poor Malcolm

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Guarding her treasurer

Tiamo’s favorite – a peanut butter filled KONG

Whenever we have company visiting, especially those guests with children, I try to have some type of cookie or snack ready. Something sweet, something special for the little ones.  I  usually have to whack Malcolm’s fingers  with the wooden spoon, as he tries to steal a cookie before company arrives, saving them for the kids.  Malcolm has appointed himself as the resident taster and feels he gets first bite of any sweets.  And if that doesn’t work, he calls his stealth of a cookie the “Malcolm TAX”, owed to him by virtue of him being “Malcolm”.

When our nephew Sam came around, I made sure the cookie bin was always full.  By the weekend’s end, as he was getting ready to leave, the cookies would be depleted to just a few left.  I would send him off with a bag of “left-overs”, the few cookies still uneaten  a part of his care-package.  Malcolm was always tweaked that I gave the cookies away.

When our Dennis the Menace neighborhood kid, came over to play with Tiamo and her eight little puppies, I would keep extra treats hidden in the garage freezer (hidden so well, even Malcolm didn’t know they were there!) ready for him to enjoy.  When the puppies outgrew their yelping pen, we moved the litter into the garage where we built a huge pen.  The pen took up the whole garage, everything pushed to the perimeters to make room.  “Dennis” had permission to come on over to our house and head out to the garage to play with the kids.  After a couple of play sessions, I noticed that every time, “Dennis” left, a box or a chair was always moved over by the refrigerator/freezer.

Naturally, I assumed Malcolm was moving things around in the garage and left the box there.  Malcolm figured I used the chair to sit with Tiamo and her kids.  It took about a two weeks before I realized “Dennis” was using the chair to climb up on to reach the top freezer and grab some cookies for his pocket before he left.   “Dennis” was double dipping!  He would enjoy a treat when he first arrived and he would enjoy several as he was leaving!

When I baked cookies for work, Malcolm would complain I only baked for others, that he never got to enjoy the bounty.  Unfortunately, he was right.  I didn’t bake for just us – I baked for others.  So one weekend, I decided I would bake a batch of his favorites.  Peanut Butter Cookies.  Made with Skippy’s Chunky Peanut Butter.  Not Jif.  The old-fashioned kind of peanut butter cookies with cris-cross fork tyne indents on the top.  I made a double-batch so I could freeze some for later.  The kitchen air was filled with a warm peanut butter scent as I pulled the baking sheets filled with the golden brown cookies fresh out of the oven.  I gently transferred the cookies to the cooling racks.  Malcolm was outside in the back watering, so I grabbed a few still warm cookies, wrapped them up in a paper napkin and brought the tasty cookies out to him.  I’d do kitchen clean up after Malcolm had a chance to eat some cookies.

I wasn’t gone long, maybe four to five minutes at most.  Long enough to walk down to where Malcolm had water running on the Purple Robe Locust trees around back, hand him his treats and head back up to the house to wash up.  Tiamo joined me as I delivered the fresh-out-of-the-oven cookies to Malcolm, running out of the house ahead of me.  As she was in the habit of doing, Tiamo wandered off as I chit-chatted with Malcolm.  As I  turned to walk back up to the house, I told Malcolm I was going to leave Tiamo with him.  She wouldn’t run off and she loved to be with Malcolm outdoors.

I entered the kitchen, gathering the dirty baking utensils to wash.  I bent down to pull out a zip-lock bag from a bottom drawer to freeze the cookies, turned to the corner counter to pack up the cookies and froze.  A cooling rack was laying haphazardly against the brick floor.  My eyes quickly looked up to the counter.  All of the cookies were gone.  ALL of them!  GONE!  The remaining cooling racks were empty.  One rack on the floor, one half-off the counter, the last one pushed back against the back counter wall.  The only evidence of any cookies were a few cookie crumbs left on the counter.

Tiamo hadn’t just wandered off, she had snuck back into the house while I was with Malcolm and ate all the peanut butter cookies.  Every last one! Finished them off!  Obviously, Tiamo loved peanut butter.  She was our counter-surfing thief!  And, it didn’t take her long to pilfer the peanut butter goodies.

Poor Malcolm – out of a double-batch of Peanut Butter Cookies, Malcolm only had two.

PEANUT NUTTER-BUTTER COOKIES

These outrageous cookies need to be kept under lock and key.  Do not leave unattended while cooling!  Have been known to disappear down to the crumbs.

  • 1 cup super chunky peanut butter (with nuts)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter – room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp dark corn syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 12 oz of chopped up peanut / peanut butter candy bars such as Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Payday or Nutrageous

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Line two large baking sheets with foil.

