Take Two Tuesday—-Santa and The Elves Are Cookie Thievin’ Sugar Junkies

Cookies and Milk For Santa

Sugar is worse than illegal drugs.  It is today what LSD was in the 1970’s.  I know this because:

1)                   I was a Director at Psych and Chemical Dependency Hospital; and

2)                   I am a Foodie who bakes.  A lot.

I believe that some people are able to kick their chemical dependencies more easily than their sugar cravings. People wishing to kick their chemical addictions can check themselves into rehab, forcing themselves into a chemical free environment, surrounded by the support of others trying to get clean. They are assigned to therapists and social workers.  They get to take advantage of intensive outpatient therapy once they are released from in-patient treatment.  There are legal drugs available to curb the physical craving for the chemical of abuse.  The addict’s families and friends that love them will be vigilant for signs of relapse.  They will attempt to keep them from being in situations where temptation may arise.

Trying to eliminate sugar from your system is much harder.  First of all, there aren’t in-patient sugar rehab programs available.  The sugar addict cannot place herself into an environment where there is no possible access to sugar.  It is sitting on every table at every restaurant.  It is consumed openly, and without fear of prosecution by her friends.  Deals and exchanges are made in the schoolyard, playgrounds, and slumber parties in every neighborhood in America.  Children trade their lollipops for M&M’s in a shameless, defiant disregard for the sugar problem facing society.  Worse yet, the support system for a sugar addict in recovery is virtually non-existent. Outside of her circle of fellow dieters, there is no help.  Her family and friends offer her sugar for her coffee, and a pecan pie chaser.  “Just one slice won’t kill you”, says Aunt Sally.  “It’s just one sugar packet”, urges the childhood friend.  Pushers and enablers!

I tell you this from personal experience.  My name is TexanasKitchen, and I am a bakaholic.  Yep, my home is a den full of hopped-up, wild-eyed, sofa-jumping sugar junkies.   Children of impressionable age, growing up in a sugar rich environment.  They are both junkies and enablers.

Oh yes, I have tried to break us free from these chains.  To eliminate the sugary drinks and sweets from the home, but it is impossible.  Only milk, tea, and water are made available.  I don’t buy softdrinks—I think they are kin to poison, but I keep finding them stashed about the house.  In the back of the sock drawer.  Behind the washing machine.  Like closet alcoholics hiding their stash for later.  If I found broccoli stashed away, I would know that it was there to avoid being eaten, not being saved for future use.  And it would really, really stink.

This is the time of year when production of sugary goods in my house is at its highest.  Plates of fudge, brittle, cookies, cakes being produced daily for the many recipients on my Christmas list.  I wish I could say that I don’t touch my own product, but that would be a lie.  A cook must test for quality, afterall……Sort of like a recovered alcoholic taking a job as a wine taster.

And forget about saving a plate of cookies for Santa and The Elves.  They LIVE here.  They eat them almost as fast as I can make them.  Sometimes they eat them before I can even get them in the oven, plucking balls of cookie dough from the baking sheets.  I usually make twice what I actually need, so that I end up with enough.

This weekend will be a baking frenzy.  Ginormous Chocolate Chip Cookies, Chocolate Wafers, Snow Balls/Russian Tea Cakes, Sugar Cookies……If the Sugar Police find out, they will lock me away for a long, long time.  It’s okay, it’ll be worth it….

Some of my favorites……

Snow Balls Cookies

Makes about 2 dozen

These are rich, buttery, crumbly, melt in your mouth…A very fine crumb.  My favorite part is how the double coating of powdered sugar pulls butter out from the still warm cookies, creating a fantastic coating on the exterior.

  • 2 cups butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups powdered sugar for coating

Preheat oven to 350*

Cream the butter in a mixing bowl.  Beat in the vanilla.  Mix the ¾ cup powdered sugar, salt and flour together, and then mix into the butter until well combined.

Roll walnut sized pieces of dough into balls, and place them one inch apart on a parchment lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until just beginning to turn golden around the bottoms.  Remove and allow to cool for 3 minutes.  Place 3 cups powdered sugar into a large bowl. Roll the cookies in powdered sugar and set aside.  When completely cool, roll again in powdered sugar.  Store in airtight container for a week.

Snow Balls

Ginormous Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Ginormous Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Makes 2 dozen 6 inch cookies

  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 cups softened butter
  • 2 egg
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups milk chocolate chunks (because chips are too small for this big cookie)
  • 3 oz grated semi sweet chocolate

Pre-Heat oven to 350*

Line baking pans with parchment

Mix flour, salt, and baking soda in a bowl and set aside.

Beat butter and sugars until light and creamy.  Beat in eggs and vanilla.  Mix in flour mixture, 1/3 at a time, until just mixed.  Fold in chocolate chunks and grated chocolate.  Using a standard ice cream scoop, drop 6 mounds of dough on baking sheet, spaced evenly apart (should be at least 3”).  Using your hand, or the buttered bottom of a large glass, flatten the dough to about ½” thick (will be about 3” in diameter).  Bake in middle of oven for 12-14 minutes, until they are golden around the edges, and just set in the middle.  Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes before removing to cooling racks.  Repeat with remaining dough.

Chocolate Cookies

Grammy’s Chocolate Cookies—adapted from Martha Stewart

These are my very favorite cookies EVER!

