Happy Black Friday! In celebration of this day of consumer revulsion (yeah yeah "unbelievable" sales, I know...it still freaks me out), I say we take a moment to reflect. Or, let's just say, I'll take a moment to reflect, since I definitely can't go shopping, let alone drive anywhere in this chaotic holiday-season traffic (p.s. I'm sooooo in Los Angeles right now, could you tell?)
Okay, first off, before we dole out awards to winning and losing cookies, let me just apologize a bit for never posting. I don't know why I procrastinate on this so much--because god knows I'm not doing anything more productive (read: homework). Anyway, as an early New Year's Resolution, I will update more frequently. Which means, I will bake more cookies. Which means everyone is happy. Great, let's get started.
1st place (Blue Ribbon!): Iced Hermits
Well, duh, you saw the picture up top. These ones won in a landslide, according to the judging panel. And they deserve it, because even though some might not really consider these "cookies" in the traditional sense, they have a really fantastic flavor, they look cool, and are pretty easy to make. Plus, they ship well, make your house smell totally rad (?), and get better over time. And look like a Jackson Pollock painting. Done, and done.
2nd place (Honorable Mention!): White Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Okay, this was a close one, I've gotta admit. These are also seriously delicious. Maybe, if you don't like the whole ginger/spice thing, these would be your number 1! They have just about every add-in ingredient available, and taste so. So. SO. Delicious. Really, I highly recommend these, even if you don't like/acknowledge white chocolate--these just might convince you otherwise.
3rd place: Surprise Cookies
You can't deny these. Seriously, first you've got the name, which makes you intrigued/excited/surprised just upon hearing it. Then you see what the cookie is all about, and you realize, OMG marshmallowz! Then chocolate. Then ganache. Okay, by now you're making them already, right? Right. So I'm done explaining here.
4th place: Cashew-Caramel Cookies
These are intense, and I mean that in the best way possible. Sure, they take a little more effort than some of the other cookies in The Book, but if you are a cashew or caramel (or both) fan, it's definitely worth it. In my opinion (and I think the judging panel agrees with me on this one), the caramel topping puts these maybe just a step over the edge, but it's still so good. Really, really.
5th place: Pumpkin Cookies with Brown Butter Icing
I had high hopes for these, and they were definitely really good, but I was rooting for them to at least get Honorable Mention. The soft, pumpkiny cookie is very tasty, but the brown butter icing was a bit of a let down, because I thought it would have more of a browned flavor (which could be my fault, granted). They are totally yummy, though! I still whole-heartedly recommend! Seal of approval!
6th place: Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
These are really good. I know that 6th place doesn't sound like much, but they're really yummy, especially straight out of the oven. If you are of the soft-and-chewy inclination, make these ASAP, because there is no way that you'll be disappointed with the results (unless you use Splenda--don't even get me started). But seriously folks, these are perfect chocolate chip cookies, and the dough is good enough to eat raw by the spoonful.
7th place: Iced Oatmeal Applesauce Cookies
Hellooooo first cookie I made in my new kitchen! Remember the fun we had trying to make do without a cookie sheet? And no measuring cups? Ha, good/awful times. Glad things are better now. But despite the hardships I faced when making these, they were also quite good. I know, I know, we're down to 7th place--but I guess this round of cookies were all really tasty! These were no exception: great flavor and texture, and the icing on top really is just that (did that make sense? It's the "icing on top" of the cookie...nevermind)
8th place: Chewy Molasses Crinkles
The cookie dough for these cookies is so so so tasty, but the resultant cookie is just fair. It tastes like what you'd expect from a traditional Molasses cookie, but they definitely didn't stay chewy once they fully cooled. This could be my own fault in some way, but I'm not sure. Anyway, they're pretty good, and I bet would be even better if you sandwiched two together with some ice cream in the middle. I find myself suggesting this alternative more and more frequently...hmmm. Regardless, these are yummy and yield a huge batch--so go for it!
9th place: Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies
I think the Sugar Cookies from The Book are getting a bad wrap (rap?). I just don't think that sugar cookies are ever that note-worthy. Maybe I need a truly great recipe to change my mind, and though these are actually pretty good for plain sugar cookies, they left me a little underwhelmed (side note: just watched Ten Things I Hate About You (movie magic!!!) the other night, so "underwhelmed" is returning to my vocabulary). Granted, the lemon zest in these is a nice touch, so if you want sugar cookies, give these a go.
10th place (Brown Ribbon!): Peanut-Butter Swirl Brownies
Hey, Martha...uh...did you know that these were terrible? Because if you did, and still included them in the book just because they look pretty, well, I'll be quite disappointed. These deceived me, Martha. Me, a chocolate-peanut butter fanatic, thought they would soothe my Reeses-related cravings, but no. They were dense, dry, and the peanut-swirls ended up looking all bubbly and funky. Not cool. The leftover peanut butter filling was good when spread on pretzels, though, so I'll give you "brownie points" (har har) for that one. Otherwise, refine this recipe, Martha, and then we'll talk.
So that concludes Round 5! Hell yeah! Bring on Round 6! Actually, I've started Round 6--like 2 weeks ago--but I'm just terrible at updating in a timely manner. I will change that. Keep your eyes peeled, lovelies. Until then, get you butt back in the kitchen and make me a post-Thanksgiving sandwich. Thanks.