Ok, ok, OK. I get it. I’ve been gone for awhile. I can’t explain what happened. I really have no excuse. Oh, wait, I can explain. And you’re in luck because I am going to explain.
Here’s what I think happened. I got in a funk. Does that ever happen to you? I got in a funk with myself. And what might that funk have included you wonder? Oh… it included me being really, super, extra lazy. Yea. That’s really all it was. Here’s how I think it happened. I think I use the fact that I work at 4am as an excuse for everything. Such as: “oh, I had to get up at 3 this morning, so therefore I can sleep all afternoon” or “oh, I had to get up at 3 this morning and work for 8 hours, so therefore I don’t have to workout at all today” or “oh, I had to get up at 3 this morning, therefore I don’t have to cook dinner” or “oh, I had to get up at 3 this morning so I don’t have to write any blog posts or take any photos of any of the food I have managed to make” or “oh, I had to get up at 3 this morning, therefore I pretty much don’t have to do a single thing with myself for the remaining 9 hours of my day.”
Do you get the point? Needless to say, the past few weeks I haven’t been making a whole lot for dinner, and what I have been making (which there have been a few meals and granola bars and cookies), I haven’t taken photos of, and therefore, I have had nothing to blog about. Another problem was that I had like 3 posts to catch up on, but it has been so long since I made the dang dish(es), that I can’t even begin to remember how good it was and what changes I made and such. So, epic fail on my part.
But! I think I’ve left my funk far behind. How you ask? Oh, well, you know, I only met my FOOD BLOGGING IDOL this week!! Sometimes you just need a little motivation and inspiration to realize you truly have been wasting a lot of time lately. Here’s the story behind that, and then I’ll explain the rest of the photos in this post and then I’ll explain the actual cookies this post is supposed to be about.
Jenna of Eat, Live, Run wrote a book called White Jacket Required and it’s an awesome book. Very motivational as well. It’s about her decision to go to culinary school, a family tragedy and how she overcame it and how she picked up everything she owned and moved across the country to where she knew like 1 person. Yea… motivational alright! Anyway, so she went on a book tour! And her LAST stop just so happened to be Indy. As in here. As in the town that I love and live in. Yea. Dream.Come.True. She set up a book signing at a little book shop a few weeks in advance and the late morning of the day it was supposed to happen it got cancelled. Cancelled, I tell you, cancelled!!! I almost lost all composure and cried while taking a sad, mopey shower. But! She was still going to be in town for a conference and when I tweeted her a photo of the cupcakes I made her that morning at work, she instantly responded. And after a few tweets and instagraming back and forth, we had figured out a time and place to meet! So my mom and I went to (a really tasty) dinner as we had planned to do before the book signing, walked around a mall for a few minutes and headed to the hotel she was staying at.
And I lost my mind. Lost it. I couldn’t remember anything I wanted to say to her, couldn’t stop laughing and smiling so much that my face looked literally hurt, I couldn’t think of any answers to any of her questions… I was a mess. But it was still awesome. Luckily, my mom was there to answer questions and take photos. It was just a great 10 minutes because I wasn’t at a book signing talking to her, I was at her hotel where she had so graciously met with me because she is such a wonderful person. See!? Wouldn’t that inspire you too!?
So, along with meeting Jenna, we have been up to some other things these past couple weeks. We went camping last weekend, which may or may not have been a disaster. No wait, it wasn’t a disaster, it just didn’t go as well as planned. Allow me to explain this one as well- we arrived at our campsite on Friday night while it was raining really hard and it was really cold. And it was dark. And we had to set up our tents and get everything organized. Oh and we had the 2 dogs. So that was a mess and on top of all of that, Brad sliced his finger open pretty well. Well enough that he couldn’t really do much the rest of the night, and well, weekend. So that just put a bit of a damper on the trip. Other than that drama, we had a great time, we just can’t wait to do a redo where Brad maybe doesn’t cut his finger open and we don’t get soaked and freeze to death. Yea, that’d be nice.
So now we get to yesterday, which has to do with these cookies. Yesterday was Purdue’s homecoming football game and my parents had planned it with my dad’s cousin (who went to Wisconsin, which is who we played yesterday) to go. We were going to do breakfast before the game and do a cookout after the game with these delicious cookies. Here’s what went wrong. I forgot the cookies. Let me repeat, I forgot… the cookies. I forgot the one thing I was in charge of for the day. The only thing I had to bring, the only thing I had to remember to put in the car. And of course, I didn’t realize it until we were about 5 minutes from my parents house. I hadn’t planned on doing a post about these cookies because I had to hurry to get them done on Friday afternoon/night so I didn’t get any photos. But… I have a whole pan filled with some 30 cookies, so I figured, here was my chance to finally get back to the blog.
Now that you know all of that useful information I just rambled about, I can tell you about these cookies. I had thought about a few different options to make a dessert that was Purdue themed with black and gold. And these are what I landed on. I found a few decent recipes online, but in the end, I went with Smitten Kitchen’s recipe. I was just going to dye the white icing gold! They turned out really well!
I learned from Smitten Kitchen’s blog that they are actually like cake. So they have a cake-like texture and definitely a cake-like flavor. I really like them. The only thing is, since they are cake-like, they don’t really keep too well. I think they are best the day of and the day after. Today, the bottoms are a little mushy and the icing seems to have somehow un-set itself. They do still taste great though! But if you are looking for a cookie that will last more than 2 days, this might not be your cookie. However! As I said, they are a delicious cookie! The icing is really simple to make, all it has is water and powdered sugar and then you just add some chocolate. Simple! These are really fun cookies that I think you could make with any colors really. You could just do the white icing and dye it two different colors. Oh! They’d make great Halloween cookies! Leave the chocolate part the way it is and dye the white part orange! Just keep in mind that they are best within 2 days!
