I passed out like a frat boy after his first keg stand when I got home from work today.
I’ve never been a frat boy, I’ve never done a keg stand, I’m not entirely sure what it entails and I’m sure it’s not something I want to experience, but it definitely sounds like something that would cause someone to pass the fuck out the way I did this afternoon. The only difference is that I didn’t alienate my entire subway car with the odor of my beer-soaked shirt or the fear that I’d vomit on them, and I woke up feeling better than when I first lay down.
Aside, based on television show currently playing in the background: The Stormchasers are a bunch of tools in clown-shoe looking wannabe tanks. What do those things get, 4 miles to the gallon? Tornadoes are god’s way of saying GO THE OTHER WAY. However, hearing someone yell, “It’s huge, we gotta get a probe it in!” is funny, so I suppose it’s not completely without redeeming qualities. Stormchasers seems to be rich in opportunities for “That’s what she said!”* Someone should make a drinking game.
Anyway, the passing-out means I did not hop off the train on the way home to pick up the ingredients for dinner, which was supposed to be some kind of North African chicken with chickpeas and winter squash thing from A Platter of Figs, an excellent cookbook for the awake. It did mean that when I stumbled into the kitchen at 8:15, not feeling particularly hungry, I decided it was time to bake something instead. Because just because you’re groggy and not particularly hungry does not mean it is not the time for chocolate cookies.
*”Look at that beautiful beast!”
I wanted something chewy and oaty, so I cracked Dorie Greenspan’s Baking to see what kind of oaty shit she had going on.
That did not come out the quite way I meant it.
She had several oat options. Option one was some kind of bar cookie with a layer of chocolate* that sounded great but involved a lot of chilling post-baking; a time suck not helpful for bakers who want to bake and eat a damn cookie and then go to bed. These cookies were option two, double chocolate (bittersweet chocolate and cocoa powder) oat spoon cookies (as opposed to the sliced log kind of cookie) that have some kind of cute name like choco-oatmeal chewies or oaty chocolate wonder drops or some shit like that. The book is upstairs, so we’ll never know. If you really care, buy it (it’s a good book) and look it up. All I know is, they’re full of oats and brown sugar and chocolate, and they come together right quick.
*I just typed “lawyer of chocolate” by accident, which: Best. Lawyer. Ever.
They actually start out a lot like brownies; that is, with a lot of butter and chocolate and in this case, brown sugar. While it melted together, I pulled flour, cocoa and cinnamon together. I didn’t actually sift them the way I was supposed to, because the sifter is in this low cabinet behind all this other crap and you have to move it all and then put it back and let’s be frank, the whisks are right there on the counter and they do virtually the same thing.
“The tornado is in the ground” is going to be my new code phrase for something, I just haven’t decided what yet. Suggestions welcome.
I folded the dry ingredients into the butter-chocolate-sugar-eggs mix. The instructions told me to mix just until the dry ingredients were no longer visible. It’s certainly not the first time I’ve run across an instruction like that, but I have trouble with them every time. Because I’m stirring, and the dry ingredients have just disappeared, but then I see something that may or may not be a lump and what if it’s a giant tumor of unmixed flour that will destroy whatever I’m baking? It could happen. So I stab at the the lumps, and eventually I just decide to mix, just for another minute, because can it really hurt?
The Stormchasers: “We’re all gonna get screwed!””We just gotta take it.” “I’m going to be thinking about the last 30 minutes for a long, long time.”
Surely, an extra 30 seconds of mixing to eradicate the possibility of flour tumor wins out in the cost-benefit analysis, yes? I say yes, and not just because that’s my MO.
After the flour came the oats. There were no instructions re: mixing specifics, so I mixed the holy hell out of those oats. And I’m proud, I tells ya. PROUD.
I lined some baking sheets with parchment, dropped spoonfuls of dough larger than I was supposed to because that’s also a problem I have – this did not quite make the 50 cookies Dorie told me it should – and got to baking.
My first batch came out a little under-baked; it’s a little tough to tell when the edges of the cookies are darkened when the cookies are, you know, already brown. Some of them fell apart when I tried to move them from the backing rack to the cooling rack, so I had to eat them. The under-baked cookies, they are good: all the yumminess of eating raw cookie dough, none of the voice in the back of your head telling you that the raw egg yolks are going to make you sick. The second batch came out just right. That is to say, fully cooked and structurally sound but not as good as the gooey ones.
I fed one piece of cookie detritus to Brian, who proclaims that they taste exactly like a good oatmeal stout is supposed to. So if that’s your thing, these are the cookies for you. I like to have them with milk, but if you want to have it with beer I’m not going to stop you. Or if you can’t get your hands on a good stout, you could always put these in a blender and thin ’em out with a little club soda; I’m sure that would be just like beer.
My single cookie and small glass of milk hit the spot, the effort expended was minimal, and did I mention cookies? And any night that ends with fresh cookies is a night that’s okay in my book.