Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


How I Prepared for the Pgh Blogger Cookie Exchange

YJ-cookieKegYeah.. you got that right.  I took part in a cookie exchange with a bunch of bloggers.

Why did I agree to take part?  Well, for the simple reason that the end point meant I would have 12 dozen of various cookies to dunk.  But in order to do so, I had to bake some cookies to exchange.  Here’s my story.

Cookie I chose to bake.

No idea what it’s real name is but I call it “That chocolate Italian spice cookie that my friend Linda makes for me every Christmas and birthday.” You can call it the TCISCTMFLMFMEC&B Cookie for short if you’d like.


I started off with  the basics, the recipe taped to the wall, the bowl of raw ingredients, a saw horse, a dremel tool and, of course, in iPhone chord to keep the Pandora tunes running.  This particular day, it stayed on the Eagles channel since that’s what was playing when my hands got too gooey to change stations.

In the process of gathering and mixing all of the dry goods, I lost my mixing fork.  I did find it thankfully without injury.


Once I added the milk, I used a hand mixer.  As you’ll see in the photo below, the cookie dough gets pretty thick.  To the point that it wrapped up around the beaters and actually wound up inside the motor of the mixer.


Note: What you can’t see on the photo is the smoke that is coming out of the vents of the hand mixer and you cannot smell the burning of the motor that was obvious.  Given the flashing sparks that were coming from the hull of the hand mixer, I chose to move to manual mixing, with a spatula.

The high-end Pampered Chef-type spatula didn’t last long under the pressure of the dense dough.


So I deployed the standard wooden-spoon-put-less-arm-and-more-wrist mixing method which eventually did the job.

The next step was to roll the dough into, what the recipe says, “walnut sized balls.”  HINT: follow the specific directions about putting oil on your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Otherwise, you’re gonna look like that guy at work that panics when he sneezes and can’t get that boogie off his hands that he hopes nobody notices (but everybody does).


Eventually the cookies turned out and they were actually pretty decent.  Of course, all cookies are decent from the way I see things.  The problem is, I think that I’m allergic to all cookies.  I seem to swell up around the waist area after eating too many.


Thankfully my dog was helpful with the cleanup of the floor as well as the drippings on the front of the cabinet and stove.


And then there was this aftermath to clean up… cookie dough shrapnel EVERYWHERE!  I am fairly certain that this is going to be like Christmas tree needles.  I will be finding cookie dough wads in odd places of the house for the next 12-14 months.


So, the good news is: I didn’t blow up the kitchen, burn the cookies or myself.  The bad news is, I now know what it takes to make these cookies which means I probably owe my friend Linda $3,002,001 in pain and suffering for the years she has made these for me.

For those worried about me losing my masculinity due to baking, no worries, I purchased a special set of clothes for the project…a flame resistant mid-weight quilt-lined bib coverall and a pair of Caterpillar men’s diagnostic steel toe waterproof boots.

Here’s a selfie I took of myself while cleaning up.


Sorry, I’m not very good at taking selfies.  I always seem to cut my head off for some reason.

And for those worried about potentially consuming shards of the snapped spatula handle, now worries. I meticulously searched through the dough for any shards just in case any of the other members of the Pittsburgh Blogger Cookie Exchange event had an allergy to spatula shards.

Thanks to Alex of EverybodyLovesAlex who organized this.  And thanks to Liz, and to ***** from the anonymous cookie judge.  At press time, no word on who had the bestest cookie.

I wound up with about 170 damned cookies from the recipe I made. I only needed 72 for the exchange.  So, given that I don’t own any cookie containers, we have had cookies sitting all over the kitchen for the last week.  To make sure than none of them go to waste, I have been forcing my kids to make sandwiches and salad croutons with them.

If we do this again next year, I need to buy a new mixer.


The Cookie Exchange Table

Cookie Exchange Participants posing in their "I'm a crazy radio DJ" pose

Cookie Exchange Participants posing in their “I’m a crazy radio DJ” pose


ONE FINAL HUGE NOTE!!  My book, “Above the Fries” is available at starting today!!  Click the book cover to find it.

Above the Fries_Cover2