Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What's really going on?

"There isn't a lot going on right now." How often do we say or think that? I haven't blogged in a bit because it feels like there's nothing going on. In reality, a lot has been going on. Some of it is more personal or family centred than I share in my blog. Some of it is just boring. And some of it has left me a little dazed and disillusioned.

For example, an online community of foodies that I nurtured for nearly a decade fell apart last week. We were a tiny group. Maybe a dozen on a really good day. But we had shared a lot. We were friends. Or so I thought. Turns out I was convenient, not cared about. I could set up and manage the actual community site, so I was needed. But eventually they all found social networking and showed their true colours. I'd been used.

Please don't think that this is a "poor me" type entry. It's not. I was just stunned by the emotional reaction I had to losing an online community. To losing people who, for the most part, I'd never met "in real life." To those who think that cyber relationships aren't real, I can tell you that you're wrong. Without spending one's life online, one can still cultivate relationships with other real people in a virtual domain. And when things turn sour, it hurts just like it hurts "in real life."

Other things that have been going on, but seem to fall into the category of "nothing going on" have been lovely weather, playing outside, baking some really good cookies and realizing that Easter is almost here. I could make a blog post about any of those, I guess.

Okay, I'll share the cookie recipe.

Toffee Dream Cookies

2 1/3 all purpose flour
1 pkg (102g) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C butter (if using unsalted add 1/4tsp salt to the recipe)
1 C packed dark brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp real vanilla extract
2 C toffee bits (I just used a whole package - I think it's slightly less)

1 Preheat oven to 375F. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda and salt, if using. Set aside.

2 In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer, or in a KitchenAid, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down. Add eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Beat in vanilla. Scrape down the sides again.

3 On low speed, or by hand, slowly add the flour mixture until just combined. Mix in the toffee bits.

4 Using a cookie scoop or spoons, drop tablespoonfuls of dough about 2 inches apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. Bake one sheet at a time for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to turn light golden.

4 Cool in pans on wire rack for 5 minutes before transferring the cookies directly to the rack to cool completely.

Recipe says it makes 3 1/2 dozen. I used a small cookie scoop and got 60 cookies.

My kids declared these to be the best cookies ever. High praise indeed. Especially when it comes with hugs and "I love you"s.

So there, I had something to share after all. LOL

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