Thursday, March 3, 2011

Buttery Week with Cats

Springtime, and the cats are caterwauling. Jim has a cute little girlfriend. Last week they were sporting together on the patio as we ate dinner, but this week he ran away when she came to eat the food I put out for him. She was stalking him at the dish today, so I went to get my camera. When I came back it appeared he was sharing his food with her. How sweet!

I was cooking while they were eating. For Orthodox this is the week before Lent proper, and we start the Great Fast on Monday. But as we like to ease into things, we already are fasting from meat as of last Monday. Some call this Butter Week, and some say it is a fun time. Perhaps I've always been on a trip or otherwise distracted before, during Cheese-fare Week; this is the first year I have enjoyed it this much. But anytime you highlight butter, for me that is fun.

Oh! Jim lifted his head, and it wasn't Jim at all. It looks like Girlfriend's sister....maybe Jim has two girlfriends! I wonder if he ran away from fright or just to be gentlemanly. B. doesn't really want me feeding all the cats in the neighborhood, so after I took their picture I brought the food inside until Jim comes back. It was the second time today I tried to feed only Jim and he got chased off.

My husband is o.k. with butter, and even cookies. He just told me that if a cookie is really good, he will even eat two in one day. This moderation on his part doesn't jive very well with my own Cookie Monsterish behavior and the fact that there are only the two of us here now. So I rarely bake cookies.

But, two of my friends revealed their Freezer Cookie Ball method. I thought it would be the perfect solution to the alternate problems of me eating up all the cookies before B. could get to them, or the cookies going stale on him. I can bake one sheet full, and freeze the rest of the dough for baking later.

I forgot that I also like to eat the dough. I'm a little shy about admitting it to the world, because my husband thinks it is the most base behavior, something like eating cat food, maybe, only more repulsive.

My sisters and I ate cookie dough as children, but I consumed the most ever in one summer between college semesters, when all three of the girls in my apartment agreed on our favorite cookie: mint chocolate chip. And we all liked to eat half the batch before it went into the oven or was even dropped on the cookie sheet.

I know that in modern times, we are cautioned against this because of the raw egg in cookie dough, but as this is nearly the only risky behavior I indulge in, and that rarely, I hope you will allow me.


So I confess that just freezing the dough doesn't ensure that B. will have a cookie when he needs it. Luckily I also had the bright idea of freezing already-baked cookies, one to a waxed paper bag, so when he is so inclined he can defrost one in a jiffy.

Butter Week is still here for now, so I made a fresh batch of these cookies. I baked nine and crowded the rest onto a sheet to quick-freeze. It's an adaptation of the Oatmeal Scotchies on the Nestle butterscotch chips package. I think it might be improved by doubling the recipe except for the butterscotch chips. Even though I left out half the sugar, the cookies are plenty sweet because of the high density of chips.

Buttery Week Cookies
(Oatmeal Butterscotch)
1 1/2 cups spelt flour, white and/or whole-grain (if you use wheat, use only 1 1/4 cups, because wheat flour absorbs more moisture.)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 sticks salted butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar (I just left out the white sugar)
1 large or extra-large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups regular rolled oats
1 2/3 cups (1 package) butterscotch-flavored chips
about 1 cup chopped walnuts

Mix as usual for cookies, adding nuts and chips at the last. Bake about 10 minutes at 375°F.

11 comments:

M.K. said...

I like the idea of a week celebrating butter! My two oldest kids vie for the opportunity to make choc chip cookie dough, and their dough is great. They PREFER the raw dough, and I only insist that they bake one sheet full, so the house smells delicious, and I get a few warm cookies. They freeze the rest, and cut off a hunk of frozen dough when they want to eat it. I think the past alarm about raw eggs is pretty much over, and dough is safe to eat. I don't consider it barbaric, but then we might not be as couth as your hubby :)

Jeannette said...

Cats. cookies and confessions...all fun to see and read about.

Butter, B. and disciplined Behavior...

Cats know where love is, you know.

wayside wanderer said...

My husband will eat my frozen cookie balls, but only if they are chocolate chip hence the snickerdoodles in my freezer right now. =D

I think cookie dough eating is the perfect risky behavior! This post made me smile!!

Happy Butter Week!!

Gumbo Lily said...

Butter Week sounds like a good week to me. When is Sour Cream Week?

The cats are so cute. They all look related.

Cookie balls! I adore them. Nothing like baking up a fresh pan of cookies. Didn't your mom warn you not to eat raw cookie dough? It'll give you worms! Yes it will. Mom said so! :)

JOdy

Marfa said...

I love butter. And eggs. I make some good crepes...and fill them with yogurt and roll them up, real maple syrup on top. Add berries!!!

Cathy said...

Butter... love its color, taste and name.

I smiled as I read this post. Good thoughts.

My children also like to indulge in your risky behavior. I am not prone to this particular temptation.

Thank you for the recipe. With those favorite ingredients, I must try baking them.

magsmcc said...

Shall be reading you carefully in Lent!

Left-Handed Housewife said...

I'm a cookie dough eater from way back, and I'm not saying it won't make me sick one of these days, but I've been okay for forty years now and I'm willing to take the risk!

Butter week: count me in!

xofrances

Richie and Bethany said...

Laughing and laughing about the cookie dough!!! I am right there with you... For Valentine's we gave our friends "cookie-dough truffles" (tasted like chocolate-chip cookies, but eggless). You might need one. :-)

Pom Pom said...

And now I need a cup of tea and a short bread cookie . . . very butttery.
I like the cats.

tasteofbeirut said...

Love that cookie recipe, that is one that would disappear around here and love the kitties! Too cute!