Valentine’s Day is over! We have survived another sappy filled love-fest! HOORAY! Perhaps some of you are saddened by the fact that the public is no longer fully supportive of you eating face in their presence. Perhaps you are not. But either way, I hope your days were spectacular! Whether you spent it with your significant other or with your friends, I hope your day went something like this:
You woke up snuggling next to your loved one
You made your way to work and your best friend was there to greet you appropriately
After a day of semi-hard work, you came home to a surprise
To which you responded
And then you found out there was more to the surprise
You reacted appropriately
And your loved one told you they love you in the best way possible
You literally couldn’t handle all of it
You eventually calmed down
And you ended the night off right
Love is in the air. For some, the emotion is only enhanced by this outrageously commercialized holiday. For others, it’s a thick looming cloud that threatens to suffocate you like your grandmothers perfume. And then there are the few, like me, who are indifferent. Cupid’s arrow has no effect on me! After all, I am the girl who celebrates her birthday for an entire month…hell I celebrate the whole damn year! But we’ll get into that another time. I choose to celebrate this holiday regardless of my relationship status. I see it as an opportunity to craft, make cards, and get glitter all over the house in the name of love! Despite the glue/glitter wreckage I leave in my wake, my housemates and friends find it somewhat endearing when I present them with my homemade love creations. I say don’t fight it; Valentines Day will happen whether you like it or not. Paint your nails pink, treat yourself to some new lingerie, and pop some bubbly! To be clear, in case my subtle message is missed by some, stop bitching. Today’s just like any other day. With a little more champagne.
Or if you aren’t so crafty, purchase one of these awesome hand crafted banners, such as the one seen above, from michiemay!
“What would you say to the last person who broke your heart?” That is the question that Lauren Hom, a graphic designer based out of NYC, tried to answer through this communication design project. And boy, did she succeed!
She explains, “This project documents some of the snappy one-liners I collected from my survey. Ranging from sad to angry, they are in the form of greeting and post cards to encourage people to say what’s really in their hearts.”
Lauren also points out that our partners are not the only folks who can break our hearts. We also have relationships with our parents, friends, and siblings too. True that, sister.
If you’d like to share what you’d say to the last person who broke your heart for Lauren’s next project, fill out her short survey here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/
Let’s hear it for break up greeting cards!
Source: Lauren Nicole Hom | Images used with written permission from the artist.
I was stumped as to what I was going to do my next post on, but then the Great Big Kahuna in the sky granted me a muse last night, a muse in a pale yellow gossamer gown. Of mucus.
Why hello, immune system. Haven’t heard from you in awhile. Usually you’re silent, getting shit done, like Batman. Protecting Gotham (me) from the wackos hell-bent on it’s destruction – which is a constant, and often thankless, duty. But now a relatively harmless virus comes by and you go into riot mode. Son of a bitch.
Swaddled in my used Kleenex and rattling my sinuses in between jokes on Always Sunny, I think about what could have prevented my current state. Hindsight is 20/20 and it’s easy to regret and outline causality post hoc – I know this so sincerely that I actually searched online for how much a used DeLorean would run (too much, it turns out, but you have to admit that stainless steel exterior is keeping these cars looking crazy fresh).
Aside from being a bubble girl, or having the cold about 200 times (to acquaint yourself with ALL known viruses that cause this immune response), or, theoretically, being virtually “immune” to the cold by lacking adequate amounts of inflammatory mediators (science, yo), I recall a few recommended preventative measures that I know I blew off
Avoiding the ill and the liberal use of disinfectant:
Close quarters living/working with sick folk and increased time spent indoors due to the colder or more rainy seasons is like being visibly intoxicated at a frat party – you know exactly what’s going to happen. You’re going to get sick/someone is going to try to de-pants you. It is inevitable. And just like in both scenarios, you have a few things you can do to decrease the likelihood. You could have no roommate/not been in the frat house inebriated. But you can’t afford to live alone/that’s where the booze is free and all your friends are meeting you there. You could be EXTRA cautious every time you’re home or in contact with people in general. You could miss the party or friend meet-up. But your flatmate has been full-on sick for almost TWO GODDAMN MONTHS. Your boss has had a cough FOR FOUR MONTHS. What the hell are you supposed to do? Windex everything and stay a few feet away from everyone at all times for almost a third of a year? Yeah, no, not doing that. What, are you never going to see your frat-fan friends? Nope. And how could you walk around a frat party totally sober? That’s just mentally draining.
