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Pantry Cookies

October 6, 2009
Pantry Cookies

Pantry Cookies

There comes a time in all of our lives when we are forced, kicking and screaming, to move.  In the past four years, Zach and I have moved five times and no, we are not sadists.  Mold, rent, new jobs and most recently the purchase of our first home, have all served as catalysts.  Despite our different reasons for moving, in my experience three things always remain certain:

1) someone will get injured (probably you);

2) an expensive thing will be damaged; and,

3) at some point mid-move you will look at your co-mover (spouse, roommate, family member) and think, “You are horrible!” It could be when they leave you holding a mattress at the top of the steps alone or they smash in the side mirror of the rental truck but for that fleeting moment, you will HATE them.

For Zach and I’s first move, a broken tailgate door spelled doom for my full-sized bed.  We pushed and pulled but the box spring refused to take its seat.  Determined to make it work, we did what all responsible amateur movers do and tied the S.O.B. to the van’s roof.  Fifteen minutes into our drive we heard the intermittent woosh of the box spring turned magic carpet and the eventual slam back down.  As the wooshes increased in frequency and the end of the box spring slid into sight in the rear view mirror, we screeched into a church parking lot to assess the damage.  Ultimately, we panicked and abandoned it in the church’s back yard.  Surely they knew someone in need of a good box spring?

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A year later, two weeks out of college and excited to live in sin, we arrived in DC during rush hour.  Sandwiched between Yaffa blocks and old liquor boxes full of books, I led the way with Zach bringing up the rear in a rented truck.  Ten miles from our exit and stuck hopelessly in gridlock, Zach honked and motioned for me to roll down my window.  With no cell phone (yet) he screamed over the roar of eight lanes of traffic, “The gas light is on…and has been for 20 miles!” Yet again, panic.

We careened down the shoulder to the nearest exit with prayers of a gas station.  Coasting in on fumes, I watched in slow motion as Zach whipped into the low-ceilinged station, engaging in roof to roof in combat.  Somehow avoiding major damage, we soon arrived to our new abode, a.k.a. some Greek guy’s basement, to an impossibly narrow staircase and a maze of 90 degree turns.  We found ourselves in a smelly and sweaty game of human Tetris pausing only to stare hard at the sofa’s legs and say, “Saw ’em off.” Even in its amputated state, the sofa never made it past our landlord’s foyer.

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Six months later and on the way out of that moldy and cricket infested apartment, our rented truck pouted and broke down only 5 blocks into the day.  And after a long, hard and brave battle, we lost another box spring.  Wedged for hours in a concrete staircase in pouring rain, we put up a good fight but in the end, were forced into abandonment yet again, if only to save ourselves.

Thankfully, subsequent moves have proven less traumatic.  Parking tickets, dropping a steel ramp on your toe first thing in the morning, or climbing four flights of stairs with a buffet – our very own stairway to hell – all seemed mild in comparison to what we endured prior.  A pre-move batch of these cookies set a positive tone for our most recent move.

There is something so gratifying about the purging that comes with moving, the cleaning out of the pantry for a fresh start.  And today, there is satisfaction in knowing that the days of rent hikes and bad landlords are done and there are no moves in our near future.  So here’s to the next five years, to not moving and to purchasing more and more heavy furniture that we’ll undoubtedly have to move some day.

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Pantry Cookies

I used the bones of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe as the base for these cookies. What you add in is completely up to you and your pantry but nuts, dried fruit and a variety of chocolate candies would be delicious as well.

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups instant oats

1 cup flaked, sweetened coconut

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup white chocolate, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  In the bowl of a mixer, or by hand, cream together the butter and both sugars until fluffy.  Add in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well to fully incorporate.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and gradually add the flour mixture.

Again, scrape sides and bottom of the bowl and add the oats and coconut, mixing until well distributed.  Add both chocolates and mix gently.  Scoop rounded spoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 10-12 minutes* until golden brown.  Allow to cool for a few minutes on baking sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

*Note: For cookies that stay soft and chewy after cooling, I err on the side of slightly under baking them. The centers will continue to cook as they cool on the baking sheet. Nothing worse than a crispy, dry cookie!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Molly McIntosh permalink
    October 13, 2009 12:45 pm

    I really hope this move went better than your previous moves! Your stories cracked me up! Especially the reference to human tetrus, the roof to roof battle, and the stairway to hell. You are a truly gifted writer!

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