Latest posts by Shogun Marcus (see all)
- Look Left, Look Right. You’re All Cut. The Colts Bye-Week. Why Did I Click This? – November 22, 2017
- Complacent Indifference: Packers 2017 Preview – August 24, 2017
- DFO Archives: The Pope of Green Bay – July 18, 2017
I think it’s safe to say 2016 has been one epic whadafuq no matter who you are or your views toward life in general. It seems no one is going to make it to the end without at least one death, seismic shift to how they view their nation, or some other detrimental shenanigans that got you in the feels. Misery is subjective of course, but I feel comfortable in saying that if we were on a bell curve, most of us are precariously perched at the top or we’re watching out for incoming shit from the right (zing!). This doesn’t even account for the self-inflicted miseries we insist on living through. Like sprots! By now the likely destinies of your footed ball teams, whether professional, JV, or fantasy, are becoming painfully clear. Some have reasons to continue to hope, good for you! The rest of us however are looking down the barrel of yet another long, dark, and cold winter of disappointment and betrayal brought on by our misplaced trust in other humans to make it tolerable. Eventually though even you happy asses will join us, the psychotropic effect of football will wear off, and we’ll all be scrabbling for whatever crumbs of comfort we can find.
Crumbs…shit! Almost forgot what I meant to do! Sorry, lemme get back on track here.
I bake. I do it fairly well. I have Mama Shogun to thank for this talent. I have to say it’s come in handy numerous times throughout my life. Being able to cook is certainly one admirable trait. Being able to bake seemingly elevates you to another level in the eyes of others for reasons I don’t comprehend. I have been told some just can’t do it no matter how hard they try or how easy the recipe. I admit baking is not cooking. But it’s not hard either. Let’s do something simple, something fun, fairly forgiving, and honestly pretty hard to mess up. Let’s stare down the oncoming apocalypse and winter and make our own damn crumbs to sustain us. It’s COOKIE TIME!
Yes cookies. Basic treats for complicated times. What follows is my base recipe. You get this down (and you WILL) and you can run with it any number of ways. I’m going to throw in a couple of my personal favorite tweaks to give you a starting point. Equipment-wise you need a mixer, either hand or stand, a medium/large mixing bowl and preferably a cookie sheet or other metal pan. Three things. Easy!
- 1 stick unsalted butter (salted is fine, I just always bake with unsalted. Margarine is not food, don’t use it)
- ½ cup white sugar
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar (light or dark is your call. Like deeper, fuller flavor? Go dark.)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 egg
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda (NOT from the box in the fridge you savage)
- ¼ teaspoon salt (plus a good pinch, but forget the pinch if you used salted butter)
- ¾ cup “up to you” (chips, chunks, candy, your call Keebler)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Microwave the butter for about 40 seconds to just barely melt it. It shouldn’t be hot – but it should be almost entirely in liquid form. *TWEAK* You can easily substitute 1/2 the butter with other butters! Say peanut butter! Even Cookie Butter! Adds some nice tastiness to the proceedings. Just throw it in with the regular butter and melt it all.
- Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat the butter with the sugars until creamy. That’s fancy talk for fairly smooth and mixed. Add the vanilla and the egg; beat on low speed until just incorporated – 10-15 seconds or so (if you beat the egg for too long, the cookies will be stiff).
- Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until crumbles form. Use your hands to press the crumbles together into a dough. Vent your various frustrations on it, it’s therapeutic! You’ll end up with a large ball o’ dough that is easy to handle (right at the stage between “wet” dough and “dry” dough). Add the stuff of your choice and work it in. *TWEAKS* As I said, what you add is up to you and in what ratio as long as you don’t go over. As it stands 3/4 cup is a hefty amount. Of course chocolate chips are the standard. I don’t do that. In addition to the peanut/cookie butter tweak above, my usual go-to adds are butterscotch chips, Reeses Pieces, and crushed Heath bars. You can get pre-crushed bags in the baking aisle. I used up leftover Halloween candy recently for an epic Frankencookie. Worked fairly well, but for the record Whoppers don’t bake the best. I DID IT FOR SCIENCE!
- Roll the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet. I’m not telling you a set number or size because you are a goddamned adult (probably) and can make that decision. They don’t spread out a whole lot while baking, but give them a bit of space. Bake for 9-11 minutes until the cookies look puffy and dry and just barely golden. Warning: DO NOT OVERBAKE. This advice is written on every cookie recipe everywhere, but if you want soft cookies, heed my words. Take them out even if they look like they’re not done yet. They’ll be pale and puffy.
- Let them cool on the pan for a good 30 minutes or so (I mean, okay, eat four or five but then let the rest of them cool). Don’t screw with them too much at this point, they’re fairly fragile right now. They will sink down and turn into these dense, buttery, soft cookies that I say are magical for shitty days. COME AT ME. These should stay soft for many days if kept in an airtight container. I wouldn’t know, they never last that long.
The 3 most important things about this recipe are 1) melting the butter, 2) adding enough flour, and 3) not baking for too long.
If you find that the dough is wet and it REALLY sticks to your hands, you probably need a little more flour. This is important otherwise you’ll have flat cookies. If you need to add a couple tablespoons at a time. Fwiw, this has not been an issue since I got the amount right. You should be able to roll the balls of dough between your hands without any issues. It should be nice and smooth.
There you have it. YOU have made morsels of unbridled joy that with any luck will brighten up your day and maybe even bring it to others should you choose to share your newfound gifts. After all this year has done to us, indulging in and sharing moments of happiness is a small but tasty way to fight back the dread and fear of the unknown. Fuck fear, have a cookie. “But Shogun! A cookie isn’t going to make one fucking bit of difference!” You’re probably right, but go fuck yourself. You don’t know until you try.