Is it worth spending money on a DeLorean for time-traveling purposes?
I COULD have avoided my flatmate as much as possible, but I would have looked like a total jerk and the compound discomfort (socially and physically) of never feeling “at home”, ostracizing my flatmate when she needed me, and coating the home and workplace in smelly disinfectant with great regularity, doesn’t seem to be better than babying a cold for a week or two (I usually don’t stay sick for longer than that). Plus, the likelihood of catching it anyway, even after my many precautions, is still there. And if I got sick after being such a bitch, there is definitely decreased likelihood my friends/boss/flatmate will look after me or care when I get compacted with mucus.
Getting more regular sleep and exercise:
Your body and your immune system are in peak form when you’re getting regular exercise and rest. And, sure, this flies in the face of what I previously said (that cold are, in essence, unnecessary “code reds”), but both regular sleep and aerobic exercise are known to decrease inflammation meaning you’ll be “sick” for a shorter duration. Since I’m suffering in a Northeast winter, performing an even more sedentary job, and battling fatigue for some time (long, life story involving asthma, a car accident, physical therapy, and hormone/neurochemical weirdness), I’ve not been in shape. My slim frame and schedule demotivates me from unrolling my Pilates mat and the fast, icy winds take jogging out. My sleep schedule isn’t terrible, but likely to shift violently in a short time if I take another gig.
Is it worth spending money on a DeLorean for time-traveling purposes?
I’m 22. As my boss is always telling me, people my age can and likely should take advantage of their body’s ability to take some abuse. Granted, he didn’t mean mainlining heroine or running a train and I have no interest in testing my tensile strength. However, if you only have about 14 or so hours that aren’t spent asleep, bathing, eating, or in the bathroom, sometimes putting off a workout is necessary to get studying done or in order to wrap up a paper or put in some significant time at work. If we were in our 30s or 40s or 50s, the results of canceling a bunch of workouts could mean the difference between busting out our “fat” pants or not. Or, worse, put us in serious risk for cardiovascular diseases and adult diabetes. My intention is to get in shape, don’t get me wrong, but if there was ever a time to focus on other things, it’s when you’re a slim twenty-something.
With all that said, if I could time travel and tell younger me that I need to workout, it would likely result in nothing. I would still have all the reasons I put it off: my above average focus and allocation of time to my academics and non-athletic extracurricular stuff, the fear of losing weight and being even less desirable in a largely Hispanic community, my sedentary family being enablers, my hypoglycemia. Plus, it doesn’t mean I WON’T get sick, just that I might recover quicker. Not worth the 30 grand plus for a used DeLorean.
I’m realizing more and more by this silly analysis that I have a very fatalistic, Novikovian sense of time travel and tautology. And this is all as a result from a meager, closed circuit discussion on my cold. Fuck the DeLorean idea. I would have not learned this about myself had it not been for my cold (which might actually refute the Novikov self-consistency principle, but I’m new to this whole theoretical, advanced physics stuff).
Wait, no, DeLoreans are pretty cool. Let’s not take that off the table yet.
 Gwaltney, J.M.Jr., and R.R. Ruckert. 1997. Rhinovirus. In Clinical Virology. D.D. Richman, R.J. Whitley, and F.G. Hayden, editors. Churhill Livingstone, New York. 1025-1047.
Just in case you weren’t convinced that a few of us over here at Beginners Mag are Pinterest obsessed, I’m about to confirm it for you. Kelly’s post about finding themes within her pins made me curious, so I went and looked at my own pins, and low and behold, I found that there was a color theme among my pins as well. In fact, I was seeing the same “warm winter” colors that Kelly was pinning. (I’m throwing a virtual high five your way, Kelly!) There is something about these warm tans, cool grays, and mossy greens that just feels like January and February to me. It’s like I’m thinking about this winter thawing away and eventually becoming spring. (Or that’s a load of crap and I just like those colors. You decide.)
