But today, I offer a different type of sweets. I'm going to give up one of my best recipes. (NO, NOT the recipe and method for the cake at the bottom of this post! Be a grownup and wait for your birthday, then demand I show up with it! Sheesh, you people are such troublesome little licorice snappers!) I'm doing it because we all know I love to cook (even if I do live in a weird little arrangement with limited access to a real kitchen at the moment) and to support a fun cookie contest on this cooking blog, offered in the holiday spirit of my good friend Brooke. Please click there after you look over the recipe and vote for whoever, whatever flips your skirt. But do remember who'll be putting the stamp on your holiday card this season. Or not.
At this time of year, I love to make cookies and indulge my friends' sweet tooths. I've been known to do this in many forms, but by far the most popular one is a known as "Marti's Best Oatmeal Candy Cookies," and you're about to find out why. When I lived in Los Angeles (*sigh), I made these in large numbers and delivered them with a bit of chocolate coconut chews, spiced nuts, over-sized triple fudge brownies and the like to friends. And those I wished to befriend. One fellow took particular childlike joy in wolfing down his almost before they were out of my hands! It was a little alarming at times. Made me somewhat glad I'd carefully cleaned all the cookie dough out from under my nails before I ventured out on that cold winter night. Considering the amount of sugar, candy and general calories in them, I don't know how he got to sleep. Ever. But... not my problem! His lovely wife mentioned them the other day, so I gave her the recipe. Now I'm giving it to you. And with a more accurate name.
EX-treme Chocolate and Toffee Chunk Cookies: Makes 4 dozen substantial (Ok, HUGE) cookies Sift together:
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt Cream well: (FIRE UP THE KITCHENAID!)
2 cups butter
1 1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla Add the sifted flour mixture to the creamed butter.
Mix in 3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal. (That "instant" stuff isn't going to hold up to these cookies. Old-fashioned, please! Like the sturdier stuff we are made of!) Next, turn off the KitchenAid and add:
1 1/2 -to- 2 cups dried cherries or craisins
2 cups chopped chocolate bars (I use leftover halloween candy, Hershey bars, Ghirardelli bars. I draw the line at Guittard and other snotty brands. That's ridiculously expensive. But at all costs, DO NOT USE "CHIPS" of any sort!)
1 1/2 -to-2 cups chopped SKOR bars. (Buy a big box at Sam's or Costco. Heath bars also work well.)
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Don't over mix. Just get it all in the bowl and try to turn it on slowly so the stuff doesn't fly out and try to combine it. Now, form this stuff into logs. They should be about two inches. Get out the plastic wrap, pile it on in log shape, wrap it up and give it a few rolls on the counter to even out the bumps.
Put the dough in the fridge to chill for 3-6 hours or more. Overnight is good. Take the evening off and have some fun. Go to a movie. Watch a DVD. Smooch someone you love. (*sigh)
When you're ready to bake, cut the slices about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick, and sorta smoosh them down a little. These are huge cookies, about 4 inches across and close to 3/4 thick. I'm sure you don't want YOUR friends and loved ones to enjoy anything less. Make sure you bake them on parchment or the silicone sheets. With all the extras, they are pretty much as billed: candy with some cookie bits stuck in there. Which means, they can really stick to a pan and WE HATE CLEANUP.
Bake them at 350 degrees for about ten minutes to start. Don't overcook, but I like mine done. I don't know how you like your cookies. So make them and find out. Meantime, NO, I don't happen to have any pictures of these cookies or making them. Since some of you are new here, let me explain, we're mostly about PEOPLE AS SUSTENANCE here at this blog. So I offer you a few other pictures. Seen inside the freezer of a man I once dated:
Peter Pan Lives!!!!! I said I once dated him, didn't I? Birthday cake, a very few minutes after assembly: