Friday, August 11, 2017

Party Cookies

Having a great time...wish you were here. That's what a classic vacay postcard might say and that is what I would have written if I'd sent postcards while in Manhattan Beach last week and earlier this week. The weather was perfect. The beach was gorgeous and I got to drive a dope car, eat great food, hang with the neighbors and their doggies, and best of all spend time with my daughter. Too bad that she was recovering from a really bad summer cold almost the whole time I was there, but real life isn't a post card.

One of the fun things I did was make Giant Party Cookies in a big saucepan with a wooden spoon since there was no stand mixer or similar. The lovely thing about this kind of recipe is that you really don't need fancy tools...a pot, measuring tools, a wooden spoon, foil, and a large baking sheet or pan is it. Even the ingredients are pretty simple...basically chocolate chip cookie ingredients with oatmeal added. Be sure to have some items on hand to decorate them. Colored sugar, dragees, chocolate jimmies, colored sprinkles...use your imagination.

There is a bit of history that goes with this recipe. When the kids were little there were always school birthday parties. In those ancient days it was OK, even expected, that the mom would bring in dozens of cupcakes for the classmates of the birthday boy or girl for the party. The poor teacher had to put up with the resulting sugar high.

I don't enjoy making cupcakes. I love making cakes, but the repetition of icing and decorating thirty or so cupcakes for all those kids just wasn't my cup of tea. My solution was the Giant Party Cookie, which is a super sized chocolate chip oatmeal cookie, shaped as desired, then decorated with drizzles or patterns of icing and sprinkles of various decorating candies. The cookies are just thick enough to hold up the birthday candles if that is what you are making them for. K decorated ours and we took one to dinner at the neighbors and the second to her work.

We were just going for fun, so I made one in a sort of round shape and the other is a sort of heart shape (if you use a round pizza pan you have more room to make shapes), but in the past I've done a football shape for a football event, a shamrock for St. Patrick's Day, etc.  K is very artistic, so she made a pattern on each cookie and used M&Ms and colored and funfetti sprinkles for decor. Both the neighbors and the co-workers were charmed. The great thing is that you can cut a piece the size you want with these. Not much of a sweet tooth? Cut a small piece because these are fairly sweet with all the decorations. Fun!

The recipe below is what I used with these changes: I substituted dried cranberries for the nuts and put the M&M candies on after the cookies were baked, plus we used a packaged white icing instead of the confectioners sugar and hot milk icing. The photo is of a heart cookie I made when I was first blogging. On that one the M&Ms went on to the raw shaped dough as the recipe describes.

Giant Party Cookies

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup brown sugar, light or dark, packed
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
½ cup quick rolled oats
2 cups (12-oz. package) semi-sweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped nuts

For circle or heart shaped cookie:
1 cup M & M candies in appropriate colors
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons hot milk
Assorted cake decorations such as dragees, colored sugar, colored small shapes, chopped nuts

For football shaped cookie:
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons hot milk
1 tablespoon cocoa
more confectioners sugar as needed

Combine flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape bowl and beaters. Gradually beat in flour and beat until mixed. Beat in oatmeal. Mixture will be stiff. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.

Line a 12” pizza pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Put 2 cups of the dough on the foil. Using floured fingers, shape dough into desired shape, either circle or heart. Make shape about 10” in diameter. Exaggerate the shape since cookie will spread. Football shape can be made on foil lined rectangular cookie sheet. For circle or heart, sprinkle M&Ms over dough shape and pat lightly into dough.

Bake one sheet at a time in middle of oven for 15 - 18 minutes until golden brown. Let sit on sheet for 10 minutes, then slide shape on foil onto a cooling rack. Continue to bake the rest of the dough. You can make regular drop cookies with the remainder of the batter if desired.

Once the cookie has cooled, decorate for a party! Mix the confectioners sugar and milk and drizzle over the cookie in a random pattern or pipe in a design. While it is still wet, sprinkle cake decorations over as desired.

1 comment :

  1. I am charmed as both a former teacher of fifth graders who experienced the remnants of the sugar high, and a feline-lazy baking fan! These are the best idea!!