Monday, January 16, 2012

The Best Cookies I've Ever Made

Every December, my neighbor hosts a cookie exchange.

Every year, I stress out about which cookies to make. Like, I have bad stress dreams about baking bad cookies. Oh, the pressure!

In recent years, my cookies have admittedly sucked. They've either broken too easily or just been forgettable. And let me tell you, you can’t get away with bringing crappy cookies to this exchange. Your reputation—not to mention your standing with the neighborhood gals—is on the line. One neighbor brought store-bought cookies one year, wrapped them up and claimed she made them, was found out, and has never been invited again. I’m serious.

What I’m saying is…it’s important that your cookies are awesome. So naturally, I sought redemption last month and wanted to bring my A-game.

The exchange was on a Sunday afternoon at 3pm, so on Saturday afternoon I made and chilled the dough for the cookies I was planning on making. Basically, they’re sugar cookies with an Andes mint in the center—stinkin delicious. Easy. Been making them for years.

While the dough was chilling in the fridge, looking promising, my family went out for my birthday dinner. Baking the cookies was on my mind while we were eating and I was excited to start baking them once we got home. I was ill-prepared for the tragedy that would await me.

I still don’t know what happened. The cookies, like, didn’t bake. Instead of setting, the dough just seemed to melt over the Andes, creating a giant mess on the cookie sheets, not to mention heartbreak…and then panic. What happened? Did I not double all the ingredients like I was supposed to? Was something expired? No, no. I don’t know! Saturday night, weird dough, no cookies, and I have no Plan B. Hashtag EPIC FAIL.

So anyway, the night’s epic saga continued onto Sunday, because I’m no quitter. My dad literally googled something like “best Christmas cookie” and found a recipe that was full of words we like—chocolate iced marshmallow cookies. It seemed like a pretty basic recipe. No weird ingredients. Totally doable. So Mom melted chocolate, Dad went to the store to get parchment paper, and I got started on the dough. Things were looking up.

Then came the real test—baking. And they turned out great, almost like chocolate cake. After they’re done baking, we put a half a marshmallow on top and put them back in the oven for the mallows to melt on the cookies. Then we drizzled them with chocolate icing (which tasted like chocolate donut icing). Six dozen cookies and one chocolate drizzled countertop later, our cookies were prettily packaged and labeled.

They looked amazing. They tasted amazing. I’m just going to say it…my cookies were the best at the exchange.

So, if you ever need a Plan B, or a Plan A, or want to make cookies at any time, for any reason, this is your recipe. Take them to your cookie exchange with your head held high…these won’t disappoint. I’m definitely making them for Valentine’s Day.


½ cup butter
2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened chocolate
1 large egg
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup milk
1 (16-oz) package large marshmallows

6 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups powdered sugar
4 to 6 tablespoons hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
2. Melt butter and chocolate in small heavy saucepan over low heat; stir to blend. Remove from heat; cool.
3. Beat egg, brown sugar, vanilla and baking soda in large bowl until light and fluffy.
4. Blend in chocolate mixture & flour until smooth.
5. Slowly beat in milk to make light cake batter-like dough.
6. Drop dough by spoonfuls 2 inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets.
7. Bake 10-12 minutes or until firm in the center.
8. Cut marshmallows in half. Place halved marshmallows, cut side down, onto each cookie.
9. Return cookies to oven just until the marshmallows stick to the cookie. Gently smoosh them down to flatten on top of cookies.
10. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Drizzle with icing when cool.
11. For chocolate icing: Combine all ingredients in bowl and beat by hand until smooth.

Makes 5 dozen

You’re welcome.

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