In which there’s a little birdhouse in my soul…

Will induce random happiness

There are lots of things that make me happy. It doesn’t usually take much. It also doesn’t take much to make me cry. I did it twice today, which makes me sound like a crazy person, but I’m really really not. I am not talking about soul shaking purging all your feelings crying, it actually takes a lot (of emotion or of alcohol-those of you that went to high school with me, and good old Mary know to what I refer) to make me do that, I’m talking about the tears right at the surface ready to spring forth at the merest encouragement kind of crying. In this case brought about first by a very heartwarming story on ESPN.com (go ahead a read it and try to tell me it doesn’t give you a catch in your throat) and second by the season finale of Parenthood that I watched on TiVo. Man oh man, that one got me more than once.

But this is about things that make me happy, and today they are many and varied.

Gimlets. I know I have talked about my gimlets before, and I am still working on the measurements to share with you, so you can enjoy this fantastic refreshing beverage as well, sit tight.

The summer. I love when it’s warm. Warm holidays are my favorite. 4th of July is my most favorite because of the fireworks, but Memorial Day comes close because there is always outdoor food cookery and daytime drinking parties.

These:

please, let me explain

I honestly think crocs are the ugliest shoes ever created and are appropriate in public only for small children, but I broke down and got some because I absolutely abhor being barefoot. Unless I am at the beach or under my covers, there are shoes on my feet. I do not like to have dirty feet, and the idea of cooking barefoot gives me the icks. You could lose a toe. So I need to be wearing shoes. Except that the very first thing I like to do when I come in from outside is take whatever shoes I am wearing off. I needed a solution for this. Slippers don’t work because I cook a lot and they get spilled on and gross, and I couldn’t think of another option, so I got some crocs. And I have worn them every single moment I have spent in my apartment since. I don’t have to drag in the city filth on the bottom of my shoes, and I don’t have to risk toe decapitation. And so now they make me happy. And they have NEVER seen the out of doors. And they never will. Not only are they crocs, they are bright yellow crocs, so I will never be tempted. They have never even gotten the paper. Think slippers, but more sanitary.

The fact that my legs don’t look totally glow in the dark in that picture.

Professional sports championship match ups. Go Celts. ’57, ’59, ’60-’66, ’68, ’69, ’74, ’76, ’81, ’84, ’86, ’08…’10!

They Might Be Giants.

The kindness of strangers. A stranger did me a solid, and ended up shooting herself in the foot as a result of her totally unnecessary good deed. All is right with the world now, but it took a couple of extra steps for it to get there, and to show my gratitude, I decided to bake so I could give her a treat when we met today. I made homemade Oreos. It made me really happy to make them, and I hope it makes her happy to eat them.

So much better for you...

I actually regret making these. They are way too easy to put together, and they really are good. They may be habit forming. I have to get the rest out of the house ASAP. The cookies are crispy and a little salty and perfectly not totally sweet, and the filling is upscale Oreo. I have eaten two of these dipped in milk. And two before I thought of pouring myself a glass of milk. Again, I have to get these out of here.

They really are easy. The cookie dough is done in the food processor.

Combine dry ingredients:

flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt

Then add butter and an egg and pulse until it looks like this.

dough

Then rounded teaspoons onto parchment lined cookie sheets. And then they get smooshed a little into disks.

smooshed

And then baked for nine minutes. They puff up a little and then deflate and crisp up as they cool.

the crunchy exterior

The filling is butter, shortening, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla extract. It comes together in five minutes and then you pipe it onto the cookies and match them up.

the creamy interior

I had cookies put together and boxed up from start to finish in less than an hour. These really do come together quickly. Make them soon.

gifted

This recipe came from Smitten Kitchen. I am going to have to pay Deb royalties. This is getting silly.

Homemade Oreos (Makes 25 to 30 sandwich cookies)

From Smitten Kitchen

For the cookies:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup sugar (apparently the original recipe says you can use 1 1/2 cups sugar. I’m ignoring that because they would be too sweet. Delicious, but not Oreos.)

1/2 cup plus 2 tbls (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter

1 large egg

For the filling:

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) room-temperature, unsalted butter

1/4 cup vegetable shortening

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

Set two racks in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 375°F.

In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.

Take rounded teaspoons of batter and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes, rotating once for even baking. Set baking sheets on a rack to cool.

To make the cream, place butter and shortening in a mixing bowl, and at low speed, gradually beat in the sugar and vanilla. Turn the mixer on high and beat for 2 to 3 minutes until filling is light and fluffy.

To assemble the cookies, in a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch, round tip, pipe teaspoon-size blobs of cream into the center of one cookie. Place another cookie, equal in size to the first, on top of the cream. Lightly press, to work the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.

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3 thoughts on “In which there’s a little birdhouse in my soul…

  1. Sounds delicious. Will try today. No cooking temp? Have given the recipe to our cookie resident who bakes for the convenience store every Friday. Love,

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