. Being super critical.

How is it so easy to hurt the ones closest to us? The ones we love the most? How is it that we could be so careless with our words and actions? How are we so fragile, but expect others to be rock solid all the time?

I guess I’m going through a period of self-evaluation. It sucks, really. To look at all the areas I suck in, and the more embarrassing things I’ve said and done.

Some things, even things we despise, suddenly become the norm. Things like little white lies. There’s nothing I hate more than lies. They just make things so difficult. They make it hard to trust people. They make everything grey when you’d just prefer black and white. People lie for various reasons. To keep secrets, to save face, to spare feelings, to save money… But are those really reasons or excuses? Do you think it’s fair to be judged based on such lies? Are they worth it?

You know what else sucks? Feeling like you have to censor yourself. Like you have to carefully choose what you say and what you don’t say. Or what you allow others to hear you say. What you all them to see you do. Because you know judgment will follow. Or you run the risk of being snapped at, or being told, “Hey, I don’t really care about what you have to say, mkay?”

I’m rambling now, and I know it. It’s because the two things on my mind are sort of linked, but only through one particular experience. I guess I’m taking some time to figure out what matters. How does saving $50 match up to someone regarding you as a liar? Does it matter?

Do you ever feel like some people look at you, and all they see is that one thing? The thing you fight, or maybe you don’t… The thing that isn’t particularly admirable and isn’t necessarily a part of who YOU (really) are, but is still there… How does that make you feel? What can you do about it?

And how the hell do you fight through days like this and put up a front, making it seem like you’re fine and everything is lovely?

End Rambling.

I wish I had a king-size pack of M&Ms (or two) and a can (or bottle) of icy cold Coca-Cola. I wish, I wish, I wish… *closes eyes really tight, then opens* No? None? Okay, fine.

Days of December

Hey, y’aaaaallllllllll!

It’s December, didn’t ya know?

People get excited about December, mostly because of the holidays. I think I’m pretty much over them. I like the days off and the food, but that’s about it. Well, no. I like giving and receiving prezzies too! I’m not so big on Santa everywhere, Christmas music all the time (especially since everyone plays the same 5 albums or so on rotation), increase in crime, and the dark evenings. But hey, gotta take the bad with the good, right? We can’t have it all.

December, for me, begins with celebration of my great-grandmother’s life. Her birthday was yesterday. She’s 93, healthy and happy. I don’t know if there are many other 93 year old people who drive, walk with assistance, clean, cook, etc., but she’s a member of that club. Longevity is definitely in the family. Her birthday has been bittersweet for her for the past four years since my grandfather died late in November and they shared a birthday. Yesterday, though, she didn’t show any sadness.

What’s left of the month… Weeks of craziness as people prepare for Christmas. It won’t be long before the mall (we only have one real mall here) is packed, the prices skyrocket, and traffic is unbearable. I’m not sure why people wait until the last minute to do everything. I guess it’s the thrill of the rush? I’m doing all of my (very minimal) shopping online. No lines, no crowds, no fighting over the last Baby Alive. Heaven!

We’re not doing much in our apartment this year. No tree or anything like that. We’re keeping it as inexpensive as possible. We are, after all, planning the party of the century, and that requires $$$$$. We’re saving hardcore so we have a fun, memorable wedding.

Christmas is always at my great-grandmother’s house. She says, this year (again), that she’s not doing anything big. Just the immediate family. Yeah, right! Just like every other year, it’ll be all the aunts and cousins. I don’t know who she thinks she’s fooling. Haha.

All I’m doing is making sure I’m as ahead of the game as possible, and prepared for what I know is ahead. Preparation! Operation Preparation!

How are you preparing for Christmas? Are you decorating? Have you started shopping? Have you set a budget? What are most excited about?