Sunday, May 29, 2011

College Cooking

Cooking in college is not easy. First, there's the frequent lack of transportation. Ever tried to buy flour, sugar, butter, eggs, and milk and then smash is all into a backpack and bike home? You'll be lucky if the backpack hasn't created it's own version of pancake batter by the time you get back.
Then there's always the "steal ingredients from the dining hall approach." You can only ask for eggs and cups of oil so many times before you start to feel incredibly awkward. Or you bring your own tupperware and fill it with chocolate chips and sprinkles next to the ice cream machine. Whatever.

I opt for a mix of the two methods. I bought the flour and sugar on a grocery trip on my trusty bike. Butter, milk, eggs, chocolate chips, sprinkles, brown sugar, and oil I glean from the dining hall. It all works out.

Once you've mastered the ingredient issue, you need pans. A four dollar non-stick cake pan from Walmart may have been the best purchase of cookware in my life. And I can't stand walmart. But I use it for cake, cookies, and storage of said delicious treats. Win-win. It's also purple. Can't lose.

To the cookies! I rarely measure. Ok, I start out measuring, and then add whatever looks good and gets a consistency I like. I also undercook my cookies, because crunchy just doesn't do it for me.

I didn't bring my camera down to the sad excuse for a dorm kitchen, so I can only show the end result. Chocolate covered shortbread with sprinkles. Not bad for dorm food.  


1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 pinch salt
2+ cups flour

Mix ingredients and shape into desired shapes. I rolled mine into sad little balls and then flattened them. You could probably also roll then into a log and slice, making them a little prettier, but I didn't have the time or patience to do that. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the cookie and your desired level of crunchiness or softness.

Dip mostly cooled cookies in melted chocolate, and sprinkle with jimmies. Or leave plain, but who doesn't like sprinkles? and how adorable do they look with rainbow colors adorning the chocolate goodness?

I also mixed some mini chocolate chips into the dough of some of the cookies, with pretty delicious results.


Note: if you sit in the hallway with your cake pan full of deliciousness, people will come by and sample your cookies. You were warned. 

PS: My roommate made the perfectly round ones with vanilla frosting. She cheated, it was a mix and store-bought frosting. And they were delicious too. 


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