Baking Basics: Brown Sugar Thumbprint Cookies

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Relationships are beautifully fraught with dizzying proclamations of love beset between pleading sobs. Intricate and delicate when they start, we all so carefully tip toe around each other, hoping our significant other doesn’t find out about that weird thing you do, you know what I’m talking about. That thing you did in fourth grade and don’t want anybody to know about.

By that thing, she means SCHMEHHHHHHH
(this is what happens when your boyfriend uses your laptop to play online “protect the castle” games while I’m neglecting my writing so I can play The Sims 4 on his desktop.)

You go from spending Friday nights getting drunk enough to comfortably get naked with each other (oh god, does he think I’m sexy enough?) and waking up on Saturday morning slightly before him just so you can finger comb your hair so you don’t look like the underwater she-beast you are… To spending Friday nights wearing his Forever 21 sweater and waking up on Saturday morning to a stale bedroom, leaving you wondering was it me or him that farted all night?

Once you get to that magical moment, the inevitable happens in the dating life of a foodie: when can I bake in his fucking kitchen? For me — It took about six months. I probably could have baked earlier, but you need that magical combination of wanting to stay in his boxers and socks all day, and him wanting to play Skyrim for your Saturdays to be transformed into baking parties only you’re invited to.

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Due to strenuous circumstances family shit is shit I was squatting in my boyfriend’s house for a few days. I came on a Thursday night amid to some snuggles and leftovers I brought over, only for us to go to bed early, so he could wake up to go to work. Admittedly, this was the first time I’ve ever slept over his house and he had to go to work the next day and I didn’t. This felt so strange and I met it with charming ambivalence.

There’s something so syrupy sweet about waking up in the morning all sleepy-eyed and dopey watching your boyfriend get ready for work, and you just simply don’t have to. I sat in the bed, blankets abound, watching him chat with me in the morning while he slowly put his clothes on. He came to kiss me on the head before he left, and back to sleep I was. Waking up at 10 am makes you feel like a privileged housewife.

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I had already premeditated that I was going to bake in his house and document the adventures, but I had no fucking clue as to what.
After spending a few hours writing up a pitch for another website about food and sex (surprise!) while eating eggs on toast like the egg loving bitch I am, I proceeded to clean the house… Because procrastination is my frienemy (I literally stopped writing this for 45 minutes to sit on reddit and look at pictures of baby elephants).

As I approached the kitchen now with some trepidation, I felt emboldened. Here I am, Queen of my own (kind of) kitchen!
…Except it’s a bachelor pad kitchen. You know what I’m talking about? The sad tiny white oven with only 1 rack. The modular stove top built into the counters. The shelving completely devoid of literally any ingredients.
Actually I made a list. I felt like I should start baking with only exactly what he has in his house, to simulate what a hopeful home baker, new to the game, would feel like.

All Purpose Flour & “self rising” flour /// Vegetable Oil /// Domino Sugar /// Eggs /// Blackstrap Molasses (????????? I was just as shocked as you are) /// Cinnamon /// Salt /// Cracked black pepper /// Milk /// Olive Oil /// Chocolate chip muffin mix /// Canned cinnamon rolls /// Real Vanilla Extract (BLESS) /// Baking Powder /// Quick cooking oats /// Brown sugar (hard as fuck) /// ALL OF THE PEANUT BUTTER EVER /// Baking soda /// Bread crumbs /// Steak rub (hey I mean maybe savory baked goods??) /// More Pam than anybody ever needs /// Tons of vodka (Some Titos in there for Texan in him) /// Patron /// Bottles of Red wine from our 2 month subscription to “Wine of the Month” that we canceled because it’s too expensive for two 20-something dummies

Measuring cups & spoons /// Cupcake pan /// Glass mixing bowls /// Jelly roll pan /// Tiny 1 rack oven /// Mashed potato thing /// Serving spoons /// Wooden spoon


Okay. Now that the damage has been done, I needed to do something all day, dammit. I couldn’t possibly just sit in his house all day in his fuzzy Superman sweats and random floor Polo.

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Since this was made back in May, I honestly can’t tell you what led me to these cookies except for possibly frantically searching on pinterest for “no whisk” “no mixer” “no tools help me bake”.
With those magical words I was able to find some Chewy Brown Cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction but like everything I do, I need to take all of the ingredients and be obnoxious and add literally 100% more of everything.

I grew up eating garlic in everything. My natural habitat is FULL BODY BURSTING WITH FLAVOR. So while I’m sure that these cookies are good just as they are made, (I am horribly critical for somebody who still hasn’t mastered baking with no recipe yet) I ended up tweaking it.

