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Thursday, May 15, 2008

honeymoon cookies

Back in September of 1992, Rick and I moved from Gardnerville, Nevada to Seattle, Washington, with three kids and a truck full of stuff. By January 1st we had gotten married, gotten the kids settle in school, and opened a little bake-at-home pizza shop. We had a really hard time coming up with a name for the place, and "tried on" darn near everything we could think of. While we were on our brief little honeymoon in Victoria, B.C., we spent one rainy afternoon in a pub, drinking beer and tossing around more names for the shop. We agreed from the start that three kids between us was plenty, thank you, and so the pizza shop was "our baby". We needed a good name for it. There we were, looking out the window and turning everything we saw into a business name... Cloudy Day Pizza, Red Car Pizza, Spikey Shoes Pizza, Another Beer Pizza... and at some point, one of us, we can't remember who (but I think it was me), said - How about Honeymoon Pizza? And that was that.

A couple of years into it, we had built a pretty nice customer base and were always adding new pizzas to the menu. Then we decided we needed salads and our own dressings. Poof! The Bag O'Salad was born, along with Lemon-Pesto Vinaigrette and Pinenut-Blue Cheese dressings. Another hit! Soon we realized that the only thing missing was dessert. Having a tiny and limited kitchen, we couldn't even bake the pizzas - hence the "bake-at-home" part of the deal. So we needed a dessert that fit in with the whole "cook it where you eat it" scheme of things. Cookie dough! Duh!

I spent a lot of time going over recipes, trying things out, and having minimal success with a dough that could be chilled and baked into something miraculous later. We were looking for something way better than poppin'fresh, if you know what I mean. Eventually I ended up taking several recipes apart and combining them into a new one all my own. The result was Honeymoon Cookies, and they sold like crazy.

I've recently started making them again, with Rick taking his lunch to work every day, and people looking at the house fairly frequently (I leave cookies out for the Lookers, like they all were Santa Claus or something). Once again, poppin'fresh just won't do. And now, today, my Lauren's Graduation Gift to you, so you'll have something fun and tasty to occupy you while I'm celebrating with my kid over the weekend... I'm going to share with you the...

World Famous, Top Secret, Honeymoon Cookie Recipe!

Preheat your oven to 350. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. I use PAM.

In a big bowl, mix up:
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
Give it a good spin with the mixer for a couple of minutes, until it's all nice and fluffy.

Then mix in 2 cups of flour.
I use whole wheat now, but we used white back in Seattle. Both work great. Don't over-mix at this point! They'll get tough and you'll wind up skipping them across the nearest lake. Just get the flour mixed in and put the mixer away.

Now stir in (by hand) 2-3 cups of anything else you like. I use coconut, chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, oatmeal, dried cranberries... whatever I have. The coconut makes them nice and moist and chewy. Oh! And those little mini-peppermint patties are terrific. Get them in the chocolate chip aisle.

Roll the dough into nice fat cookie-size balls and place them on the cookie sheet. Don't squash them down. They know what to do. Bake them at 350 for about 12 minutes or so. Don't over cook them. They're done when the edges are turning brown and the tops no longer look wet. Remove them from the cookie sheet right away. A metal spatula works best. I'll bet you and your helpers can eat 'em all up before they're even cooled off.

I'm off to Albuquerque for the weekend!

Like it used to say on our Honeymoon Pizza T-Shirts...
Good Things Are Cookin' At Home Tonight!

1 comment:

Jean said...

This rules! Great story!!! remimd me to tell you about my world famous "old people cookies" which my entire family adored but which I particularly baked for my father. I will give you the recipe, and explain why they are caled old people cookies, and tell you the funny story which is kind of fun. thinking of you!!!