Featured image via Fox on the Run
As you well know, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and, therefore, you’re about to face either a completely unnecessarily PDA filled day where you are forced to watch disgusting couples make out on the bus, or..actually no..that’s what you’re about to face. It will be disgusting; it will be unnecessary. And it will be all over Facebook. Prepare yourselves: the storm is coming.
Perhaps you’re lucky and feel no obligation to celebrate this “holiday.” However, something about watching every other couple celebrate their love in the most nauseating way possible makes me feel like an asshole for not being inclined to participate in my own celebration. In fact, it makes me want to be single again if only so I wouldn’t feel so forced into partaking in this romantic comedy garbage.
Like I said, perhaps you’re not like me and you are immune to the social pressures surrounding V-Day. But if not, I’ve put together a handy list of things you can do for/with your significant other.
1. Together: Buy a bag of fake engagement rings. Go to a restaurant, order a glass of champagne, put a ring in it, and have it delivered to a random couple. Watch them freak the fuck out and laugh together.
2. Guys: put a bow tie on with just your birthday suit (location of bow is entirely up to you). Lay seductively on the couch so you can surprise your partner with a sexy surprise upon arrival. There no way this could be a bad idea.
3. Girls: unplug all electronics and plan a healthy meal of brussel sprouts and kale. Be sure you’ve made lemon water to accompany it. Tell your significant other that you’re going to spend the evening together going through your wedding board(s) on Pinterest.
4. Together: Hop on a bus and loudly discuss how much you love each other. Throw in some butterfly kisses to spice things up. Be sure your conversation ends in a vicious makeout session.
5. Guys: plan a romantic evening at a strip club. Be sure to use your teeth to tip the strippers.
6. Girls: have a bouquet of flowers delivered to his office. Be sure it’s big and contains a sappy note.
7. Together: Write each other love notes on your Facebook walls. Nothing says, “my feelings are genuine” quite like a public declaration of your feelings. Be sure to tag every one of your friends in the notes: they’ll want to read that.
8. Guys: invite your parents!
9. Girls: include your single sister in your plans.
And there you have it! 9 fool proof ways to make your V-Day as amazing as your love. Seriously though, please don’t do any of these things because they are all TERRIBLE and I don’t want to be responsible for the demise of your relationship.
Because my heart is not actually made of stone, let me be semi-serious for a moment. My legitimate recommendation for Valentine’s Day is simple. Tell your significant other that you love/like/care for them, give them a kiss, and feel thankful you have them. Do all of this in the privacy of your own home/car/bathroom/whatever; just don’t force it down everyone else’s throats because, honestly, you guys are the only people who give a shit.
Happy V-Day planning!
Have you laughed today? No? Well, buzzfeed’s got you covered (once again):
This was so on-point that it made me sad initially. Pop culture memes once again manage to describe my life so well. It makes my inner feminist want to cringe. But then, biting my lip, I shrug with a, “Yeah, that’s pretty much my life in a nutshell.” I would love to know how you folks find the new series Girls. I’d watch it but I don’t get HBO and am too lazy to locate it online. Okay…actually I lied. I accidently clicked on the second episode of season 1 once, which opened with a disgusting “love” scene that you couldn’t really call love, of course. Actually, it looked like abuse and made these young women appear so desperate and crazy. I found the bit of dialogue I heard very strange and forced but will hold off on real judgment until I make it through a whole episode of the show. Still, no matter Girls‘ apparent faults, I sure did laugh out loud (and almost cried) at these hilarious memes! Do you feel like they describe some of your twenty-dom?
All images from the Buzzfeed article “What its like to be a 20-something as told by Mean Girls, Bridesmaids, and Girls”
Do you ever have one of those weeks or months where things, no matter what you do, just won’t slow down? You finally get all your shit done at work and instead of being rewarded with a breather or a moment to look at kittens on the internet your boss hands you another “projected” 66 hr week. We like to call them repeat weeks, because as soon as Friday rolls around and you think you’ve tied up all the loose ends, Monday is back and it feels like you really made no headway. We are in the middle of a repeat week. And to prove just how crazy it is, we decided to show you our desks. Which kind of feels like showing you our underwear drawer – don’t ask why, it just does okay?
