Thursday, August 23, 2007


Behold my very first married-person cookies. Instead of disinfecting the guest bathroom or working on my book proposal or in any way feverishly attempting to save my immortal soul, I was doing this.

The dough was churned by my mother's sparkly hand-me-down KitchenAid mixer, shaped with a space shuttle cutter purchased by my mother-in-law, baked on wedding present cookie sheets, cooled on racks from the registry list, and iced with a knife from the flatware set two high school friends gave us.

Other people own me.

I made the icing. The icing has the consistency of Elmer's paste, the kind in the pot, and would have been vastly improved by large amounts of liquor. I settled for food coloring.

It was a largely successful operation, although the icing application met with horrific property damage. In all I lost two nose cones, a set of main engines, four left rudders, and a propeller. I suck at wifing. At the very least, I need to find career paths with less breakable edges. Like crop circle creation.

Josh the Pilot and I would like to invite all of The Readers to our wedding by uploading some of our DVD highlights, but I am searching for the best method of ripping from the disk. WMP disdains my laptop. Pfffffffffffft, WMP says, and flips it off. Suggestions?

I would send you a cookie, but given the carnage we've experienced so far, it would likely arrive as a depressing mash of sucrose.

don't even want to know what's going to happen when I try the horse cookie cutter at:


kelebek }{ said...

I like the plane ones.
Isn't it funny how they never turn out the way they look in the cookbook or the magazine? I wonder who actually cooks those things.

mike's still waiting said...

BLEG TO THE COMPETENT: Josh the Pilot and I would like to invite all of The Readers to our wedding by uploading some of our DVD highlights, but I am searching for the best method of ripping from the disk. WMP disdains my laptop. Pfffffffffffft, WMP says, and flips it off. Suggestions?

Did we ever get the SMC reading from January condensed?

Carrie said...

This is why they have bakeries. Trust me - I suck at "wifely" things, but he still loves me and because I'm the only one who can find his wallet he needs me. :-)

MissDirected said...

I'm glad you said those were shuttle cookies (which I should have known probably, but whatever - it's early). I was sitting here looking at that picture wondering why there were airplanes and pink and blue christmas trees.

Tony Rossi said...

For glaze on her cookies, my grandmother used to melt chocolate, then add a little Imperial whiskey to the mix to give it a little kick. They were good.

red pill junkie said...

I'm sorry, but those space shuttle cookies look like... bells! :-(

But I'm sure they're tasty

Starnarcosis said...

BTW, did Upset Cereal Bowl ever find its parents?

Heather the reader in N.Virginia said...

I think it is wonderful that you made the attempt. It really is the thought that counts. And the ability to find the nearest bakery that does good cookies... Seriously, I've found that the mom-n-pop bakeries in the area will (for a small fee) take your cookie cutters and make cookies for you - alcoholic icing and all - then you can pretend to be really really good at wifely things like baking cookies!!

MB said...

Dissing of the awesome shuttle cookie cutter shall cease!

And no, the sad confused bowl continues in its illegitimate state.

Anonymous said...

There are a couple of bakeries represented at the Reston Farmer's Market. I would be glad to see if they are available for an intervention. Anon2

Anonymous said...

These might not be as susceptible to breakage:

Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies

The cookies are softer and more tender when made with unbleached flour that has a protein content of about 10.5 percent. Pillsbury or Gold Medal works best; King Arthur flour has a higher protein content (around 11.7 percent) and will result in slightly drier, cakier cookies. Do not discard the butter wrappers; they have just enough residual butter on them for buttering the bottom of the drinking glass used to flatten the dough balls. To make sure the cookies are flat, choose a glass with a smooth, flat bottom. Rolled into balls, the dough will keep in the freezer for up to 1 week. The baked cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Makes 2 dozen cookies 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (10 ounces), preferably Pillsbury or Gold Medal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon table salt
16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened but still firm (60 to 65 degrees)
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces), for rolling dough
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Adjust oven racks to upper- and lower-middle positions; heat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl; set aside.

2. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment or with hand mixer, beat butter, 1 cup granulated sugar, and brown sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl with rubber spatula as needed. Add egg and vanilla; beat at medium speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

3. Place sugar for rolling in shallow bowl. Fill medium bowl halfway with cold tap water. Dip hands in water and shake off excess (this will prevent dough from sticking to your hands and ensure that sugar sticks to dough). Roll heaping tablespoon dough into 1 1/2-inch ball between moistened palms; roll ball in sugar, then place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, moistening hands after forming each ball and spacing balls about 2 inches apart on baking sheet (you should be able to fit 12 cookies on each sheet). Using butter wrapper, butter bottom of drinking glass; dip bottom of glass in remaining sugar and flatten dough balls with bottom of glass until dough is about 3/4 inch thick.

4. Bake until cookies are golden brown around edges and just set and very lightly colored in center, 15 to 18 minutes, reversing position of cookie sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through baking time. Cool cookies on baking sheet about 3 minutes; using wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.

A little orange, lemon or lime zest can jazz things up a bit as well.

Abby the College Student said...

Hey, I got it. When I first saw it, I was going, "I didn't know they made shuttle cutters. How cool is that?" Yes, I read your blog just to reassure myself that I'm not the only one who is . . . differently awesome.

Anne said...

OK, MB, why is it that you have to bake cookies to be wifely? Why doesn't JTP have to bake cookies to be husbandly? My hubby is a better baker than I am, therefore he does the baking. Man, his cakes are the most moist and tender... He also does most of the cooking and housework. I'm kinda spoiled. Plenty of time to train up JTP. 8^)

Anyways, when it comes to icing cut-outs, I always find that putting the icing in a ziploc and then cutting the corner off makes a handy piping bag. You don't even have to pick the cookies up!

Josh The Pilot said...

MB and I are an old-fashioned couple. She is being wifely when she cooks and bakes, and I am being husbandly when I take out the trash and pull weeds in the yard. MB is a much better baker and cook than I am, therefore she takes care of those duties. I do most of the laundry. I would help out more around the house, but I work outside the house 50-60 hours a week just to keep us in the house.
I like traditional gender roles, and so does MB, which is why I married her!

classickelly21 said...

Your cookies look awesome. Good job.


MB said...

Well, every now and then Josh does let me out of the cave. Sheesh, groom.

Anne said...

So sorry if I insulted you! I had forgotten what it was like to be newly married and revelling in being so! My hubby and I work pretty well as a team and his strengths complement mine. We're traditional in many ways, but hey, if he can cook/bake better than me, I'm all for him doing it!

OH, well. No need to post this on comments. I just wanted to get my apologies to you!

MB said...

Oh, Anne, never ever worry! Absolutely no offense taken-- go happily about your Anne life :)

Josh The Pilot said...

No insult taken! I was simply letting everyone in blog-land know that traditional gender roles are not dead, and that they're not bad things, contrary to what today's culture thinks.

My bride,
You're free to wander the hills and dales all you want. However, please come home every once in a while to make your lasagna. I can't live without it!
I love you.

Tamar from Michigan said...

Last night I was sitting in the backyard burning brush that was knocked down by a very harsh storm we had here last week. My daughter came out and told me that she had found a piece of mail for me. I took one look at the envelope and I laughed!

I read everything about the TY cards, I just assumed that you sent them to folks that attended the wedding/reception. We moved recently, but last night I received mine! Thank you for taking the time to not only send it, but also to add a flavor of your humor to the note (as opposed to the dry, "uh, thanks 'n stuff" that I see on so many cards. I now have the PERFECT bookmark for my "Drink to the Lasses"! Thank you for your warmth and sweetness, (and also the occaisional bitchery that reminds us that you're human too.) :)

Toni said...

Icing 101:

For drizzly/thin icing: mix powdered sugar with some sort of liquid (milk or lemon juice are both good options) until you get the required consistency. You'll probably need less liquid and more sugar than you think. Like anne suggested, a snipped ziplock baggie is an excellent distribution device.

For thicker/spreadable icing: mix powdered sugar with a couple sticks of softened butter. Cream cheese can be used in place of the butter. Again, add powdered sugar until the frosting is the consistency you want. You can then add melted (but cooled!) chocolate, or any other flavorings or colors that you wish.

These two basic icing recipes get me through the large majority of my baking, of which I do a fair amount.

Previous Tastings