Monday, August 5, 2013

Crumbs Worth Having

Crazy Girls Cookies: Pass the Plate

 What's not to like about cookies, right? They are the perfect dessert. They often fit nicely into the palm of your hand and can be eaten warm or cold. Great for on-the-go, they are also ideal for savoring with a favorite cup of coffee, tea or glass of milk. And, oh yeah, let's not forget the crumbs. Cookie crumbs get such a bad rap, but honestly, I love the crumbs.

I recently learned about a really cool cookie website. Crazy Girls Cookies bakes up monthly mouth-watering treats for the rest of us to enjoy. I asked Crazy Girls Wendy VanHatten and Anna Campbell - who, by the way, are really grown women with impressive literary careers – to tell me their cookie story.

We all know that the story behind something as sweet as this is like icing on the cake, er, I mean cookie!

Q: When and why did you established Crazy Girls Cookies?

A: (Wendy) When we both lived California, we would get together once a month since we lived about two hours away from each other. And, when we got together, we always ended up looking for a fun bistro or cafe and then hunting down a delicious bakery for dessert. When we found a French restaurant with amazing desserts, too, we were in heaven! We would take pictures, write up a fun blog and share our monthly experience with our friends. 

When Anna moved away to North Carolina, she says it was like leaving a piece of her behind. Not one to let anything get either of us down, we came up with this brilliant idea to continue our monthly get-togethers and still post our fun adventures.

Q: Why are you crazy about cookies?

A: (Wendy) Cookies are so much. They are fun, easy, and yummy desserts that just about anyone can make and almost everyone loves! You can eat them with coffee, milk, or whatever you like. They can be a snack, a dessert, a mid-morning treat, an end to a special meal, even compliment a glass of wine…the possibilities are endless.

After all, didn’t we all LOVE Cookie Monster?
Q: Sharing food customs is an important food lore ingredient. Do you have a favorite cookie-making (or cookie-eating) custom?

A: (Anna) I love smelling my food. Ha! Ha! I always break up my cookies and smell their yummy goodness before devouring them.

(Wendy) I love dunking cookies in coffee, something Grandma Hansen taught me. She was Norwegian and made many of her cookies for holidays…Christmas, especially. She is the one who taught me how to bake cookies.

We both have recipes passed down from our grandmas and aunts that we make at special times. We will pass those recipes down to our grandchildren as well.
Q: According to The History of Cookies The first cookies were created by accident. Cooks used a small amount of cake batter to test their oven temperature before baking a large cake. These little test cakes were called "koekje", meaning "little cake" in Dutch.
In keeping with this have you or someone you know created 'accidental' cookies? If so, can you tell us a little bit about that?

A: (Both) The best accidental cookies would be adding cake batter to your cookie dough and baking the most delicious cookie ever! We have the recipe posted on our website! :) Another accident that happened recently is when I didn’t have enough dark chocolate to melt for my brownie cookie bites. Often I add a little espresso powder to my regular brownies…so I added some to the melted chocolate I had and the result was wonderful. These little bites turned out tasting like a bite of a mocha!
Q: Why does Crazy Girls Cookies host monthly recipe contests?
A: (Both) We love learning of new and fun recipes from our readers and we love keeping our readers involved. Plus, we love trying out these recipes in our ‘test kitchens’ and on our families. From that came the idea of a contest. Our readers provide the recipes, we have our panel of judges test them, and pick a winner. We know this will be hard…we have so many wonderful recipes. But, we’re up for the challenge. And, so are our judges.

It’s like being part of a worldwide family…with cookies! It doesn’t get much better than that.

If you're a sweet-toothed aficionado looking for new recipes, have one of your own to share or want to add your favorite online bakery to their list, visit Crazy Girls Cookies.
And, remember to preserve your cookie stories, too. You never know when that'll come in handy!

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