Monday, December 27, 2010

Getting Baked

In the spirit of the do-nothing week between Christmas and ringing in the New Year, I've been baking a lot. Since moving back to Toronto in September, I've been exploring my kitchen in a way I never really did when I lived alone - I'm sure having a boyfriend, who I love cooking for, totally helps, since when I say, "Hey, would you eat shrimp and rice and veggies?" he looks at me like a wolf looks at a baby sheep. That's what's known as motivation.

I love when all my ingredients are lined up on my kitchen counter (and balanced precariously on the toaster). My little third-floor kitchen is tiny, and constantly smells like our green bin, but it's also really cozy and has a pantry, which always makes a huge difference in workability. So I pull out all my ingredients and get to work making grilled cheese sandwiches, or omelets, or Big Salads, or fancy nachos, and I feel nice: I feel like I'm home.

Oh, I'm still a sucker for take-out...but being broke and unemployed also helps curb that expenditure. I went from a sushi/burrito/schwarma person to a girl who thrifts her way through No Frills, so cooking at home, along with being an educational and self-discovering process, is a financial no-brainer. Huge bunches of kale and bags of apples share fridge space with fake meat and loads of Coke Zero, the only vice I haven't been able to shake in the past few years.

But even though my burners are all ablaze and my pantry is stocked, my first love is always baking. From s'mores brownies, which I'm currently obsessed with, to Perry Good Cookies - originally named for a family friend in Calgary, now known as "Kaitlyn's cookies" to friends who agree that they are, bar none, the best cookies in the history of the world - to chocolate-chip banana muffins, preheating the oven and making something sweet and gooey is a great way to express affection, blow off steam, use up skanky bananas, impress your guests, or even play nice with the friends and family. In the spirit of the holidays, I give to you the recipe for Kaitlyn's Cookies, also known as Perry Good Cookies, also known as "are you making those cookies? GOOD. They complete me. You're okay too."

The Best Cookies Anywhere, Ever
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
1 cup butter/margarine
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
  • Mix
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 baking powder
  • Mix!
2 1/2 cups oats (this is one of those things that always tweaks me out. I've made them with everything from instant oatmeal to the classic 15-minute business, and they all seem to work fine.)
1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional, and sort of unnecessary)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (or more!)
  • Mix, and place 1/2 inch balls (ha) on a baking sheet. These are flat cookies, so leave some space between them, since they'll spread as they bake. Bake 12-15 minutes, and cool on a plate or wire rack. I have no idea how many cookies this recipe makes, since I always eat a good amount of cookie dough, but I would say probably a couple dozen, at least.
So make these for someone you like, or want to impress, or want to fatten up. Alternately, just stuff the whole shebang into your mouth and pretend this is a good idea. And Merry Belated Christmas.

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