Thursday, July 29, 2010

Simply Baking

We interrupt this episode of dorm room design for a little kitchen detour.

Tonight, Whimsy’s friends are throwing a surprise birthday party, and she was asked to bring some cookies. While she could easily have made this batch herself, she let me do it because she knows that one of my favorite things to do in the whole world is bake cookies.

I know…I know…. surprising considering the rest of my culinary talents, but for whatever reason, I not only have great success in the cookie department, I thoroughly enjoy myself when I’m doing it. (Hmm… maybe that’s the reason for the success?)

At any rate, cookie baking is one of my simple pleasures.

And I have some rules.

I always cool my cookies on a certain old cotton tablecloth. Growing up, the Duchess always spread out her cookies on a colorful cotton cloth to cool, and when I got married, I felt compelled to do the same. She gave me this one. It was either one of hers or (I think) it actually belonged to my grandmother.

I have used this cloth and this one only  for 26 years of cookie baking. It’s getting threadbare. Mr. Clean is not allowed to touch it..

I have to bribe him.
That's his cookie on the left.
So I spread out my colorful cloth.
And I gather my ingredients.
And I bake my cookies.


And I sing while I’m doing it.
In my head, I sound just like Doris Day.

All in all, it makes for a wonderful morning. 
Now, usually, I make my cookies from scratch. Snickerdoodles are my specialty. The ones we made this morning, however, are sort of cheaters.

They're called  My Favorite Cookies.
The basic recipe is this:

1 box cake mix (your choice)
1/2 cup oil
2 eggs
and a cup of whatever you want to throw in.
Seriously.
Whatever you want.
OK, not meatloaf or something silly like that, but you know what I mean.
We've done chocolate, toffey, health bits, M&Ms, butterscotch, nuts, no nuts, coconut...

I love this recipe because it opens up possibilities for all kinds of fun combinations.

This one is actually the girls' favorite.

  That's all you need.

Of course, the best part of these create-your-own cookie adventures
 is making up the name for your cookie creation.


I like to call these Chunky Little Devils.
The girls and their friends do not cooperate in the cookie name adventure.
Miss Whimsy was just told to bring, "those chocolate things your mom makes."
No matter. The cookie making pleasure is still among my favorites.
And then, there's that simple cookie eating pleasure that goes along with it.
Well, of course!



*****
Joining Dayle today at her A Collection of This and That for her simple pleasures party.



Project Simple Pleasures2

28 comments:

FrouFrouBritches said...

YUM! I would rather have cookies than any other dessert. They're fabulous and portable. What could be better. You can't carry around a big ole piece of cake like you can a cookie! Gosh, I better go eat some lunch before I go straight to the cookies. These are making me hungry!!

Love that tablecloth! So sweet! I love sentimental family heirlooms!!

I'm cracking up that she called them, "those chocolate things your mom makes". That is hysterical!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

I'm starving, and I could eat the entire batch. Better be glad that we can't snitch cookies through our computer screens, or those would be GONE, Debbie!

Love your grandmother's cloth.

XO,

Sheila :-)

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Cookies sound good! But then... cookies always sound good-enjoy!

Jennie said...

I feel more akin to you with every passing post! Love it! Cookie making is one of my most simple pleasures...but I expand that to the realm of baking in general. There is no dessert I don't enjoy making! :)

I am totally making these. But maybe tomorrow. We've got a cheesecake to eat for Sam's birthday tonight.

I long for the day when my kids' friends request something I make, regardless of what they decide to call it. Fingers crossed!

A very blessed lady! said...

Love that they are made from a cake mix...so easy! and that you can add whatever...will be trying this ASAP thanks for sharing! And they just look so southern spead out on you tablecloth ;)

Denise said...

LOVE those cookies...my girls call them chocolate chunk cookies...courtesy of Aunt Debbie. Who would have thought the cake mix cookies are the
most requested? BTW I have used the same "cookie" tablecloth for 28 years but mine was a shower gift. Pretty sure this idea is not a southern thing (for our family) since the duchess and grand duchess hail from New England.
Hugs,
Denise

Jennie said...

AHA! So *that's* why I love you ladies so much. I had no idea! It has nothing to do with your awesomeness and everything to do with your not-exclusively-southern heritage! ;)

(Okay, maybe a little bit to do with your awesomeness and your southern-ness too.)

Grace on the Narrow Path said...

First time visit here today. Thank you for the cookie recipe. I will be following along with you. Please stop by Grace and follow along with me.
Blessings,
Bren

Joan said...

