Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene and Aftermath Cookies

Perfectly timed with a certain turbulent weather event, I have just entered a rather tumultuous time in my life. Although I usually avoid discussing my life with the blogging community because I would prefer not to be judged by my age, I must admit: I just entered college. Two days ago, in fact. It was supposed to be three days ago, but our dear friend Irene delayed the move-in day at my school and several others. Since I was stuck in the house for an extra unplanned day and my state of mind was rather turbulent itself, I, of course, decided to bake. Besides, I figured that bringing some homemade cookies to share at college could only be a positive thing when meeting people... and so far, it has in fact helped me meet some friendly students.

Terrible cell phone photos, sorry.

As I watched and listened to the storm outside, I was inspired to concoct two types of cookies: Hurricane Irene Cookies and Aftermath Cookies.  Click on "Read more" to view the recipes for these delightful cookies -- don't worry, despite their destructive namesakes the only things these cookies will stir up are your tastebuds.

Hurricane Irene Cookies

2 Cups sugar
1 Cup unsalted butter, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup sour cream
6 Cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick softened butter, divided into 6 pieces
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
Blue sprinkles

1. In an electric or stand mixer, cream the sugar and butter. Add eggs, vanilla and sour cream until well combined. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined.
2. In 2 batches, place in plastic wrap in a disc shape and chill for at least 2 hours for best results.
3. Once chilled, cut each disc into thirds and roll into a 1/8 inch thick oval, about 12 inches X 5 inches.  Spread each rolled pieces of dough with 1 piece of your softened butter (between 1 and 1-1/2 tablespoons) and about 1/4 cup of your cinnamon-sugar mixture.  Start rolling from the long end closest to you, rolling into a log shape.  Using a sharp knife, cut 1/2 inch pieces of dough then placing onto a silpat or parchment lined baking sheet.  Sprinkle with blue sprinkles. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before removing from baking sheet.
Makes at least 6 dozen

Aftermath Cookies
My tasty mix-ins (plus Crunch bars, which I forgot to photograph. Doh!)
I was planning on using chocolate chips instead of the chocolate candies, but when I saw Chocolate Waterfalls they were just too appropriate for the situation, not to mention the added bonus of white chocolate swirls. And Sno-Caps, well, they are also weather-related, and they look more aftermath-like than chocolate chips.
P.S. All mix-in amounts are approximate, and you can substitute whatever you like.

2 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour (11.25 oz)
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. plus a pinch of salt
8 oz unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 cup very firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 box (3 oz.) Sno-Caps
6 Chocolate Waterfall candies, chopped into small pieces
8 fun-size Crunch bars, chopped
1/3 to 1/2 cup square pretzels, broken up into small pieces
1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries, or a mixture of both

extra Chocolate Waterfalls, halved (you will need half as many as the number of cookies you make)
extra pretzels, broken into pieces

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set side.
Beat cold butter until creamy in bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add both sugars and continue beating at medium speed for 4-5 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the eggs and vanilla together in a separate (small) bowl or measuring cup and slowly, one tablespoon at a time, add the egg mixture to the cream mixture while the mixer is in motion. This should take another 4-5 minutes.
With mixer on lowest speed or by hand, add dry ingredients. When just barely incorporated, gently fold in mix-ins (candies and pretzels and dried fruit) by hand.
Cover dough and refrigerate overnight or for 6 hours. Remove and shape dough into golf ball size balls on ungreased cookie sheets spacing about 3 inches apart. Press half of a waterfall chocolate into the middle, slightly flattening the cookie in the process. Haphazardly press pretzel pieces into cookies.
Bake at 400 degrees, 8-11 minutes. Edges should be golden brown but center 1-inch pale. Let cool at least 5 minutes on baking sheets before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Makes about 32 cookies

Enjoy and share in a safe, warm place.

*A note: now that I am in college, in an old dorm with no space to store kitchen supplies and no working kitchen equipment that I know of, posts on this blog may become very infrequent for a while. I will probably do some occasional baking when visiting a nearby relative, and I will do my best to post the more interesting stories and recipes that occur. Other than that, I guess I will have to content myself with living vicariously through the food blogging community and continuing to drool over the wonderful photos and recipes I find. I may also start posting recipes and stories from before I arrived at college.

1 comment:

Galexi Cupcakes said...

I love the name "aftermath cookies". I gotta bake these for my daughter's school this week. Thank you for sharing!! Jackie