Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Crackle Cookies OR “If You’re Wimpy and You Know It, Clap Your Hands”

A 22 year old man died trying to swing by a rope from Utah’s 110 foot tall Corona Arch. The Corona Arch is a natural landmark made of sandstone and shaped like, you guessed it, a giant arch. People climb up to the top, secure a rope to it and then jump off with the other end tied around their waist. The idea is when the rope reaches the end of its slack, the person attached at the bottom will swing wildly back and forth beneath the arch, suspended in mid-air like a human pendulum. But the guy who died miscalculated the amount of slack he needed on his rope. So when he jumped off the Arch, he just plowed straight into the ground. And that’s that.

When I read that story, I realized something wonderful. I realized that nothing like that could ever happen to me because I am a complete wimp.

I don’t mean to say that I’m a coward. I have courage. I just know where I don’t care to apply it.

The reason I would never jump off the Corona Arch is not because I’m afraid. It’s because I know me! I’d be that one hapless ninny up there who miscounts the number of feet in his rope, jumps off the top thinking, “Look at me! I’m really out of my comfort zone!” then slaps straight into the ground, ending my life at the center of a giant dust cloud just like Wile E. Coyote.

Don’t feel sorry for me. It’s wonderful when you finally accept being a wimp as part of your natural human make-up. I no longer have to pretend I’m okay with things that make me afraid. Like the iron. I hate the iron. Do you know how hot those things can get? You might as well keep a fuel rod from Fukushima under your sink. Most people don’t worry about using the iron. But again, I know me! Enough time around one of those things and I’m sure I’ll find a way to accidentally burn off my appendix.

I’m a wimp and I’m ok! I no longer have anxiety over it. Meditation and has freed me from it. Meditation and the little blue pill I have to take every morning. So what if I run from danger? Lots of people do that. Don’t ask me who right now because I can only think of C-3PO, and he’s not actually a person.

But they’re out there! Lots of them, all waiting a full three hours after eating before they get in a pool, and hiding in the basement when the stove needs to be re-lit. So what if I’ll never jump off The Corona Arch with a rope tied around my waist? I do other things well. I’ll keep to them. And I’ll also keep wearing shoes whenever I’m on shag carpet, just in case there’s a scorpion. I know me! It’s just a matter of time before one shows up. I plan on being prepared. And that’s that.

Click here for the recipe for Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Crackle Cookies

Season of the Cookie: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’ve been up for 12 minutes and I already want a chocolate chip cookie. Thankfully, I have 80 of them.

It’s the kind of week that begs, “Sit under blankets all day watching The Price is Right and eating baked goods while wearing colored socks.  Every few hours, take a picture of yourself hanging upside down off the bed.” Continue reading “Season of the Cookie: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies” »

GreenBerry TreeHouse Cookies

As it has been pouring rain outside for the last two days (the first real storm to hit Los Angeles since we moved into the treehouse), I decided to commemorate the event and the explosion of green we’re nearly instantaneously getting in the yard as the plants and flowers drink to their health and present us with a pre-spring preview bloom.

This is pretty much a standard cooking with a little food coloring added for some Saturday jazz.  I happened to have on hand walnuts, pecans, white and dark chocolate chips, so in they all went.

Michael and I have barricaded ourselves into the TreeHouse and we’re not coming out until the rain stops pounding or Monday morning rolls around.  So if you want a cookie, slip into your swimsuit, throw on your water wings and dog paddle your way up the river of mud and rocks that has become our street. We’ll leave you some in the mailbox.


–>READ MORE and GET THE RECIPE< --

2013 “Use Up the Flour” Goodwill Tour: Martha Stewart’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s August 5th, and in a mere ten days, Michael and I will be moving into our very first house together.  It’s located in the foothills of Studio City.  Actually, if you go by the realtor, it’s nestled in the foothills of Studio City  But being longtime Hollywood boys, Michael and I have yet to adopt that high-falutin’ kinda talk they brazenly show off in the San Fernando Valley. GET THE RECIPE / SEE THE PICS –>

Season of the Cookie: Cream Cheese Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

What do you make of this situation… perhaps you’ve experienced it?  You work up a cookie recipe.  You appraise the out-of-oven results as a bronze medal effort at best.  Yet all your co-workers go cuckoo for them like you’ve brought in a basket full of free iPads.

The eaters are satisfied, but the baker is not.  What do you do… continue to mess with the recipe, or let it stand as is?

I will admit that the flavor and richness of these particular cookies increased dramatically by the second day.  The addition of the cream cheese didn’t do as much to moisten them up the way I thought they might, but a glass of milk or a little bit of coffee was enough to overcome that.  And visually, they’re certainly on the high end of the enticement scale.  But to be honest, I have an even bigger issue I’d like to share with you.

Above is a picture of the desk just to the left of where I sit at my new job.  In the last two weeks, no less than three employees have been stationed there, and every single one of them has requested to be moved someplace else on the first day.   Don’t get me wrong… I’m the kind of guy who likes to stretch out when he’s hard at work.  Example: I always choose the handicapped stall whenever available.  But I have to tell you I’m starting to take this personally.  Additionally, I now have no one to throw crumpled up post-its at for late-afternoon jollies.  My aim isn’t nearly good enough to hit that girl way over there by the wall.  Maybe with a stapler, but a post-it note is just gonna veer to the side like a housefly with only one good wing. Besides, I’m sure she could beat me up.

