Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas, I Choose You!

So, here's all I can really post since the Annual Christmas Sweatshop is in full swing.  Well, technically I'm behind, but I'm going to keep Christmas in my heart not just on Christmas Day, but every day!

By which I mean some of you won't be getting presents until February.

Jolteon's in the gift shop, I'm about to put Flareon there, and I think I'm going to keep Vaporeon for personal use.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Let Mortal Kombat Begin

Ninja cookie cutters are sort of ridiculously expensive for what they are (plastic outlines of ninjas), but can you really put a price on cookies shaped like ninjas?  Yes, and it's $12.95 at World of Mirth.

I haven't been inside World of Mirth for years, and going there again reminded me why: I'm poor.  Because I keep buying things like $13 ninja cookie cutters.  Also, I had to use a calculator to figure out the price per ninja since I am only smart enough to figure out that it'd be somewhere between $3 and $10.  Which is not very smart at all.

Anyway, this afternoon: ninjas!  From another classic Simonsen recipe: tube of dough and lots of flour.  Cover your hands in flour, spread some flour on the wax paper (once you have some), flour up the rolling pin, giggle inanely about the similarity between flouring up the rolling pin and other actions, and put some flour on your ball of cookie dough.

As a creative person, I don't really like "rolling dough to 1/4" thick" or "at least roll it out evenly."  Don't stifle me, basic cut-out cookies procedure!

I know that Scorpion doesn't really have yellow eyes, but I don't have any white icing.  Obviously I need to do something about this.

I'm using those tubes of cookie icing for the black.  As promised, it dries quickly, and Kroger ended up giving me one tube for free (I went back in when I noticed one of them had rung up full price, and I wasn't going to make trouble when the woman at customer service did a refund and dropped the icing tube back in the bag).  The details are writing icing, which also dries quickly.  If you have to stack cookies, don't use writing gel because it stays tacky and only ends in tears.

Here's two of the cookies that went into my karate teacher's Christmas gift/bribe.  There was some sort of epic battle in transit, so one of them ended up with no legs and the other one was somehow decapitated. But what really matters is that the bribe worked.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Shortbread Cookies

Here's an actual Simonsen recipe for all you young go-getters out there.  Or rather, a Simonsen recipe that involves some bare minimum of effort.  Also by Simonsen recipe I mean I got it off the internet.


  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar (the powdery kind)
  • 2 sticks of softened butter
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch
  • chocolate chips, nuts, and/or mini-M&M's
  • electric mixer because you've got shit to do
  1. Leave your two sticks of butter on the counter and go watch TV or something.  Putting butter in the microwave to try to soften it up faster will probably end in tears.
  2. Mix butter and confectioners sugar in the electric mixer.  Practice delegating authority by leaving the mixer to do its job while you look up super important things on the internet.  The end result is smooth and fluffy.
  3. Sift together flour and cornstarch.  Like in Little House on the Prairie times.  I like to split up the flour and put the cornstarch in the middle so it feels like this is actually accomplishing something.  You want to sift into a small, separate bowl or you'll completely ruin everything forever.
  4. Gradually add flour/cornstarch mixture to butter/sugar (See, this is why you should've paid attention to #3).  Start by adding in small amounts at first, then get impatient and add the rest of the damn thing in.  Remember that your mixer has already proven itself and can be trusted to handle mixing while you check your email.
  5. If you're getting dough stuck on the sides or to the beaters, turn off the mixer and use a spatula to push it back down/get the dough off the beaters.
  6. Add in chocolate chips or nuts.  Walnuts and macademia nuts are really good with the shortbread.  I was going to try pecans, but I ended up pouring them in my mouth by mistake.  The person I stole this recipe actually, like, measured the chocolate chips, but you can't let people boss you around for the rest of your life.
  7. Shape dough into little balls.  Sometimes the dough will be very sticky and sometimes it won't.  Seriously, I have no idea what makes it act differently.  Place balls on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for ~20 minutes at 325° F (No, not those balls).
  8. Allow cookies to cool before removing from cookie sheet, otherwise they might crumble (some of them might do that anyway.  Give failure cookies to appease hovering family members).
You can use food coloring to make the dough exciting, festive colors.  Darker colors (red, blue, purple) work better since having to pour a buttload of food coloring in can mess up the texture.  The taste was fine, but...well, you can at least call the green ones Grinch Testicles for extra holiday cheer.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Another traditional Simonsen recipe

It's Christmas food pushing baking season, so I've already got ~30 shortbread cookies in the freezer and a three pack of Pillsbury Place and Bake Christmas cookies in the fridge.  Pillsbury Place and Bake cookies are probably about the laziest things ever, since you only need to be able to turn on an oven and remember to both put the cookies in the oven and take them out again, but people really like them.  And they're good for making ridiculous cookie sandwiches!

Excessive Cookie Sandwiches

Ingredients: Pillsbury Place and Bake Holiday cookies, frosting, sprinkles, maybe some food coloring
  1. Place and bake cookies according to package instructions.  I don't remember what the package actually says, but cooking time is much closer to 10 minutes (especially if the oven's been on for awhile)
  2. Allow cookies to cool, then frost wrong side of cookie and stick another cookie on it
  3. Pour sprinkles into small dish, roll frosting center in sprinkles until you have a needless, diabetic-killing sprinkle ring around your cookie sandwich
  4. Defensively inform those who suggest there is too much sugar involved that they don't have to eat any cookies
And since place and bake cookies require no effort, that leaves me time to ponder if I totally need Ninjabread Men cookie cutters.  Naturally this only requires limited pondering.

This year I've had a hard time of finding those pre-made sheets of sugar cookie dough.  Yes, they make those for people too lazy to buy the tube of sugar cookie dough and roll it out to the appropriate length.  I want you to know that I am completely okay with only caring about decorating the cookies.  Rolling cookie dough is a pain in the ass.  And how am I supposed to figure out arcane things like some fraction of an inch thick?  I'm not Einstein, damn it.