Saturday, November 19, 2011

Friendsgiving Giant Maize and Blue Cookie

Last year, the weekend before Thanksgiving featured a "family" feast shared between my house and our sister house across the street where some of our best friends lived. We divided up the cooking and joined together on my living room floor for Thanksgiving dinner, complete with all our favorite dishes, many bottles of wine, and a turkey costume.

Believe it or not, I didn't even bake dessert for this meal. I think I made a green bean casserole. We also feasted on some turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and a scrumptious butternut squash mac & cheese that stands out as my favorite dish.

Dinner led to dessert — cupcakes decorated with Reeses Pieces. Dessert led to more wine. More wine led to lots of laughter, cheer, and great fun with friends.

This year, we're all scatted across the country. Those present at this meal are currently in Boston (me), Chicago, DC, Ann Arbor, Minneapolis, New York, Denver, and just outside Philadelphia. We get together in pairs or small groups when we can, but may never again have the same kind of shared 11-person group experience.

Instead, we're on our own, facing the big scary world and caught in a sort of "big kid, college grad" limbo — wanting to move forward in our careers and life, while desperately holding on to our college life. Recent examples include:
  • Bringing half a personal pizza to work and shoving it in a toaster oven to heat it up for lunch — my co-worker just shook his head and said, "that's such a college move right there."
  • Sinking into the couch Friday night after work, sipping on wine and chatting with your aunt and uncle — "that's social, right? I'm too tired to go out."
  • Trying to plan a whole-group reunion only to have every member suggest "party in my city" because none of us can actually afford to travel
We're bumping into a lot of dead-ends here. Can't get college back, can't move on. 

Luckily, I think I've found a solution to at least one question: How do we all get together again?

My answer — Cross-country shared baking experiences — Let's all bake the same giant cookie and share our experiences/photos/whatever.

Think about it: I love sharing my baked goods with friends, family, and co-worker. Few things give me greater joy than knowing that someone enjoyed something I baked and shared with them. However, most of my best friends are a plane ride away — not a cheap plane ride either. I can't make a batch of cookies and walk them down the street anymore, or stand on my porch shouting, "hey, want a cookie?" to all of my passing friends. 

So instead, I found a single-serving cookie recipe and baked myself one giant cookie — it's all mine, I am NOT sharing!

Well... I'll share the recipe. I figure if all of my friends make the same cookie, it's sort of like we're all together again. How romantic! 

This recipe will yield a GIANT cookie! See for yourself.

My cookie after one bite
After two bites
After three bites — Do I need to continue?

Giant Peanut Butter Candy Cookie (Recipe adapted from Just Everyday Me):
Makes ONE giant cookie (duh!)
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened just a little bit
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons beaten egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup M&Ms (I used dark chocolate Blue and Yellow M&Ms)
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper
  • In a medium bowl, beat butter until fluffy
  • Add sugars and beat until well combined
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg with a fork and measure out two tablespoons to add to butter mixture
  • Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined
  • Add peanut butter and beat until combined
  • Add flour, baking soda, and salt and beat until incorporated
  • With a spoon, stir in M&Ms
  • Plop mixture onto baking sheet, smush it down a bit, and bake for 18 minutes (It will look undercooked when you take it out, but will keep cooking out of the oven for a few minutes, giving you a nice chewy cookie)

Happy Baking, and remember not to share this cookie — you'll have plenty of time for sharing dessert on Thanksgiving. This weekend is all about you!


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