How’s your week shaping up?
I’m back with another theme I found on my Pinterest page. That’s right, I am still convinced that I am in fact not just wasting my time on this addicting social media platform. This time, I am focusing on a warm winter theme. Is this an oxymoron you ask? Perhaps, but as per usual I can’t make up my mind. So without further adieu, my most recent internet obsessions and, below, an explanation that makes no sense.
I’m not much of a nature girl, but I’ve been really appreciating these natural tones lately. There is something about the carmel brown, blues, and soft greens that has really been calling to me. Looking at these images is making me want to redecorate my room (if you knew me this would make you laugh – mainly because I have yet to finish my current room makeover). Maybe this will be my room theme the next time I move? Though I will probably have changed my mind by then…
For as long as we can remember we’ve had each other’s backs. From pre-school to college and all the crazy life events that have occurred in between, we’ve been there for each other one way or another. And the Wednesday before last, we decided to take this beautiful supportive thing we’ve got going one step further: we became work-out buddies. Here’s why this is such a big deal:
First off, we couldn’t be less athletic human beings if we tried. Sure, we’ve taken our fair share of dance classes, pilates, yoga, spinning, etc. But, even whilst enrolled in these activities in college, we never felt strong. And if we did, the feeling wore off quickly, in part because we couldn’t establish a workout habit/addiction/routine outside of class. Are you someone who runs recreationally every day? We hate you.
You see, we’re the ladies who can sit on the couch and watch back-to-back episodes of Say Yes to the Dress for three hours without feeling sick to our stomachs. In fact, after a quick check-in to see how we’re doing, we’ll happily agree to keep on going. If pinning and TV watching were Olympic sports, we’d bring the US so much glory.
Still, even folks like us need some exercise every once in awhile, and we decided that the brief stroll to and from the car was not going to cut it. So, last Wednesday, we rolled in to the Berkeley gym for our first work-out buddy date of the new year. We were there for a yoga class, but because we arrived early we thought we’d mosey around the incredibly tiny 24 Hour Fitness joint before getting our stretch on. When we say that this gym is tiny, we mean it. It’s very very small. In fact, we thought it was just the one room when we first arrived, but soon realized that there is a small basement area for weight training. After standing at the top of the stairs, looking out at all the men lifting, we thought maybe we’d try out some weights ourselves. Bring some estrogen into the room, ya know?
Within the first five seconds of lifting the 15 pound weight over my head, I knew something had gone horribly wrong. A spasm shivered across my shoulders and I spent the next few minutes up against the mirror, kneading my neck with my fists as I watched Kelly and all the other men lift like pros. For the record, Kelly is more athletic than me, Kylin. And sometimes it shows.
After Kelly finished with her little routine, and I had thoroughly messaged my aching muscles, we ventured back upstairs for our Yoga class.
You know you’re out of shape when a simple Vinyasa routine leaves you winded. Half-way through the class we took a quick break to fill the meter on the car and as we limped the short distance to the lot, we could feel our muscles shaking uncontrollably. These spasms continued throughout the rest of the class, leading to a lot of muffled giggling and dramatic pointing. We are, no doubt, the most annoying folks in the class.
I’d like to say that in the last week and a half we’ve grown stronger, our muscles more toned, our spasms less frequent. But I can’t, because as of this posting we have yet to return to the gym. Don’t read too far into this though, as it means nothing. There were forces at work beyond our control!
Tonight, we will begin again our journey into better health, no doubt establishing a wonderful routine that lasts us many years. We’ll let you know if it sticks.
I don’t know if you guys know this about me yet, but I’m pretty cynical. I’ll give you a moment to process that mind-blowing information….good? Okay. So, when I came across this article titled, “25 Ways to Communicate Respect,” my immediate thought was “barf.” But I’m very aware of my cynicism, and so I thought, “you know what, Elly? Let’s take a moment for self-growth” and I took a gander. And you know what? I learned a few really valuable things. For example, I learned that a successful marriage is all about me doing stuff for my husband and NOT the other way around: shooting star, the more you know…
The article is about how you, as a wife, can be an efficient and effective maid communicate respect to your husband. I learned some really interesting things about being a good wife, which this blog implies should be my life goal. But rather than make you read it for yourself, I thought I’d just simplify the list for you here.
