We did it! We sprung forward. We are in the absolute final stretch for winter. Sunshine and summer is the light at the end of the tunnel that we can finally see. Anyone who complains about losing an hour of sleep last night should get a good kick right in the shins, because there was nothing more glorious than being able to walk castle island for a 6:43 pm sunset tonight. I honestly felt like Will Ferrell in Elf when he’s singing in a store today, running around just saying spring, spring spring! I even made it to 8am mass this morning and hit the gym with no hesitation, which is abnormal for a Sunday. I’m telling you. A little warmth and Vitamin D can go a long way my friends.
So lots of stories for the blog about this week, but I’ll get to the cookies first and save all the life stories for the end of this post. This weekend was Colleen’s birthday celebration. So needless to say, I may have been hurting a little bit browsing the aisles of Target in South Bay this afternoon in search of some cookie inspiration. I am not ready to go full Easter candy in my cookies quite yet, and I can not have Cadbury mini eggs anywhere around me, because they are straight crack cocaine to me once that bag is opened. I bought some mint green M&Ms thinking maybe I’d do something for St Paddy’s day, but I wasn’t really amped about that. I saw these mini M&Ms and remembered back to Christmas time when I did regular mini M&M cookies but never blogged about those, so I decided to do a browned butter version of that today.
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- 1¼ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. coarse sea salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 2½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
- 12 oz bag mini M&Ms
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the butter into pieces and place in a saucepan over medium heat. You need to use a saucepan, not a pot. Whisk frequently to allow the butter to brown. You’ll be able to tell when it’s ready because after it gets wicked foamy you will see it turn to an amber color Remove from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
Step 2: Sift together the flour, baking soda and sea salt in a separate bowl and set aside.
Step 3: In the mixer, combine sugars and brown butter until smooth. Add the egg, egg yolk, vanilla and yogurt.
Step 4: Mix in the dry ingredients. Set aside about 1/4 cup of mini M&Ms. Add the remaining mini M&Ms and mix just until they are evenly incorporated.
Step 5: Using a medium cookie scoop, place exactly the scoop size (don’t overfill it like a normal cookie) balls of dough on a sil-pat or parchment lined baking sheet. You want these to be smaller than a normal cookie. Press down lightly with your fingertips and then using the remaining M&Ms add a few on top of each cookie. This step is optional but makes them look really nice when they come out of the oven.
Step 6: Bake at 350 degrees for about 10-12 minutes or until lightly golden. Let them sit on the tray to cool for at least 2 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.
Oh yeah. This was a good choice. They might not be the most exciting cookies I’ve ever made, but they look great, taste great, and are bite size. It’s great because just like munchkins which never actually add up to a real donut, you can eat as many of these as you want and they never equal one regular size cookie. That’s how it works, right? I hope so, because I gave up Diet Coke for Lent which is usually how I negate my cookie consumption.
So this week was a busy one. Monday my friend Caitlin from home and I were discussing how it’s just too frigging cold, so we booked a trip to Mexico for the first week in April, because as they say in Mexico … YOLO. Tuesday was Colleen’s birthday so we spent the weekend celebrating, which I’ll get to some more details on later. Tuesday I also finally decided that after 10 days of pretending my ankle did not actually hurt that bad, that it was time to go to the doctor. Which then resulted in having to go to the hospital for an x-ray. And then a different hospital Thursday morning to see an ortho doctor. Which finally resulted in them telling me that I did in fact sprain my ankle, and in the process managed to chip part of my ankle bone doing it. It definitely sounds worse than it is, but I got a copy of the xray for my desk at work so when people are hassling me, I can just point to it and be like, chipped ankle over here, please be sensitive. I then had to email my parents pictures of Chip the teacup from Beauty and the Beast. I decided to sit out my tennis match this weekend since the doctor basically said “do not play this weekend” and I spent 5 minutes negotiating with her “you said “don’t” but you did not say “can’t” so technically I CAN play is what you’re saying?”
So instead, I ended up driving to the Cape early Friday morning after the gym which was great, because I got to work from home all day and hang out with my parents Friday night. I know this may not up my ranking on the “cool” scale, but hanging with my parents by the fire down in Harwich on a Friday night in the winter, is actually my idea of the perfect Friday night. First, my parents laugh at all my jokes, which is nice of them. It makes me feel funnier than I am. Also, if you are not a Cape person or just haven’t been, you’ve gotta get there. Especially in the off season when there’s no traffic and it’s perfect. We had a nice dinner at the Marshside restaurant in Dennis Friday night and then I fell asleep by the fire on the couch at 9pm. If hanging with your parents on a Friday night is cool, then consider me Miles Davis.
Another benefit of going to the Cape, was I needed someone to help me bake a surprise birthday cake for Colleen. I can bake cookies blindfolded in my sleep, but cakes are just not really my thing. Mostly because they require patience, which I severely lack. So my favorite baking assistant (Mom) helped me bake a chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and chopped up Reese’s peanut butter cups. I was silly and forgot to take a picture of the cake, but everyone at Colleen’s surprise birthday brunch today gave it several thumbs up. I’m sure I will channel it into some cookie one day, but I was on such a peanut butter sugar coma after brunch this afternoon I couldn’t bake with anything peanut butter flavored tonight.
We danced up a storm (I will not be posting those pictures, sorry Colleen) last night at Lucky’s and then brought ourselves back to life with a brunch this morning at Lincoln in Southie. Colleen and I took a romantic sunset walk around Castle Island tonight to take full advantage of the time change. And, my favorite part of tonight, was getting Facetimed by my Grandpa (on my mom’s phone) who was trying to taunt me that he got cookies from someone else this weekend. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen my Grandpa in his house wearing anything but his classic undershirt, dress pants and suspenders. That man was made for the Internet.
So that’s it for this week. I’m sure I’m forgetting some stories but I think we can say Colleen’s birthday week was a success. I will be posting some mid-week cookie pictures because I have been tasked with making Star Wars themed cookies for a Star Wars movie night at work Wednesday night. So one of the developers bought me 8 Star Wars cookie cutters, so tomorrow night I will make the sugar cookies, and Tuesday night Colleen and Sarah are going to help me decorate them. I’ve never decorated cookies before, so I picked up some decorating swag at the Party Store today, so fingers crossed. I would make some kind of Yoda joke right now, but I know that’s what Skip would do, so refrain I will.