The cookies sound yummy! (And so easy) I also like to bake cookies - I don't do it often, but every Christmas I have a big cookie baking day.

Blessings,
Joan

nannykim said...

Ah, that is such a pleasure and now I rarely do it since we are watching out for fat, cholesterol and I have to be gluten free! But I did make some buckwheat pumpkin thingies today (buckwheat is gluten free )--they are like cookies actually. Unfortuneately I was using my last can of pumpkin. I called Libby's about it since the grocery stores around here are out. They said they had a bad harvest last year due to weather!! So this year I aim to stock up BIGGGGGGG time!!!

http://nannykim-nannykim.blogspot.com/ said...

hmm unfortunately--how do you spell it?

amanda said...

there is nothing as lovely as homemade cookies!

Gayle said...

Oh, yum. Love homemade cookies!

Dayle said...

Debbi, you made me laugh out loud on this one, which means we're bonded for life. hehe

What a delightful simple pleasures post. I have such creative friends.

Sandy said...

So glad I checked out this post! Even though my son doesn't eat sweets and these are probably too chocolaty for my husband, I will definitely be baking them for my daughter, son, dil, and granddaughter, and myself!

Amy Kinser said...

They look awesomely delicious! Love the tablecloth and that you have used it for so long. What a neat treasure to pass down to one of your girls. How will you decide who gets it? I always think about stuff like that...

Jacqueline said...

Love the Duchess's cloth idea. I have never heard of that. I guess we used paper towel, but I really love this instead and that you have used it so many years. I just did a blog making these cookies. I had never heard about them and then a couple of years ago my daughter's sister in law made chocolate ones - she puts a Rolo in the center - out of this world. I had to have the recipe and loved that it was 1 box, 1 egg and 1 cube. I posted one that was a French Vanilla box and then frosted it and put fresh strawberries on top - Strawberry Shortcake cookies we call them. These look yum. The possibilities are endless and I want to go get me a cloth and hand that idea down to my posterity.

Lynn Richards said...

YUM. And the table cloth is a fabulous idea. One question: how do you get the cookie stains out?? Or is that just part of the fun?

Chatty Crone said...

Your table cloth is a good idea - does it serve any purpose to the cookies or is it just for decoration? Thanks for the comment on my blog. sandie

Chatty Crone said...

Hey I live in Georgia too - where do you live? Kennesaw area. sandie

Christine said...

One cloth for 26 years? Never heard of using a cloth. It must be pretty special.
Cookies are a simple pleasure, for sure.

Sharlotte said...

Oh my, this post reminded me that my mother used a cotton cloth for her cookies too! And as I remember, she made the best chocolate chip cookies, she always made them like I like them, a little crispy. I need to continue that tradition, may be a little late, but it will make me feel happy! I enjoy making cookies too, they usually turn out yummy...I'm afraid I'm not too handy in the kitchen. Your recipe looks terrific, I'm going to add it to my file! Thanks for sharing and dropping by to visit!
Sharlotte

Francie of The Scented Cottage said...

sigh, I am trying so hard NOT to eat any good stuff. Just the good for me stuff. It is very very hard and this post has made it even more difficult because that recipe is so easy and those cookies look sooooo good.
Hey, don't worry, I think you might lose your "never won anything crown" sooner than you think.
(())

Entertaining Women said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Entertaining Women said...

I love to bake cookies, too. I've never known about cooling them on a cloth...much less a totally cool heritage cloth. What's the theory behind cooling them on a cloth? I'm going to make your cookies. I'm already hijacking the recipe to my recipe folder. Thank you for much for your positive remarks about my post. Those individual dessert cloches are always a hit. Tuesday Morning still had some this summer. Cherry Kay

Linda W said...

Thanks for sharing your Cheaters recipe; had this years ago and had forgotten about it. Snickerdoodles are also my specialty, but I will be firing up the oven and shoving in the cheaters. Yum! Love the tablecloth idea -- what a lovely tradition.

Sue at Beach Bungalow said...

Hi Debbie!

I just found your blog and I think you are FABULOUS! Who's The Dutches? What do I bake your favourite cookies at and for how long? Can't wait to try them!

S
xo

Debbie said...

Just found this question, Sue. Ooops.

The Duchess is my mom. It's our favorite pet name for her. There is a post somewhere on here called "The Duchess and the Quaker Oats Man" which yaks it all out.

The cookies are baked at 350 for 10 minutes. I feel completely DUH that I didn't put that! I need to go edit just in case someone happens on this post.

THANKS!! I'm glad to have stumbled on your Bungalow too!

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