This is just my interpretation of the list. It could be different than yours.
Keep your PMS in check. No one likes a cranky-pants and your monthly bleeding issue isn’t an excuse.
Your husband is now your owner. Don’t bother him with your silly opinions. Just do as he commands.
Make sure you let your husband know that literally nothing is more important than listening to him blabber on about the latest hockey game. NOTHING.
Please exhibit socially acceptable behavior despite your inherit idiocy.
Rather than respectfully bring up things you think (nasty habit!) could be improved, ignore them at all costs. There is no need or room for improvement. Ignore the bad things and focus on the good. Growth only leads to divorce, which means your life is a complete failure.
Tell God the things you hate about your husband; He’ll fix it for you. Don’t burden your husband with your thoughts.
Anything negative you bring up about your husband should be considered “nagging.” Please see “Emphasize His Good Points.”
Your husband did you a huge favor by marrying you and fulfilling the only goal you should ever have in life; be grateful and show some fucking respect.
Your husband should never be aware that you are anything but happy; keep those pesky womanly feelings to yourself. His life is hard enough without having to look at your ugly frowning face; “a smile makes any woman more beautiful.”
Regardless of what you’re doing, you should NEVER turn down his penis. You should ALWAYS be willing to enthusiastically sex him.
You should stop watching or thinking about any other man that might be considered at all superior to your husband in any way. This will only lead to him feeling hurt and probably cheating on you with any number of the women at whom he’s allowed to look.
His success is hinged on your willingness to kiss him goodbye. You are failing as a wife if you don’t make it a priority to kiss him before every parting.
Disregard the needs/wants/likes of all others and solely cook (part of your wifely duties) for him and him alone.
You should have an uncomfortable and unnatural attachment to your husband. Make sure to keep your knitting and other “handwork” in a travel case that you can easily move to be nearer to him.
You might think (again with that nasty habit!) that this would be the same as “Emphasize His Good Points” and/or “Don’t Nag,” but you’re just a silly and very stupid woman and it is completely different. If you can’t change something yourself (this should not involve telling your husband or involving him in any way), it should be ignored and never mentioned.
This has two parts. First, be sure you act like a functioning member of society and don’t interrupt a million times. Second, nothing your husband says is incorrect, so accept his words as pure truth.
No one likes an uggo. Dress to impress and be sure you’re ready to sex at a moment’s notice.
It’s your job as a woman to do all of the housework; your husband is busy making the moneyz and can’t be bothered to pick up his own shit.
Don’t want nice things because your husband can only make so much money.
This goes hand in hand with “Resist the Urge to Correct.” His words are correct and you should do your best to follow them to the T.
Don’t just tell him he’s wonderful; actually think it too (this kind is acceptable). Be sure he can see it in your eyes.
You should never voice any negative thoughts to anyone about your husband; only sing his praises. You need to make others see why he married your otherwise worthless ass in the first place.
Be sure to forgive him for the things that you haven’t mentioned bother you, and therefore, the things that he continues to do. In turn, he’ll forgive you for being a stupid sex-hole maid woman.
He shouldn’t ever have to take the high road or admit his wrong-doings. Be the first to say, “I’m sorry” regardless of whether or not you’re right.
A successful household is one in which the wife knows her place and lets her husband lead and make all decisions. Your silly thoughts on the matter are just confusing your Neanderthal husband from making the right choice.
I thought all of this was great advice. I’m going to go practice for marriage by sitting too close to my boyfriend and staring at him until he can see admiration in my eyes. Have a good weekend!
On my one day off from my shit work schedule, I got drunk and wanted to make cookies.
In this world of damn good mass-produced cookies and packaged dough, of shortened attention spans, of the widespread and insane desire to be slim, and, just, shit, what a pain-in-the-ass baking is sometimes…you pretty much are only going to try some new baking recipe if you’ve got a good sturdy buzz on. At some point in the baking process, I started writing things down because recipes are usually written for sober people and, in this case, the alcohol added some stuff.
