For better or for worse, as she packs up and makes her way back to the U.S., The Experimental Gourmand is letting the younger of her two younger brothers write about one of his favorite food topics. For the record, she also gifted him a box of Thin Mints again last year to refresh his cookie jar. When my sister asked me to write about food, I briefly considered a variety of food topics. However, like Sam Malone returning to his true love in the Cheers finale, I think she always knew this would lead to the topic of Cookies. After all, I did have Cookie Monster cakes on two consecutive birthdays when I was little. Plus, I invented the term “pre-ssert” to justify my consumption of a dessert before dinner in front of my [then] 4-year-old niece.
My most notorious cookie incident, however, involves Girl Scout Cookies. See, I have four sisters which meant that my mom had to buy a lot of Girl Scout Cookies. Each year she’d buy about a case of each kind of cookie and store them in the freezer (By the way, I’m not sure I had a store-bought cookie for the first ten years of my life). Now as an 8-year-old whose bedroom was across from the room with that freezer how long do you think it took for me to start taking those cookies?
Of course I was a bright little boy, so I knew I couldn’t just throw the boxes in the trash. Instead I just kept sticking the empty boxes under my bed. Eventually, of course, these were found and there was some explaining to do. My excuse – I was collecting the boxes. Apparently I was relying on the “I’m just a weird kid” defense. Either that or I wasn’t nearly as smart as I thought.
To this day, I still haven’t lived that one down. Also, Girl Scout Cookies that aren’t frozen or don’t at least have that slight freezer flavor don’t quite taste right. As a post script, when I got married my sisters gave me a cookie jar as a present (shaped like a pig – unnecessary!). However, first they stuffed the jar with Thin Mints so that all other cookies would have the vague minty flavor once they were put in the jar.
As a little payback to The Experimental Gourmand, let me share with you one of my cookie tips that annoys her. I contend most cookie recipes make the cookies too thick and they’re always hard the next day. To counter that, cut back on the flour just a little bit. For example, when you make the Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies, use only 2 1/8 cups of flour not the 2 1/4 cups it calls for. Also, when the cookies are done on the edges, but look slightly undercooked in the center they’re ready to come out of the oven. They’ll finish off on the cooling rack and they’ll be more chewy and buttery the next day.