Follow the culinary adventures and misadventures of the Cooking Agents (Ray and Katie). Watch as we eat/cook our way into adulthood.
I feel sorry for my office as I am that guy in the office that kills weight watchers. Two days ago, I brought in Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies and I will be following that with 2 cookie classics. Ginger snaps and oatmeal raisin cookies. The ginger snaps allowed me to finish up a jar of molasses and also helps take a good bit out of my ever growing spice collection. Ground ginger, meet your maker. Oatmeal raisin helped finish off a tub of oats and the last of my raisins. A good pantry cleaning night it was.
In a bowl, mix oats with raisins and set aside. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer on low speed. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated and then add vanilla. Once wet ingredients are mixed, slowly add flour mixture. Once dough is formed, mix oats and raisin. Scoop dough onto ungreased cookie sheet or cookie sheet lined with a baking mat. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Cool slightly on cookie sheet 2-3 minutes and then transfer to cooling rack.
In a medium bowl, mix flour, ground ginger, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and white sugar with mixer on low speed, add egg, and once it is mixed in, add molasses. Slowly add dry ingredients you previously set aside. Once dough is mixed, scoop dough into tablespoon size scoop and roll into a ball using your hands. Cover ball of dough in white sugar and place on cookie sheet or cookie sheet lined with non stick baking mat. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring onto cooling rack. Let the holidays explode in your mouth.
For my last week of work in DC, I am going to be bringing in Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies as part of my good bye tour. Of all the desserts, baked goods, cakes, pie etc. that I have made for my office, these cookies were the one that got me the most positive feedback, compliments, and first born sacrifices. Just kidding on the second item. What I personally like most about these cookies are the moistness and soft texture. The canned pumpkin allows the cookie to never dry out and makes it feel like a cake masquerading as a cookie. A Cakie if you will. These cookies are indeed the closest I’ve come to dealing crack, only I don’t charge money or rough you up if you’re short on cash.
I’ve also found that instead of using shortening, butter makes an easy substitute making it convenient for people who don’t have it on hand. I did originally make the recipe using shortening and butter is just as good. Instead of using 1 cup of walnuts and 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips, I used a whole 12 oz bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Lastly, instead of using tablespoon, I used an ice cream scoop. Fatty McFatterson is my long lost family name, in case you were wondering.
2 sticks of butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 15 oz. can of pumpkin
4 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
dash of nutmeg
1 12 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
Cream butter with sugar. Add eggs 1 at a time and mix. Add vanilla and pumpkin to mixture. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Once dry ingredients are mix, slowly add to wet mixture. Once dough/batter is combined, add chocolate chips and stir using a spatula. Spoon mixture with a tbsp scoop or ice cream scoop onto cookie sheet lined with foil or nonstick baking mat. Bake in 375 degree oven for 12-15 minutes. Stick a toothpick into cookie and make sure it comes out clean to ensure it is finished baking. Let cookies cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Eat one for quality control purposes. Bring to work and watch the magic unfold.
The other day in the office, one email in my inbox stood above all else. The subject line was “GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!”. I felt my eyes dilate as I eagerly double clicked to find out more, while thinking “Isn’t it inappropriate to be dealing crack on our company’s network?”
Girl Scout Cookies are infamous for only being available for a few months in the year typically February through April with sales beginning in January. I used to be able to get cookies from some of the younger kids in my neighborhood growing up, but due to the safety issues of door to door sales, obtaining girl scout cookies became a little more of an effort to make it out to public domains where you unexpectedly come across a mountain of cookies and not being prepared with any cash. Another issue is the insecurity of buying so many boxes to haul home so that you can keep them for when times are tough (May-December).
According to Wikipedia, 200 million boxes of Girl Scout Cookies were sold in 2007 and at $3.50/box we’re looking at $700 million in sales. Does the limited time availability inflate sales? Yes. Should cookies be more readily available? YES. Having cookies available on the grocery shelves year round would make it less of a valued commodity, but the sales and fund raising potential is just too huge to be passing up.
I propose a twice a year sales cycle in line with the school year so that cookies are also available for sale September and delivery October-December. Sales would look to increase to about $1.25 billion and the public can be that much happier 3 more months in the year. The refreshingly chocolately, crispy thin mints will brighten any day of the year.