Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Vagabondy Python and the Search for the Holy Cookie Grail

Ah, April.

It’s really the one big glitch in springtime, as I see it. I suppose life is always a delicate balance, and, to even out the lovely weather and flowers and green things, we have rain and allergies, and…taxes.

This year, I’m turning to cookies to see me through…and, hopefully, a healthy refund. Thanks, IRS!

I love cookies. Remember Cookie Monster?

That should give you an idea of how I feel about a good cookie. While I don’t go bat-crazy and stuff them in my face like he did, give me one well-made cookie (or two, if I’m being honest here), and I’m a content girl. I especially love me some oatmeal cookies. Maybe it’s the part of me that pretends that this is a “healthier” dessert choice, but dang it all if oatmeal cookies aren’t near perfection. Chewy, hearty, sweet and a bit salty, nothing whispers comfort like oatmeal cookies on a gusty spring day.

Here in DC, we’re lucky to have a local chain called Teaism, where a few years ago I was introduced to the glories of the Salty Oat Cookie. This year when I moved to DC, I discovered its spunky twin, the Chocolate Salty Oat Cookie. Oh. My. Goodness.

Salt on TOP of a cookie? Oh, yes. For those of you out there, like moi, who have a penchant for salty foods, this cookie is a dream. The first bite is salty, and as soon as that passes, the richness of the oatmeal kicks in and the added sweetness from a raisin or chocolate chip finishes it off nicely. Next thing you know, you’re left wondering where the hell salty oatmeal cookies have been all these years, hand sadly empty, crumbs trailed along the table and your shirt, a testament to the awe-inspiring power of new and exciting food combinations with sugar and salt.

Ever since my encounter with the mythical Salty Oat Cookie, I always put the salt required for oatmeal cookies on top of the dough right before it sets in the oven, and really…it’s pretty clever.

From new year, new food

Speaking of clever, I thought it would be pretty great to throw in some dried cherries and walnuts and chocolate chips into this oatmeal cookie recipe I found online that claimed to be the be-all, end-all of oatmeal cookie recipes. Quite the claim, but I'm a gullible person you know. Actually I prefer the term trusting, but whatever, anyway, this cookie recipe did NOT in fact bowl me over with its awesomeness, nor did my mouth do somersaults when I took a bite, nor was I super proud to share this with people at work. I mean... this cookie recipe is fine. It is, in fact, good. But when you have great expectations, and the result is only pretty good rather than spectacularly amazing, its a bit of a let down. They're crispier than I like (I prefer big, soft, chewy oatmeal cookies) and I thought it was strange the recipe didn't call for any vanilla. I should have known. Anyway, the quest is still on for the best oatmeal cookie recipe ever, which means I just get to eat a lot more cookies, which isn't really a travesty at all. Also, when I brought some in to work today, the whole bag was gone before lunchtime, and were actually pretty good when warmed up in the microwave for twenty seconds.

From new year, new food

By the by-- cookies are a great way to pay off your one friend willing and kind enough to do your taxes. I mean…SOMETHING has to nourish them through this trying time, no? At least, that’s how I see it. They spend an hour and a half on my taxes, I spend an hour and a half on cookies, and look: an in-kind trade that makes both parties happy and good with the government for another year. Thank you, Michigan-Tax-Man-Friend: you’re buena gente. Also, the cookies will be in the mail tomorrow, and, like I said, don't get upset that they're not absolute perfection.

Up next? Probably a re-cap of all the veggies I ate this week in an attempt to be slightly more loving to the vegetable section of the food pyramid. You have Asparagus and Cabbage to look forward to, you lucky tax-burdened beasts, you. In other news, my lovely sister Natalie and our good friend Jared are coming to the District THIS THURSDAY to visit with me for the weekend! Joy.


Tanglewood said...

Word to the soft oatmeal cookies--cooking half the oatmeal beforehand performs wonders, I swear.

We should trade asparagus recipes. I'll give you my braised in white wine with mint for your... :)

DC said... your #1 tester, I'll have to buy a lot of milk(lactose that is) in the coming weeks to enjoy with cookies of all tastes! (lucky ME)

Samantha said...

Kari-- an asparagus cook-off is definitely on the radar!

Roni-- you're the best taster there is! P.s. the cookies last night were awesome. you mama is lucky to get them :) :)

Erin Skinner said...

You did it again. I'm sitting here at work salivating. This is a good and a bad thing, of course, because your cookies are 2 miles away from here and the best I've got is rice cakes and peanut butter.

Jenna Kozel said...

These look amazing!

JG said...

I just want to say that these cookies were amazing despite what you may think. I loved them!