The brown sugar bae had in his apartment is ANCIENT. Not only is it super old (can’t be more than a year) it is drier than me looking at pictures of my ex.
How to bring this sad block of sugar back to life, is to pop it into a bowl with a wet paper towel over it, throwing all of that into the microwave and nuking it in bursts of 15 seconds until it’s soft, warm and mushy, like me.

You’ll notice I skipped the cornstarch, this is because my boyfriend didn’t have any and honestly, I wasn’t leaving the house just so I could buy cornstarch. I just added slightly more flour…. which isn’t correct. But whatever! MacGyver up in this bitch.

Brown Sugar Thumbprint Cookies

Serving: As many cookies as you see on my plate. You count ’em. …Uhm, maybe there was more but I ate some???

*2 cups ap flour
*1 tsp baking soda
*2 tsp cinnamon (or more~~)
*1 tsp nutmeg (or moreee)
*1/4 tsp salt
*3/4 cup melted butter
*1 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
*1 large egg
*2 tsp vanilla extract
*1 ~ 2 tbsp molasses
*some sugar for rolling in

1. Mix your flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt all together in a largish bowl.

2. In a smallish bowl, stir your liberated brown sugar together with your melted butter with the ONLY mixing tool in the house, the wooden spoon. Crack your egg in, and grab a fork and kind of scramble it around a bit. Switch back to your wooden spoon and mix the egg with the wet stuff. Add in your vanilla.

3. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and just mix that fucker up. Start adding in your molasses and stirring like a mad woman. Taste your stuff. Does it taste deliciously cinnamon-molasses-y? No? Add more crap to it. Does it taste exactly how you want it to? Awesome, chill that baby in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Can be fridged up for like 3 days or something.

Or if you’re me, you taste your dough, freak out, add more of every spiced ingredient, and then panic when you see that you need it to chill for two hours and you’ve only started baking at 2 pm because you literally rolled around his house all day in nothing but socks and swept the floor and holy shit I still need to take some chicken out to defrost or something save me lord.

4. After panic at the dinner fiasco is over, it’s probably been two hours and you can pull your dough out. It’s going to look like disgusting oatmeal. This is good. 👍

5. Preheat your oven to 325F. Sally said to line the baking sheets with parchment paper. I’m happy that my boyfriend even has aluminum foil. Start rolling your dough into small cookie balls.

6. Put that granulated sugar in a bowl to roll your little cookie balls in… or if you’re me, just straight up and dump them into the Domino Sugar plastic container. They just get lightly coated. You can actually keep them pretty close together on the baking pan because they don’t really spread or anything.

7. Bake them in the oven for about 7-9 minutes — NO LONGER THAN THAT. Then pull them out and smush them down a little with either a fork or your thumbs (??? burning hot??) or grab a TINY little glass bowl (no idea what it could even be used for??) and smush the little cookie balls down.

8. Pop them suckers back in the oven to bake up for another 1-2 minutes AT MOST. When you pull them out they’re gonna be soft, not those crisp crunchy kind of cookies. LET THEM COOL BEFORE YOU MOVE THEM. They’re so soft they break kind of easily.

Not to sound like a hyper snot even though I am a super spoiled baking brat this was the first time I think I’ve ever baked in a single rack oven?? Save for high school home-ec class.
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Pretty cute little oven tho. yes this is my cake from my previous post.

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I present: The Hardest Brown Sugar Ever. I had to smack it against his counter only after I stabbed it with a knife to create a fault line. This shit was like the Rasputin of brown sugar.

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the beautiful thing about baking is that most of the time it looks kind of disgusting while being made.

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action shot here baby

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I love his grandma Mikasa plates that he snagged at an estate sale. I love his silly nautical stuff sprinkled throughout the house. I love his little cloth napkins that we never use for anything.

I guess I can say he’s kind of cute sometimes maybe I suppose.

When I finished the photo shoot I sat around nibbling on like 3 cookies while I cooked dinner and gulped down tea. Once he got home and had realized his cookie surprise, he ate the whole plate.

The whole plate and the extra cookies out of the shot. In one day. In one hour.

That’s how cool these fuckin’ cookies are. They get eaten so quickly your hairy boyfriend crashes on the couch and sleeps on your lap for two hours while you play video games.

So a good night after all. 👍


4 thoughts on “Baking Basics: Brown Sugar Thumbprint Cookies

  1. I loved reading this; especially since I have all these ingredients in my kitchen and nothing to do this weekend but eat pizza and perhaps cut apart old books.

    [Don’t worry: the books are damaged beyond repair; I want to salvage any illustrations or scraps of paper that may be useful for crafting.]

    • Eating pizza on the weekends is like the professional sport and hobby me and the hairy man would win a gold medal for 👍

      And yes! Good thing for salvaging damaged books! Even damaged ones deserve a second chance at life!

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