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder (this is a must)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted, butter room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups sanding sugar or coarse sugar for dipping

Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, 2 cups sugar, and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients, and combine with mixer on low-speed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill until dough is firm, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dip top of each ball into sanding sugar. Place sugar side up on prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until set, about 12 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve all cookies with big glasses of cold milk.

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Categories: BAKING, children, dessert, Family, Food, Gourmet, Holiday, humor, recipes, Texas, writing

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27 Comments on “Take Two Tuesday—-Santa and The Elves Are Cookie Thievin’ Sugar Junkies”

  1. 2012/12/04 at 12:31 pm #

    I agree with the whole sugar thing, which is why my family has switched over to meth for the holidays.

    • 2012/12/04 at 1:05 pm #

      A much healthier choice, I’m sure!

    • 2012/12/08 at 9:12 am #

      Hilarious…Im following adam based purely on the merits and timing of that comment….

      • 2012/12/08 at 9:38 am #

        Yes….Adam is my favorite snarky commenter. His blog is full of snark. He’s also a good friend, so I’m glad to have introduced you to his blog! It’s FUNNY.

      • 2012/12/08 at 1:18 pm #

        I meant to tell you, when my wife gets home I am going to the store and get ingredients for those crumbly ball things you have on the blog…..probably make some chocolate Chip cookies too…..nice site….keep posting but you make me hungry every time I go on!

  2. 2012/12/04 at 12:37 pm #

    I agree with you completely with how addicted you can get to sugar. My savior is stevia. I can still bake and serve a delicious cake or cookies, without sugar and only a third of the calories – and you don’t feel like you have to keep stuffing your face with the stuff, i.e., stevia doesn’t contribute to sugar dependency – it’s amazing!

    • 2012/12/04 at 12:38 pm #

      PS What is the difference between dutch cocoa and regular?

      • 2012/12/04 at 1:18 pm #

        Dutch processed cocoa has been alkalyzed, which removes its acidic compounds. The result is a smoother, less bitter cocoa powder with a deep reddish brown color. Because it isn’t acid in nature, it can’t be used interchangeably in recipes that only use baking soda as a leavening agent, as the soda won’t react in the absence if acid. Therefore, you have to use baking powder, or include another acidic agent, such as vinegar, buttermilk, or lemon juice. I find the chocolate more notable in the absence of the bitterness, and the color is prettier in the finished product.

      • 2012/12/04 at 5:09 pm #

        Good to know! Thanks Christine

    • 2012/12/06 at 12:52 pm #

      Hi Vinny, how do you bake with stevia?

  3. 2012/12/04 at 12:51 pm #

    Have a great weekend baking!!

  4. 2012/12/04 at 1:20 pm #

    …..My name is Kayle….and I’m a bakeaholic too.

    *sigh of relief* that feels good to say.

  5. 2012/12/04 at 1:24 pm #

    Interesting – I never knew that about Dutch cocoa.
    Totally know what you mean about sugar! I switched to organic evaporated cane juice a few years ago and haven’t looked back…though I am afraid of going more hard core than that.

  6. 2012/12/04 at 2:14 pm #

    Just in time for the cookie exchange party! Snow balls it is! Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. 2012/12/04 at 2:27 pm #

    You crack me up!!:)) I too am a sugar/food addict. This is my baking season too. I only do it once a year or I wouldn’t be able to waddle at all. I’ll give my kids beer or wine before soda. It’s healthier. Love the recipes. I could go on and on but you get the gist.

  8. 2012/12/04 at 2:50 pm #

    I still like the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag the best.

    Does anyone else remember the cookie-baking episode from “Taxi”? Everyone loved the cookies Latke made with his grandmother’s secret ingredient, which turned out to be cocaine.

  9. 2012/12/04 at 3:16 pm #

    Grammy’s Chocolate cookies look pretty much to be the perfect weekend baking project, leastwise for the chocoholics among us. Thanks!

  10. 2012/12/04 at 3:22 pm #

    There are ways of cooking and baking that don’t use sucrose. Malt syrup and glucose are both fructose-free. So perhaps your goal should be to substitute these into recipes rather than eradicate sweet treats altogether. Your and your family’s health will be thankful for the change ;) Kim*

    http://www.100days100ways.wordpress.com

  11. 2012/12/04 at 11:21 pm #

    I with you – sugar addiction is the hidden evil in society ;). Oh well. Luckily my kids can’t access a shop to bring in their soft drink/lolly fix that i won’t supply them with – but I love to bake too. Sometimes i use rapadura sugar, sometimes I use honey, sometimes i use raw sugar..i’m ok with that :).

  12. 2012/12/06 at 12:56 pm #

    I’m a bakeaholic as well. I had withdrawals because I couldn’t bake as much since it’s just my husband and I at home and he doesn’t like sweets often. lol

  13. 2012/12/08 at 2:54 am #

    could you give me a good recipe for fried chicken? love your blog

    • 2012/12/08 at 9:54 am #

      Yes…give me a day or two, and I’ll type up my recipe and post it here in the comments….

      • 2012/12/08 at 9:58 am #

        brilliant – I was about to attempt it with some buttermilk but now I’ll wait for your advice…many thanks

      • 2012/12/08 at 10:00 am #

        many thanks

  14. 2012/12/10 at 6:33 am #

    Wowza, can’t wait to get back to the US and start baking…. the snow balls have to sit in a container for a week!? WHY!??? ;)

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