Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cookie Monster!

The universe was calling to me.

I mentioned my favorite cookies, "Black and Whites," in my most recent posting and then a cousin of mine sent me an email requesting a favorite recipe.

Also in the mix was the fact that my wife and I had visited two Dunkin Donut restaurants recently, one during our trip to Ithaca last week and another when we went to the movies the other day, trying to get a cup of hot chocolate.  We were rebuffed by both places, "No hot chocolate...we're out!"  They had coffee, but we wanted chocolate.

So, now I have that craving going and a fear that we'll never get another hot chocolate at a Dunkin Donut's shop again...what's with that?

So, here's what I figured.  I have to get the recipe out, I want something chocolate, and I all ready mentioned my favorite cookies...it was all a go!

The recipe is simple...and this is a double batch so I get about 16 cookies.

Mix 2 1/2 cups of flour with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of salt.  Set aside for a minute.

Mix 2/3 cup of buttermilk with 1 teaspoon of vanilla.  Set aside for a minute.

Mix together 8 tablespoons of softened butter (1 stick), 1 cup of sugar and 2 eggs.  Beat the butter and sugar together first, until well blended and then add the eggs.

Now, start adding a little of the dry flour mixture to the butter/sugar/egg mixture, then add a little of the buttermilk/vanilla mixture.  

Keep alternating adding dry/wet until all is added and beat well for about 3 minutes.

Butter a couple of baking sheets (I do that by taking a paper towel and rubbing about a tablespoon of butter across each sheet).  Then, drop about 1/4 cup of the mixture onto a sheet to make one cookie.  Repeat and fit as many on one sheet as you can, leaving about two inches between each.

Did I mention you should have the oven heated to 350 degrees?

Pop them in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes.

Repeat until you have used up all of the dough.

They have to get off that baking sheet quickly when done.

Scoop them right off the sheet with a flipper and place them on a cooling rack.

I use a simple icing to finish them off.

In a bowl, beat together 1 pound of confectioner's sugar, 1 stick of softened butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 1 teaspoon of salt.  I add about 3 or 4 tablespoons of milk, depending on how loose I want the icing to be.  You can add as little or as much milk as you like.  That makes a full bowl of white icing.

I then frost one half of each cookie with white frosting.   I use about half of the white frosting and leave the rest in the bowl to transform it to chocolate

I then take about two tablespoons of butter and melt it in a pan.  I add 1/4 cup of Hershey's Chocolate Powder to the butter, stir until moistened and then add that to the frosting that remains.  Beat it well and it all turns to chocolate frosting.

Then, I frost the other half of the cookies and voila!  Black and White cookies!!!

I love these cookies and have to remember that I can't eat six of them at one time, as I used to.

In my college days, there was a bakery across the street and they made awesome Black and White cookies.  I'd buy three or four, with a cup of coffee, and that was breakfast.

When we were at Dunkin Donuts, I spied their chocolate glazed donuts...they looked good, too.  But, no hot chocolate, no donuts.  We left depressed.

But, not to worry, the Black and Whites on my table are making up for it.

I have to admit that I am a bit of a cookie monster and my mind is usually in several places at one time.

In making reference to our favorite Sesame Street character, and cookies, I thought of a painting I had done on Monhegan Island many years ago (see how my mind wanders?).

During one painting trip to Monhegan, we were having a critique, after a day of painting, and Fred Wiley was sitting in with us.  He had befriended our leader and joined us for some of our artistic endeavors on Monhegan, as he lived there.

Here's a short piece about Fred who was a Monhegan main-stay, a great artist and wonderful wit:


Fred Wiley
After all of this, here's what I'm getting to.

I put up this painting and awaited an educated critique.

During the sessions, people might talk about use of color, tones, the drawing, the painting technique, the actual place chosen for the picture, or any myriad of things that deserved (or maybe not) attention.

The idea of the critique was to provide a place for constructive criticism, in the hopes of making the art or the artist better.

Here's my painting:

The first thing I heard was Fred's quick remark!

Cookie Monster!

I looked at him and he pointed out the eyes (windows) and the big mouth (you can almost see its tonsils)!

Everyone laughed so hard...there was nothing more to say about this one.  Each time I see this painting, I'm reminded of Fred, of Monhegan, and the fact that it's time to make cookies, cookies, cookies!!!


  1. If the freezing rain keeps up down here and the power goes out, I may have to use them as fire starters for the wood stove!