Beat peanut butter, brown sugar, butter, egg, corn syrup and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended with an electric mixer.  Stir together flour, oats, and baking soda in another bowl and mix into the peanut butter mixture.  Add chopped candy bars.  Mix.

Drop dough by heaping spoonfuls onto the prepared baking sheets.  Slightly flatten cookie dough with the back of a moistened spoon or your fingertips.  Freeze unbaked cookies on sheets for 12-18 minutes

Bake cookies 10 minutes.  Switch top and bottom sheets and bake an additional 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cookies cool on sheets until just beginning to firm.  Transfer to finish cooling on a cookie rack.

WARNING:  Keep husbands and dogs away!

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fat man gifts

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There is a reason why jolly ol’ Nick is rather rotund – all that Christmas candy and cookies he is served on Christmas eve.  Those many platters of Christmas treats, piled high and plentiful.  All those sweet concoctions made especially for Santa.  And there is a reason why all of us add a little extra tonnage on the ol’ thighs somewhere between Thanksgiving and New Years, between office parties and neighborhood gatherings – all those holiday treats our neighbors and friends gift us, all those tasty nibbles that we swear we will only have one. 

Ha!  One, my ass!  You can never have just one – one cookie, one bite, one taste.  One doesn’t take into account the three cookies you snuck in your mouth while no one was looking.  One doesn’t mean the extra bites and samples you had, “to make sure it was okay”.  One doesn’t explain the chocolate smear on your lips as you exit the bathroom.  Nope, just one does not justify the evidence.  The damming evidence of, dare I say it, tummy tonnage.  GASP!  It can be found anywhere, under your chin, around on your rear, behind your arms.  FAT! 

Hell, weight gain is fine….. on someone else.  So, enjoy helping your family and friends get fat with these wonderful and rich chocolate chubby gifts.  Gifts with good taste!  Gifts that keep giving well after they have all disappeared!

 

PUDGY FUDGEY SAUCE

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. of your favorite liquor such as Amaretto, Bailey’s, or Kahlua (yes, add some more calories!)
  • Small decorative jars with lids

In a medium saucepan, bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil over medium heat.  Remove from the stove-top and whisk in the chopped chocolate until melted.  Stir in the liquor.  Pour into jars and cool completely before covering (otherwise the sauce will become granular).  Once cooled, cap with the lid and refrigerate.  Makes approximate 2 cups and will keep up to 1 month in the refrigerator. 

Now just tag, bag and gift!  Add a small serving spoon to your package to encourage sampling right out of the jar!

 

CHOCOLATE BON BONDS

they will bond smack dab onto your belly!

  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 16 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small chunks
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

       Optional:  add 1 tbsp: peppermint oil; coconut oil; Kahlua, Grand Marnier or a flavor of your choice

In the top pan of a double-boiler, bring the heavy cream to a gentle simmer.  Remove from the stove-top  and stir in the chocolate pieces and butter.  In the bottom double-boiler, bring 1/2 ” water to a slow simmer over low heat.  Set the top pan on the bottom double-boiler stirring continuously until completely melted.  Remove from the heat.  Pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl.  Cool completely, cover and refrigerate until the firm, at least two hours. 

Pour the cocoa in a glass pie pan.  Line an airtight container with wax paper.  Using a melon scooper, dip into a glass of warm water then quickly dip into the chilled chocolate mixture to form a 1” ball.  Drop and roll the chocolate Bon Bon in the cocoa powder until covered and place in the prepared container.  Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks or the freezer up to 3 months. 

Makes approximately 30 Bon Bons if you don’t eat any.  Ah, screw it, keep these for yourself!

 

CHOCOLATE SHORTBREAD

make two batches and hide one for later!

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp. unsweetened dark cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 5 tbsp. softened butter – pliable but not easily spreadable
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • cooking spray

Combine flour, cocoa and salt in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Place Sugar, butter and oil in a medium bowl and mix with your CLEAN hands until combined.  Add the flour mixture, again, mixing with your hands until blended.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place dough on a baking sheet that is coated with cooking spray.  press dough into an 8″ x 5″ rectangle about 3/8″ thick.  Pierce entire surface liberally with a fork. 

Bake for 30 minutes or until just set.  Cut shortbread into 24 pieces (one less and we’ll know you ate one!)  Cool.  Gift box and deliver all those calories with a smile on your face!

 

PrintFor delicious recipes and tails of the dogs, purchase If it falls on the floor, it’s mine! cookbook at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615869823