Saturday, October 8, 2011

Mongo Cookies

If I don't subscribe to the "eat dessert first" philosophy, I do subscribe to this one: "Life is uncertain; make dessert first."

The chocolate chip batter is pretty much standard fare: cream the butter and sugar, gradually combine dry ingredients and the chips - barely mix. After that is where it gets interesting. I don't have a cookie scoop, so I took handfuls and eyeballed the amount for the top and bottom before smushing them together. It's not as easy as it sounds to seal the cookies: your hands get sticky fast. And I didn't use quite enough (or spread it around enough) on all of them, because after they baked, I had a few with gaps.

That said, I decided to put only eight or nine on the sheet just to be sure they didn't grow together. Though not as big as I expected, the cookies were positively massive ... and you can't check the bottom to see how done they are. I did 14 - 15 minutes in my oven, which turned out perfectly.

Final verdict (cookies):
These are so wrong, they just have to be right. I only ended up with 19, which means I either too much batter or made them too big or there's Oreo size variant in other parts of the country ... either way, believe me, that's more than enough. These are sweet on top of sweet. The Oreo essentially melts within.

Later, I discovered that even my biggest bowl was almost too small for the amount of ingredients that needed to be joyously mixed and mashed together for the casserole. But it was a quick, simple assembly - popped into the oven while I took a short break and then came back to tackle the chicken.

I made the honey mustard, but discovered that I didn't have chives on hand, so I used dried dill instead. Measured 1/3rd of a cup of the mustard instead of 1/2 and had to eyeball the amount that went into the egg mixture. And then I stopped, terrified, because there it was: I had to split my chicken breasts in half. I have yet to complete any step that involves even cutting of meat successfully.

This time, after light pounding, I managed to cut the thick piece in half - barely. With the smaller piece, I decided to just keep pounding and cut it vertically instead. This took up enough time that I had the casserole out before I was even able to get the meat in the pan - not my plan. So after a bit of thought, I turned the oven back on with intent to re-warm the casserole for two minutes as I got closer.

I don't think I had the pan hot enough initially, because the first side of the cutlets took significantly longer than the rest. However, these fried up quickly and easily (despite the dog running to hide upstairs again) and were ready in moments.

Final verdict (casserole): Rich and hearty - maybe a bit too heavy to have much, and might be (indeed) better as the breakfast it is billed, but a perfect balance of cheesy and creamy.

Final verdict (chicken): A subtle, flavorful breading - quite satisfying, and easy, too.

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