Oatmeal Cookies

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Brown sugar. I love brown sugar. I love its sweeter, denser, lingering flavor–more intriguing than plain old granulated sugar.

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These little pretties are crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and the brown sugar and cinnamon are sweet enough to make you forget that they’re mostly oatmeal. I used extra-strong fancy-pants cinnamon from Penzey’s, and purposely didn’t use less, as I was supposed to (“just use two-thirds of what the recipe calls for,” they say–how could you possibly use less of that incredible smelling stuff!?).

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Today–the last day of 2010–it is foggy outside, quiet inside, and since I’m still in my pajamas at two in the afternoon, I decided to French-press some Alterra coffee and eat fresh cookies for lunch. It was definitely a good idea. Continue reading

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Peppermint Brownie Cookies

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Today was the first snowfall of the season, so it seemed a perfect time to test out a holiday gift-giving cookie recipe from Bon Appetit.

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I learned two lessons today. One: I will never again buy store-brand chocolate chips. Nope. Never. No matter how much the prices of good chocolate rise. The Ghiradelli chips I splurged on today melted into shiny, beautiful ribbons of dark chocolate… and that brings me to lesson number two: My double boiler was completely worth the money.

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Unfortunately, that Bon Appetit recipe that caught my eye didn’t make nearly as many cookies as I thought it would (anticipated: 50, actual yield: 32!? Argh), but the cookies are pretty divine… especially with one switch.

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Soft peppermint sticks! I have no idea where my mother got them, but thank goodness she threw them into a care package a while back. I’m not a fan of super-minty hard candies, so when I realized I had these in my baking cabinet (yes, I have a cabinet devoted to baking supplies–don’t you?), I knew this was the perfect thing. Too bad they’re a pain to crush, but it was worth it.

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I also highly recommend using a cookie/melon scoop, because this is not a fun dough to scoop by hand. Unless you like chocolate all over the place–in which case, go for it.

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Oh yes. They turn out quite pretty. But they still need a little something…

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There we go. And then just a little bit of…

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That. Perfect. Now the question is, will I be able to stop myself from eating all of them before I put them in the freezer to give away? So much for gifts… good thing I started early. Continue reading