Fuck it, let’s make cookies.
Step 1: Find a recipe that you can make from things you know you have in your kitchen. Plenty of cheese-eaters get a bit of alcohol in their blood and start getting all wacky in the kitchen without knowing dick about what is theirs. They’re always missing the vanilla extract. Or the yeast. Or the baking powder. FOOLS. These “Russian Tea Cakes” are going to be perfect ‘cuz you have your shit together.
Look at that pro set up. I included the ingredients for the White Russians. Oh fuck you forgot the flour in the picture.
There we go.
You also have by accident acquired all the necessary ingredients for a “White Russian” – in fact, you just polished one off and are now staring down at the cloudy residue that is the only remaining evidence of the worst fucking mixed drink you have ever had in your life.
Just…first off, here’s the recipe (roughly) for a “White Russian” from the side of that coffee liqueur bottle:
Fuck, we’re still in “step 1”? Mix that shit, put it on ice, and sip it in a bathrobe, Lebowski-style.
Step 2: Prep the ingredients for your Russian tea cakes:
That’s supposed to make, like, shit tons of cookies.
Oh God, this drink is terrible. It’s like sucking on a saggy, diabetic, alcoholic woman’s breast.
Step 3: Oh, man, you go and put on your Russian fur hat (sober edit: the hat is called an ushanka) because it’s all too perfect. You play “Rasputin” by Boney M because that’s the only Russian-y song you can remember right now. You are probably drunk enough so you put down the alcoholic, sugary breast milk.
Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. You remember that the Tetris theme song is Russian too.
Step 5: In a large bowl (it says medium but your coordination is not what it was before the Nikoli), “cream” the butter and vanilla together. Shove it, fancy recipe writer. It’s “mix” – you’re either pretentious or trying to make it sound sexy. You look at yourself in that fur hat and decide this Russian stuff is pretty sexy. Recipe writer = forgiven.
The Tetris song is not very sexy so you switch it back to Boney.
Oh it smells amazing. Like french vanilla cream, like the base note of a stripper perfume.
Step 6: Combine confectioner’s sugar and flour until nice and blended. You’re so happy you chose the larger bowl cuz –AHWHATTHE –
All the more reason for the big bowl when your roomie’s fat cat latches on to you and darts around your legs.
You give it some attention because this cat is aggressively seeking your love and it’s scary.
Step 7: “Roll the dough into 1 inch balls” – the 1 inch measurement is the diameter right? Whatever. You do it and you have way fewer cookies than you thought you were going to make/what the recipe online says.
What is that? Like 12 cookies? That’s…a lot of butter for so few cookies. The amount of butter in each is just…bewildering.
Step 8: Roll cookies in confectioner’s sugar. You lay out a layer of that sweet stuff and roll those butterballs up.
You get about halfway through and you realize that you fucked up. You’re supposed to roll them in the sugar AFTER they’ve baked and cooled a bit. That’s stupid because eating cookies when warm is the whole reason you make homemade cookies. Maybe the sugar will caramelize on the outside and be amazing. You finish the rest.
You also finish the white russian which is now room temp because it was too close to the oven when you were making the cookies. This does not do the drink any favors.
Step 8: The butter level is gross so you’re happy that you put the rolled cookies on an ungreased cookies sheet. Pop those things in the oven.
Step 9: Bake for 12 minutes or until before they burn. They say that an experienced baker can smell when their goods are ready to be taken out. No timer necessary. You are not stupid enough to try that. At about 10 min, you crack the oven open and get a face full of heat. The cookies look like little tan baby heads.
Step 10: SHOULD HAVE GREASED THE PAN. Stupid recipe. Look at this; the cookies are too dry/crumbly and, like, dome-y to get them off the pan without them breaking up. Follow instructions and look what it does for you. NOTHIN.
Step 11: Cookies are yummy. Eat many. Get nauseous. Vow to never make white russians again.