Black and White (or Gold!) Cookies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes, I don’t know like 30 cookies
2 stick of butter at room temp
1 3/4 cup of white sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (not straight out of the fridge because otherwise it hardens the butter you just creamed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3-1/2 cup water
3 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder (optional, I felt it needed this though)
Preheat the oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together in an electric mixer until fluffy. Add one egg at a time. Then add the milk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Scrape sides of the bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, all purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add this to the wet mixture. Mix until just combined. Using a soup spoon or a cookie scoop, place heaping spoonfuls onto the parchment lined cookie sheets about 2 inches apart. They do really spread out so be careful! Bake until the edges start to brown, which is about 17-19 minutes. Remove from oven and place them on a cooling rack. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
Once the cookies are cooled, microwave a mug full of water until hot. Slowly pour a little bit at a time into the powdered sugar. Use a whisk to mix it. If adding any food coloring, use a little less water as the food coloring will make the icing more liquidy. You want the icing to be the consistency of thick glue. You want it to pour, but not be runny.
Ice half of all the cookies with the white icing. Then, add the chocolate chips to the rest of the icing and microwave for about 20 seconds at a time, pulling out the dish to stir after every 20 seconds. Once the chocolate is melted, you can add the cocoa if you don’t think it’s dark enough. In my experience, it will never actually be black you can just get it to be really dark brown.
Ice the remaining halves of each cookie. Allow the icing to set for at least an hour before storing or displaying if they will be on top of each other.
OH! By the way… all these photos are taken with my NEWWWWW iPhone 5! Isn’t that awesome! They are just as good, if not better than my camera! And, I love being able to do panoramic photos! Soooo cool
Brace yourself… this post is going to have a lot of photos.
Remember how I wasn’t in a cooking mood all last week while Brad was gone? Well, Sunday I got excited and in a serious baking mood so I decided to make these cookies. I had seen them on Eat, Live, Run a few days ago and instantly knew that was next on my baking list.
They did not disappoint.
(Oh, by the way, that’s my awesome KitchenAid in the background of the photo above. I literally held back tears when I opened it at my first bridal shower. My momma spoiled me. Just for the record.)
They are by far the fluffiest cookie I have ever eaten in my entire life. They are literally like eating a mini frosted cake. And it’s amazing.
I haven’t been in much of a baking mood lately, mostly because we have been so busy with the doggies and also, it’s been ridiculously hot so using the oven hasn’t been at the top of my list. However… I did use it to make a pizza last week, but whatever. I’m not sure what came over me, but I was very determined and excited to bake these cookies.
And I’ve actually been eating them!! Usually when I get in these types of baking moods, I make whatever it is, have a bite and then I’m done. Which means Brad eats about 1/3 of what I make, then I have to give away the other 2/3. I just don’t, for whatever reason, eat that much of what I bake. I suppose it’s the process that I like rather than the final product. Not this time though. I’ve been eating these like my life depends on it. Luckily, the recipe only made 10 so I haven’t done too much damage. Plus, I gave 2 to my mom. AND we started back up with our Tough Mudder training so I don’t feel so bad about it.
No, really. I don’t feel bad about eating spoonfuls of batter, frosting and a good 3 cookies in one day. Uhhhh…. Nevermind.
Anyway, if you are a Chai Tea lover like I am, then I swear you’ll love these cookies. They have great spice flavor in them and the frosting has just enough Chai to satisfy a craving. Like I said earlier, they have the fluffiest consistency that I have ever seen. It’s like eating a cloud made of a cookie. Really. You should try it. I think I’m going to eat one right now… that counts as my nighttime tea… right?
Chai Tea Frosted Cookies
Adapted with minor changes from Eat, Live, Run (<- that’s the link for her actually post for the cookies)
Makes 8-10 large cookies
For the Cookies:
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
5 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup buttermilk (I didn’t have any so I addedjust under 1 teaspoon of white vinegar to regular milk and let it sit for 5 minutes, works like a charm!)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
For the Frosting:
1/2 stick of butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Chai concentrate (Oregon Chai and Tazo are good brands)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. In the meantime, in a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Add egg to butter mixture, mix until well combined (a minute or two). Alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk, starting and ending with the flour. Add vanilla and beat until well combined.
Spoon the batter into a gallon size Ziploc bag and cut the tip off. Pipe onto a parchment paper or Silpat lined baking sheet, leaving a good 2 inches in between each cookie (actually do this because I didn’t so much and I had connected cookies). Wet your finger with a little water and dab down the tips of the cookies so they are nice and smooth.
Bake for about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and let completely cool before you frost them.
To make the frosting, mix together the powdered sugar, cinnamon and ginger. Beat butter on low speed and slowly add the powdered sugar. Slowly drizzle in the Chai concentrate. Beat until nice and fluffy.
**Note: I used the whole frosting recipe that she wrote, which is double what I wrote above. I found that it was WAY too much frosting. I literally have a tupperware container filled with Chai buttercream that I am trying to figure out what to do with. I found the frosting to be a little buttery as well, so before you frost your cookies, taste it to make sure you don’t need to add anymore powdered sugar. I don’t know, you might want to have as much frosting as she suggested, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Oh! And the cookies are really good on their own. They aren’t very sweet, which is nice because the frosting is!