Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Cookie Bookie VII: The Grand Finale

Oy vey. I'm a little verklempt to be writing the very last post of Cookie Bookie 2010. Three Octobers ago when I started this little blog of mine, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite fall cookies and some spooky reads. I had only a handful of readers, and they were mostly just relatives, trying to be supportive. By the next year, my reader family had multiplied. A few kind readers emailed to ask if I was planning to do Cookie Bookie again. And so the tradition was born, thanks to you all. This time around I've had a whole year to test cookies and read scary stories. I saved the sweetest and scariest for last....
I wouldn't recommend reading Stephen King's Misery when your husband is out of town. It will be a long night, full of nightmares and macabre hallucinations. Maybe you've already seen the movie Misery, but don't let that stop you from reading the frightening book. (Who could forget the hobbling scene with Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata playing in the background? Well, it doesn't happen in the book-it's worse.) If you thought it was scary in technicolor, you won't believe how chilling the story is on the black and white printed page. Misery tells the story of dangerously unbalanced Annie Wilkes, who rescues her favorite writer Paul Sheldon when his car slides off the road during a snow storm. She transports him to her isolated farmhouse in the Rocky Mountains and nurses his shattered legs. Doting Annie is Paul's self-proclaimed "number one fan!" Although Paul is grateful to Annie for saving his life and limbs, it becomes almost immediately apparent that Annie is distressingly, but sometines humorously, abnormal. (She loves to use creative curse words when she's annoyed, like "dirty birdy" and "Mr. Man" and "cock-a-doodie." Hmm. I could use a few of those gems daily.) One dark evening as she reads the latest installment of Paul's popular romance series, she flies into a dangerous rage because the main character , Misery, dies in childbirth. That evening, Paul realizes that Annie has no intention of releasing him from her home. She demands that Paul bring Misery back to literary life on a rapidly deteriorating antique typewriter. Adding greater insult to injury, she torches Paul's first completed attempt at a serious semi-biographical novel. Misery now becomes not only Paul Sheldon's psychological condition, but his magnum opus and probably his swan song; or will the writing of Misery become his literal and figurative salvation? Read it yourself, if you dare. A word of warning though, it is bone-chillingly terrifying. (Don't read it, Mom. You wouldn't like it. But go ahead and read it, Roy; you would.)
And here is my Cookie Bookie swan song. For this year, anyway. I saved my favorite treat for the last. These fantastic cookies are chock full of suprising textures and flavors. The dough is heavy on caramel tones with a splash of molasses and lots of dark brown sugar, all balanced with a generous bite of salt. Cornflakes add a hit of crunch while marshmallows (the staler the better for keeping their shape) provide a gooey, sweet counterpoint. Peanut butter M&Ms provide another dose of sweet and salty flavor. The cookies have to be fairly large to get the right combination of chewy-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside, bumpy-all-over textures, and also to keep the cornflakes, marshmallows and peanut butter M and Ms in place. Don't cheat and try to make them tiny. But, mmmmm. Mm-mm-mm. They are really, really good.
Caramel Cookies with Cornflakes, Marshmallows, and Peanut Butter M and Ms
(recipe by me-share it all you want)
Estimated Cost: $3.50 for a dozen
1/2 cup unsalted softened butter (if you use salted, cut the added salt by a generous pinch)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon molasses
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
scant 3/4 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/3 cups all purpose flour (or use half whole wheat)
3/4 cup cornflakes, crushed (or use rice krispies)
3/4 cups stale or frozen mini marshmallows
3/4 cup peanut butter (or plain) M and Ms, divided use
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butters and sugars until fluffy. Add vanilla, molasses and the egg. Stir in soda, powder, and salt. Add flour, mixing until just blended. Stir in cornflakes, marshmallows and 1/2 cup M and Ms. Scoop cookies by generous 1/4 cup full portions into balls and place on two cookie sheets with two inches of space between cookies. You should have between 10 and 12 cookies. Bake for about ten minutes, or until tops are just beginning to carmelize. Poke remaining M and Ms atop the still warm cookies. These cookies are equally good warm and at room temperature. For the best texture, stick with room temp.
Thanks so much for reading my ramblings and recipes. And thanks especially for all of your kind comments for Sailor on yesterday's post.
Next Up:
Italian Tomato and Basil Steaks in the Slow Cooker


The JR said...

To be honest, I don't do horror or really spooky.

Living in the country, I'd be scared to walk out after dark!

The cookies look great.

Prudy said...

You're smart, Japanese Redneck. I don't watch horror films, but this book I couldn't resist. It stayed with me for weeks, though!

Tightwad Mom said...

Stephen King scare the holy living snot out of me! I am scared spitless of clowns now because of Jack Nicholson in The Shining! I do love your cookie recipe,though. I adore cookies with marshmallows in them. I have also thoroughly enjoyed Cookie Bookie,too. Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

Adrienne said...

Okay, those cookies look too interesting to pass up. I need to make some treats for my piano students. I was going to do your halloween chocolate cupcakes but these will probably make a showing as well now. I read about 5 Stephen King novels one winter and had to stop. They really do stay with you. And I got to the point where the foul language wasn't worth it. But I forgot Misery has all those holy-roller curse words. Thanks for the review.

Katie and Mark said...

Oh boy! So much goodness in that cookie it has to be delicious! Yum! I love your blog, and I'm so happy for the Cookie Bookie 3 years ago that started it! Ü

Michal said...

Not interested in Stephen King, but I am dying to have those cookies. I already am too scared by things that go bump in the night and now that my husband is scoutmaster I am doing a lot more nights with him gone, which always makes me even more skittish. I can't wait to hear about your trip. Did you leave today for NY?

Aunt Spicy said...

Just wrote all the ingredients down to hit the store tomorrow...these are my kind of cookie!

Adrienne said...

Thanks for another great week of Cookie Bookie!

You need a cute name for these cookies. I will be making them next week (if I can wait that long). What about calling them Halloween Candy Cookies? Or Upside Down Candy Bucket cookies? or Candy Bowl Cookies. I know, I'm putting my oar in again. Just looking forward to your cookbook, can you blame me?

Alexis said...

These look yummy. Just to you measure the cornflakes crushed, or whole and then crush. Thanks! :)

Prudy said...

Great question! Crush and measure. Good luck!

Prudy said...

Name them for me, would you? Keep that oar in; I need some help with my rowing. About that cookbook, it's about time, isn't it?

Prudy said...

Name them for me, would you? Keep that oar in; I need some help with my rowing. About that cookbook, it's about time, isn't it?

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