(Cat edit: Step 12: Pet cat. Don’t stop. Pet thru my love-bites. My purring is communicating how much I enjoy your acquiescence to all my wants and my total dominance. I AM CAT, MASTER OF ALL I SEE.)
Top image via Fan Pop
I recently wrote about my great grandmother’s recipe box and the plethora of new ideas hidden inside. As I searched through them, attempting to find the perfect recipe to try first, I came across a recipe for Soft Molasses Cookies cut from a 1950’s magazine. A short blurb at the top of the recipe informed me that a letter from a man in Ohio claimed that these cookies “were left all winter in a summer camp and when found this spring were ‘amazingly’ fresh and sweet.” Stuck in a box for an entire season and still delicious? Sign me up! Also, that must mean that someone had the balls to try a three month old cookie. Kudos.
Full disclosure: this recipe wasn’t exactly what I pictured. “Soft” actually means more “spongy” or “cakey,” which is certainly not a bad thing, just different than what I had envisioned. I actually ended up making a second batch of molasses cookies, using not my great grandmother’s recipe, but my grandmother’s instead. Let the people decide which is better, I say! A battle of the generations, played out right in my kitchen.
1/2 cup of butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup molasses
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup hot coffee
1/2 tsp. vinegar
1 1/2 tsp. baking power
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Start by creaming the sugar and the butter until smooth and fluffy. In a separate bowl, mix the baking soda with the coffee. Add this mixture to the sugar and butter, along with the beaten egg, molasses, and spices. Mix well. Molasses can be tricky to get from the jar to the bowl because it’s so thick. (Tip: If your recipe calls for oil (this one does not) then you can actually mix the oil and molasses in the same measuring cup – they will separate so you can measure them accurately, and the oil makes it easy for the molasses to slide right into the bowl. Next add the vinegar.
In a separate bowl mix the dry ingredients – flour, salt, and baking powder – and then add slowly to the wet ingredients. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. I always like to use parchment paper rather than cooking spray because I find it is easier to remove the cookies, and it makes for a quick clean up.
Because this recipe calls for a whole half a cup of coffee, the dough is particularly wet. Use two spoons to scoop small amounts of dough (about 1 Tbls.) onto the parchment-lined cookie sheets, leaving plenty of room in between because the coffee also makes them spread out. Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with sugar, because why not!
Bake for 10 minutes. Unless you have a massive oven that can fit three full cookie sheets (if you do, call me, let’s be friends), you’ll be doing a bit of rotating. Once you’ve loaded up the first cookie sheet with dough, place it on the bottom rack, and begin loading up the second. When the second is ready, it’s time to rotate – move the first sheet to the top rack and put the second sheet on the bottom rack. That way, if your oven has a hot corner or anything like that the cookies will be spared from uneven baking.
The result: a batch of moist, cakey, and very molasses-y cookies, darker in color than perhaps expected, but yummy nonetheless.
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup olive oil (trust me…)
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. orange zest
White sugar for rolling
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
Measure the oils and the molasses together in the same measuring cup (you can do the oil & molasses trick!) so you don’t waste any molasses. Olive oil might seem like a strange thing to add to cookies, but I once had to substitute a little olive oil when I ran out of canola, and found that it gave the cookies a lovely little crunch on the outside and made them extra chewy on the inside. Mix well with the brown sugar and the egg.
In a separate bowl, mix together the baking soda, flour, cloves, ginger, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture and blend. Add orange zest. This dough is a lot thicker than GG’s recipe, which can make it easier to work with.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. This next part is the most fun because you get to cover your hands in cookie dough! Pour some white sugar into a small shallow bowl. Scoop dough and roll into 1″ balls – you can roll them with your hands. Roll in the sugar until they are completely covered and place on cookie sheet, 12 cookies per sheet. It’s helpful if one person scoops and a second person rolls.
Bake for 8-10 min. The key to these cookies is not to cook them for too long. Take them out while they are still soft and the bottoms of the cookies are not too brown, that way they will still be chewy when they cool.
The result: a batch of chewy, sugary and delicious cookies. The sugar on the outside makes a beautiful crackled pattern and their color is much lighter than GG’s cookies.
Which recipe is the winner? You decide. (But for the record I like Grandma’s better.)