Friday, October 22, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way To the Kitchen

My mom got me a t-shirt recently.  It says, "Dinner's ready when the fire alarm goes off".  She's hysterical, that one.  No, I can not cook.  My husband will be the first to tell you that I am a champion when it comes to microwaving or ordering take-out, but, not so much.  I blame my old stove.  I had no idea just how terrible it was until we moved into the new apartment.  Stuff doesn't burn on this stove.  Oil doesn't pop out onto my arms (or face).  My apron (yes, I wear one.  It's cute and Halloween-y) has nothing on it.  Oh--and the broiler doesn't catch fire.  Yeah, I'm starting to think it wasn't necessarily my technique that sucked as much as it was that blasted stove.

Anyhoo, all that said, I'm still not a very experienced cook, and I occasionally (read: almost always) screw something up.  However, sometimes happy accidents result from my lackluster abilities, and I wanted to share my favorite uh-oh with you guys. 

A couple of Halloweens ago, while we were shooting the short version of The Night Shift, actually, I thought it would be nice to make cookies for the cast and crew.  Normally, I'd slice-and-bake, but no, not this time.  New bride that I was, only from-scratch cookies would do. 

I'm an idiot.

Going to was the smartest thing I did.  I found a fantastic recipe, and followed it to. the. letter.  My only changes were devil's food pudding instead of vanilla, and using self-rising flour instead of all-purpose and baking soda.  Um...they were softer than they looked and tasted good.  That's about it.  They looked like...well, I'm not going to say what they looked like.  They baked into slightly firmer versions of the lumps I spooned onto the cookie sheet.  Basically, I'd make cookie dough modeling clay.  That's when it hit me:  I should make them vanilla and shape them into little skulls!  It was Halloween, afterall, and one of our main characters was a talking skeleton.  They'd be little Herbie cookies!  I mixed up the dough, sculpted the little buggers, and they turned out really cute and tasty, too.  Ended up being a bit of a hit on set, too. 

My screw up, though?  I thought I was using self-rising flour, since that's all I ever buy.  I hadn't bought this bag of flour.  You know how I mentioned I was a fairly new bride--this was from Thomas' old kitchen.  It was not self-rising, and I didn't bother to read the label.  Oops.   

So, here, for your baking pleasure, is the recipe for Herbie cookies.  Or skull cookies.  Or Dia de los Muertos cookies.  Or Halloween cookies.  Or...well, you get the point.   

Herbia de los Muertoskulloween Cookies
(adapted from Amy's Chocolate Chip Cookies)

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (not self-rising)

1 cup margarine, softened

1/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 (3.5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix

2 eggs

1 bag semisweet chocolate chips
1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

2.In a large mixing bowl, combine butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and pudding mix. Beat until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually stir in flour.  Mixture should be thick.

3.Spoon out a tablespoon of dough (or thereabouts), flatten and fill with a few chocolate chips.  Shape dough into 3D skull form by forming a ball, then carefully pushing in where the cheekbones should be.  This should push out a little bit of dough near the bottom, which can be formed into a jaw.  (Trust me, it's nowhere near as complicated as it looks.  Basically, if you end up with anything even remotely resembling a skull, give yourself an A.)  Push a couple of more chips in for eyes, one for a nose, and then, if you're feeling really artsy, you can use a toothpick to draw in teeth.  A few vertical lines with a horizontal line crossing through works really well.  Place skulls on ungreased cookie sheet.

4.Bake for 9 to 9 1/2 minutes, or until browned.  As for the chips, they won't melt.  Or, at least, mine never have.  I've always had perfect little faces.  If yours do melt...well, then you have a skull with bleeding eyes.  That's cool, too.

So, there you have it.  Halloween skull cookies.  If anyone makes them and wants to share experiences or pictures, please feel free to leave me a comment.  I'll be making some for Halloween, and I'll try to remember to take pictures.  Note the word, "try".

1 comment:

Add your own ramblings, musings, or existential ponderings here--just keep it clean and keep it kind.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...