candy cookies

The Kitchen Witch

September, 2016

 

Cooking in a Small Area

 

I just moved into a new apartment. I am not quite where I want to be, nor is the apartment what I really wanted. But it’s okay for now. I like the city in which I am living – Lowell, Massachusetts – which has a lot of beautiful old buildings and historic places to explore and photograph. I eventually want to find a place nearer to the ocean.

My main problem with this place is the kitchen – or the lack of a kitchen.

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The “Kitchen”

There are so few cupboards that I didn’t even unpack most of my dishes. And I have my baking supplies – my flour, sugars, sodas and salts – in a Coleman cooler – while my herbs and spices and decorating sugars are in two Tidy Cat containers!

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Where I keep my baking supplies & herbs & spices.

I accidentally left my beautiful wood cutting boards back in Buffalo, so I am now using a small plastic apple-shaped one that was previously just a decoration. But I wouldn’t have room for them on these tiny counters anyway! I honestly don’t think this kitchen is meant for cooking in at all. It’s meant for reheating take-out and perhaps making a quick cup of coffee in the morning. I live right downtown so there’s any number of restaurants to choose from for eating out every night of the week, if your wallet can handle that. But – mine can’t!

So I do have to cook. Because I can’t afford to eat out more than a few times a month and I love cooking! And I love to bake. Even without anyone in my own household to bake for, I will bake. I’ll take cookies down to the rental office and give them to the office personal – I have worked in plenty of offices and I know that cookies are always welcome (and cursed!).

So for the next year – since I signed a lease – The Kitchen Witch will be exploring ways to cook in a tiny space – with no counter space – with just a few tools – being as efficient as possible. Preparation will be the key.

This month’s recipe is a re-imagining of the classic Toll House cookie. Instead of using chocolate chips, I used peanut M & M’s. Before adding them, I cut a tiny hole in the bag and crushed them up. You can use a rolling pin for this but if you have kids helping you out in the kitchen, I suggest getting a small hammer and letting them hit the bag with the hammer. It’s a lot of fun for them – what kid doesn’t like to smash things with a hammer? I admit – I used my hammer too!

The key to cooking in a small place is having everything out and ready before you start. For me, that means clearing off my desk because that’s the only place I have to work.

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Candy Cookies

Sift together: 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Cream together: 1 cup (2 sticks) very soft butter

1 cup sugar

½ cup brown sugar

Beat: 2 eggs & add to creamed mixture

Add: 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Add: flour mixture

Add: crushed peanut M&M’s

Drop walnut-sized balls onto a greased baking sheet & bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden.

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These are addictively good!! I took a plate down to the ladies in the rental office and was told I could bring them cookies anytime I want.

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Which

is a very good thing.