Monthly Archives: February 2020
Posted by Leann
At some point last year, I inadvertently started a baking ritual in my office. I baked some muffins or a Bundt cake or sweet bread on a Sunday afternoon and took it to work the next day for everyone to enjoy. One Sunday turned into two and three and so on and so forth until Monday Morning Breakfast Treat (MMBT) became a thing. I think it mostly started out as a way for me to test recipes I’d always wanted to try but I didn’t want laying around my house for only me to eat. The doctor and my waistline would not approve, but truthfully, Mondays aren’t great, so why not start them off with something tasty.
Over time, as I baked more and more goodies for Mondays, I started to think about my successes and failures along the way…what methods I tried didn’t work…what additions or changes I made worked great. It made me think of that movie Julie & Julia about the lady who worked her way through Julia Child’s cookbook and blogged about the good, the bad, and the ugly.
You see, when I’m researching recipes, I’m a big fan of reading the comments to see if people thought the recipe worked or didn’t or what additions they made to make it better, and so, I thought, what if I used my blog to post an extended version of what I might comment at the bottom of a recipe complete with pictures (even the failures).
I try very hard to make something for every Monday morning, so I’ve got a bit of catching up to do from the beginning of the year, and that may take me a while, but that’s what you’ll find here from time to time. What you will not find is the recipe I used. There will be a link to it for you to check out the recipe for yourself, but I’m not looking to violate any copywrites or take anything away from those seasoned recipe bloggers and all their hard work.
One thing you’ll learn through these posts is that I let my KitchenAid mixer do A LOT of the necessary work. When something says to fold in an ingredient, my brain translates that as lowest speed on the KitchenAid mixer. So, when the cookie recipe says to stir in the chocolate chips by hand, my arm only gets tired from flipping the mixer on. I’m a lazy, amateur baker and proud of it.
First a note about two peas & their pod: I adore this website. Maria and Josh put a lot of work into it, and it’s one of four recipe blogs I check first when I’m looking for something, so you might see them quite a bit in these posts. Also, they LOVE cookies, and I’m always looking for new ideas for cookies like this one.
It was after the holidays and a new year had started, but I’d been wanting to try this recipe for the better part of December and never got to it. So, I decided why not make one last Christmas flavored treat as a transition.
I had the hardest time finding crushed peppermint after the holidays. I don’t mind making my own breadcrumbs or cookie crumbs or chopped pretzels in the case of this recipe, but crushing hard candy is not high on my list of fun times. I was determined to find pre-crushed peppermint. I randomly found a bag at Home Goods on clearance because it was a Christmas item.
At the outset, the recipe comes together like any other basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but then you start adding in the white chocolate chips and pretzels and crushed peppermint, and deck the halls, your kitchen smells like Christmas, again. As you can see from the picture, the distribution of the ingredients is pretty even.
For scooping purposes, I use an old fashion ice cream scoop with the hinge on it for cookies and cupcakes. I know there are official names for these like #30, #40, etc. I don’t deal with that. I need real measurements. This scoop is 2 inches in diameter and holds 3 tablespoons of water. (According to most charts I’ve found online this is a #20, if you’re into that sort of thing.) I prefer using this size scoop because it makes a cookie close to the size of bakery cookies. Bite-size cookies always say to me, “why bother?”. I want something to sink my teeth into. Plus, you can say you had one cookie rather than having to admit you ate a package of bite-sized ones.
Of course, I’m also the girl who says a pan of brownies is technically one brownie until you cut it. Stick with me kids. I’ll have you buying a new wardrobe in no time.
I use baking mats as well because in all my years of baking I have found there are two things I can’t live without: the aforementioned KitchenAid mixer and baking mats. These particular mats even have outlines for various cookie sizes so you don’t have to guess on spacing. One of my friends calls these cookie parking spaces.
The recipe calls for sprinkling sea salt on top of the cookie mounds before baking them. Let me tell you, this is my new favorite trick for cookies. You’ll see it in a later post for my go-to chocolate chip cookies that the salt enhances the flavors even more.
Also, this is a cookie dough that for those daredevils among us is PERFECT for eating raw, but I sacrificed for my co-workers and baked them anyway.
As for the finished product…Admittedly, the title of the recipe sounds like a kitchen sink cookie (my name for a cookie with lots of add-ins), so I was curious how all the different flavors would work together or if one would dominate the others. I was very pleased to discover that no one ingredient stood out. I credit Maria with figuring out the exact right ratios for each flavor to come through. I think my co-workers agreed. These cookies were gone well before lunchtime. That’s one of my tests of a good recipe.
Additionally, in the recipe, Maria mentions you can freeze the baked cookies for a later time and they’re still just as fresh as when you baked them originally. I did this with a couple of them, and she’s absolutely correct.
Ok, folks. There she is…the first MMBT entry. I hope you’ll stay tuned for more. Let me know what you think (please read the comment moderation section of this blog), and especially let me know if you try any of these recipes and how it worked for you. Also, if you have a recipe you’ve been wanting to try but haven’t had a chance, please feel free to leave me a comment. Maybe it’ll work its way onto the MMBT menu and subsequently the blog.