I think I might be slowly turning into a social pariah.  I’d talk to my therapist about it, but he moved to a new office and forgot to tell me where.  I’d talk to my sister about it, but she charges more to listen than my therapist.  This puts me in mind of the time my mom drove to my elementary school to pick me up, and then inexplicably drove off again before I actually reached the car.  Some things… the hurt just never totally goes away.

As I see it I only have one recourse: flood the office with cookies until I win my co-workers over with refined sugar or until the next person who gets that desk becomes so fat so fast that the thought of re-locating their adding machine and “I Hate Mondays” mug just seems like more trouble than its worth.

Click here to get the recipe for Cream Cheese Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Season of the Cookie: Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies – VIDEO

Also known as “gobs,” “bobs” “black-and-whites” and “BFO’S” (Big Fat Oreos), the whoopie pie is the official “state treat” of Maine.  These cakey cookies exploding with buttercream have never had their origins fully explained, though most attribute it to Pennsylvania Dutch country.

My sister Jodi and I recently had an all-day marathon cookie making session that included carrot cake cookies (see them here), chocolate mint sandwich cookies (here), and these peanut butter whoopie pies.  Working side by side, we quickly reverted to the traditional roles we held growing up within the structure of the Green family.  She transformed into the bossy taskmaster who knows better than everyone else, while I became the whiney “mistake child” who resorts to raising his voice and cutting other people off in an effort to have his opinion respected.  If you don’t believe me, check out the VIDEO PROOF below.

The combination of my sister’s and my family-fostered dysfunction and rampant insecurities appears to have worked wonders!  By the end of the day we had something along the lines of 300 cookies cooling on dishes and parchment paper slices all over my home.  And they all turned out pretty spectacular, plus we were still speaking to one another. There was a brief “missing acrylic fingernail” panic, but what kitchen experience is complete without one of those? Continue reading “Season of the Cookie: Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies – VIDEO” »

Season of the Cookie: Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies

Thin Mints are now relics of your past. THIS is the cookie recipe girl scouts will kill to keep out of your hands!

Forget what The Bossa Nova favorite, “Once I Loved” tells you.  I am here to testify that love is in fact not the saddest thing when it goes away.  A plate of these chocolate mint sandwiches disappearing is far far worse.  It’s enough to send me to the bottom of the swimming pool in my apartment courtyard, sucking my thumb and desperately holding on to a lead teddy bear.

Think “chocolate covered mint Oreos” and you’re pretty much on board.

Here is that phenomenal cookie that will keep you up at night, as it quietly calls your name from that easily infiltrated plastic dessert container on your kitchen counter.  You know… the one you have every intention of taking with you to work the next day because you truly mean to share these sinfully rich cookies – gooey on the outside, crispy on the inside, and a rich chocolaty peppermint center – with your co-workers.

But really, is that actually going to happen?  What have your co-workers really done for you?  A sheet cake with your name misspelled for your birthday (“Happy Birthday Marvig!”)  and a Darth Vader Get Well card when you were sick (“I sense a disturbance in the force!”).

Fuck ’em.

Share these with nobody.  And I guarantee that at least one of these cookies you end up eating while your pajamas are on.

Continue reading “Season of the Cookie: Chocolate Mint Sandwich Cookies” »

Season of the Cookie: Carrot Cake Cookies

Billows of gooey cream cheese frosting sandwiched between two moist cookies bursting with oatmeal, carrots and raisins.  Meet the official Tv Food and Drink Halloween cookie.

I haven’t even begun to think about what I might dress up as for Halloween this year, and seeing as it’s only a few days away, I don’t intend to start now.  There’s no point in denying that as a result of bad planning and a embarrassingly short attention span I’ve wandered yet again into that shameful realm known as the “Halloween Scramble Zone.”  You know… that place where people come together and bravely try to justify the merits of such supremely lame and last-minute costumes as, “Hobo,” “Hippie,” “Cat” and “Toilet Paper Mummy.”

Yes, I’m also talking to you too, “Guy in Bathrobe,” “Working Out Girl,” and “Truck Driver.”

If you are going to dress up for Halloween, you have to put some pizazz and some planning into it.  At the very least, you must give it the old college try.  And no, that doesn’t mean you can go to your neighbor’s party in a cap and gown with a rolled up piece of sheet music you tore out of your little sister’s recital book.  That’s lame too.

Don’t stick a knife through a box of Cocoa Pebbles.  That doesn’t make you a “Cereal Killer.”

“Sexy Librarian” is no longer distinguishable from “Sarah Palin.”  Neither gets you laid anymore.

And just because it’s October 31st, wearing dirty clothes and no shoes so you can be “Homeless Guy” still qualifies you as a Prime Time Emmy-Winning Douche Canoe.

I’ll take a moment to address these knock-out cookies, though come on… is there anything else you really need to know?  The words “carrot cake” are in their name.  You can see the creamy frosting oozing out of the middle.  These are sweet, chewy, eye-poppingly decadent, and they will make you the star of any Halloween party.

As for you… guy in trench coat with black socks and dude sporting “This IS my costume!” on a t-shirt.  You can just move along to the orange-colored Rice Krispie Treats.  There’ll be no cookies for you.

Continue reading “Season of the Cookie: Carrot Cake Cookies” »