Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day!

I want to begin this by saying a thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of our Veterans, and all those currently serving our country. These people put our country before themselves, and I have incredible respect for all they do.

On my day off for Veteran's Day I baked cookies, visited some friends, went for a run, baked some more cookies, went grocery shopping, and did lots of cleaning up around the house! It was nice to get a lot of things done that had been sitting on my to-do list, and great to catch up with some friends as well!

When I woke up it was cookie time. Pat and I were going up to Manchester to run a few errands, and were also going to stop by Julia and Andrew's house and Krissy and Steve's house. I thought these visits would be made much sweeter with some cookies! I'm also spending the weekend with my brother and sister (Laura is up from Charlottesville for a conference in Boston) so I wanted to make cookies for them, too. I made a huge batch of the Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies that I'd made a couple weeks ago. I also made a new recipe I found on Martha Stewart's website...

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt).

Measure 1/2 cup sugar into a small bowl and set aside. I used Sugar In The Raw for added crunch!

Cream butter and sugar together until combined. Instead of white sugar, I used 3/4 cup dark brown sugar and 1/4 cup Sugar In The Raw.

Beat in the egg and molasses until combined.

Slowly beat in the dry ingredients to the wet until your dough forms.

Roll dough into balls (about the size of a tablespoon).

Roll dough balls in the sugar to coat.

Arrange cookies on sheet, at least 2 inches apart.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges of cookies are just firm.

Don't mind all the pictures. These cookies are unbelievable! I love the molasses with nutmeg and cinnamon, such good flavor combination, and I love the way they crackle. I chose to use mostly brown sugar instead of white sugar because I've become obsessed with brown sugar in cookies lately, I think it gives the taste a lot more depth. And the rest of the sugar I used was Sugar In The Raw, because I love a little crunch. These are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside! I saw a lot of comments on this recipe that people's cookies spread too much, but as you can see mine didn't spread, they were a lot thicker than Martha's. I think this is due to the change in sugar, and I actually prefer them this way as opposed to a thin cookie.

Here's the recipe, with just a few of my own tweaks:

Makes about 35 cookies.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar (I used dark brown sugar and Sugar In The Raw instead)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. In a small bowl, place 1/2 cup sugar, set aside (1/2 cup ended up being too much ... you probably only need 1/4 cup). 
  2. I don't have an electric mixer so I did the following by hand: cream together butter and remaining cup of sugar until combined. Beat in egg and then molasses until combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients (on low if using an electric mixer) until dough forms.
  3. Pinch off and roll dough into balls, each equal to 1 tablespoon. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat.
  4. Arrange balls on baking sheets, about 3 inches apart. Bake, one sheet at a time, until edges of cookies are just firm, about 10-15 minutes (my cookies were done at 11 minutes) - cookies can be baked 2 sheets at a time but they will not crackle uniformly. Cool 1 minute on baking sheets; transfer to racks to cook completely. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Make these cookies! You will love them!

I didn't have time to make all of my cookies before visiting friends, so I stored the rest of the chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge while we went to Manchester. When we got back home, I took the dough out of the fridge to thaw a bit while I went for a 4 mile run. I'm a little bit nervous about the Chilly Half Marathon this Sunday because I'm still feeling a little bit sore from the Manchester Half Marathon last Sunday. I've never run 2 long races this close together, so I hope I don't end up regretting it! 

After my run I finished baking the cookies, and I learned something! Most people probably already know this, but I consider myself a beginner in the world of baking, and so this was new for me. If you chill the dough it becomes much easier to handle! I was able to quickly roll all of my dough into perfect little balls without clumps of dough sticking to my fingers or the balls becoming lopsided as I put them on the baking sheet. Check it out:

This trick will certainly come in handy in the future to make the rolling process faster and cleaner!

The finished cookies:

Pat is still obsessed with these cookies. I think I've made them 3 or 4 times in the past couple weeks and he still can't get enough. I finally had to put them away last night so I'd have some to bring when I see Laura and Jim!

After all that cookie baking and sampling, I wanted something healthy and simple for dinner. I marinated some tofu in reduced sodium soy sauce and red pepper flakes for a couple hours.

At dinner time I heated a skillet and sprayed it with Pam, then cooked the tofu.

I boiled some kale to have on the side.

Dinner is served! I think that's a record for faster dinner prep ever! I sprinkled some sea salt and added some fresh squeezed lemon juice to my kale.

Now I'm looking forward to a weekend with Laura and Jim, my parents, and a half marathon on Sunday!

Exercise Motivation For the Day: Something I heard on NPR a couple days ago...Stepping Up Exercise Could Help Beat the Cold Virus.

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