Many years ago I used to spend hours perusing my Sesame Street Treasury books. I had them all. The one about the Letter B. That one with the number 16. Even that one where Ernie did something and made Bert frustrated.
These books were a big part of my childhood, but now that I’m 34 I don’t necessarily remember the specifics. I can generalize like the above paragraph (which was hilarious and I won’t hear otherwise) but I couldn’t tell you much about what each book contained. So imagine my surprise when Twitter account Sesame History posted the following photo of Cookie Monster’s face cookies.
Like that scene at the end of Ratatouille, I was transported back to a time before mortgages and responsibilities and that kidney stone I had earlier this year. Suddenly I was 5 years old again sitting on my little grey chair looking at all the funny characters, with zero idea they’d define a significant amount of my life. I remember looking at those face cookies and thinking just how delicious Ernie looked, a thought I’ve only had a couple of times since (the orange is super appetizing). I decided in that moment there was only one thing for me to do. I had to bake those cookies. I put out a call for the original cookie dough recipe from an earlier edition, and had about 20 people send me it within minutes.
So, last week after a lovely short trip away to my brother’s house (unnecessary detail, but it fleshes out the word count) I came home and got to baking. I assumed it would be a quick 20 minute process. The following took (aside from the 90 minute chill time) close to 2 hours.
First I gathered all my ingredients together. Obviously I’m talking about everything on the table, not the window sill. Although I wouldn’t put it past Cookie to throw a Bluetooth speaker in with his food.
The fork was to be used to mix things, but I’m lazy and recently bought a good quality stand mixer, so this fork was not used until I ate my dinner about 5 hours later. Next I had to cream the sugar and butter, making what I call ‘the tastiest concoction on Earth’. Seriously, I could just eat sugar butter for every meal. Cue Captain Vegetable.
It was at this point I learned I was not alone, as my cat Little Murray Sparkles (Murray for short) came to sit on his scratching post and watch. He got bored 15 minutes in and slept for the rest of it.
I added the eggs, trying and failing not to get any shell in it. I suck at cracking eggs. I see people online crack them one handed and that’s the only goal I have in 2024. If I can do that by the end of next year, I’ll consider it a successful one. Anyway, I blended it all together with the vanilla and it was still delicious but I can’t recommend eating it like this because of salmonella, and not the funny monkey type. I added in the flour, baking soda and salt and mixed it together, initially using the dough hook on my mixer but then substituting it for a ‘K Mixing Attachment’. Kite starts with K. So does King and Kerflummoxed. What other words start with K?
I threw the dough into the ice box (or, you know, a fridge for us not living in the 70s) for at least one hour, but it turned in to 90 minutes because I was watching a really good couple of episodes of Matt Smith’s Doctor Who. It was the one with the hollow Earth. Speaking of Doctor Who, did you know Oscar is a Time Lord? I did not drink the beer or wine seen in this photo until a few nights later. The Coke is gone.
After 90 minutes chill time, I pre-heated my oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (or just about 200 degrees Celsius) and got ready to roll out my dough (for those playing along, we’ve moved from the blue picture at the top of the article to the yellow one). However I found I had a small issue… I do not own a rolling pin. Now, could I have used a bottle of wine from my fridge? Yes, absolutely I could have. Why didn’t I? Because I genuinely didn’t think about it until I uploaded that photo 45 seconds ago. Instead I used another alcohol impliment, a wooden muddler. It did the trick…
I then got to cutting out the faces of Ernie, Bert, Grover, Susan and Gordon. The round faces were done thanks to a floured glass, but I had to manually cut out Ernie and Bert, which led to some odd shaped ears. The recipe said to decorate them before I put them in the oven, which seemed incorrect to me, but I was determined to follow the recipe as close as possible. I even used the same amount of raisins in each cookie as in the illustration.
I know, I know. I can hear you now. ‘Why does Grover look like he’s just been to Mardi Gras!?’. Look, it had been a big weekend and I had forgotten to buy blue sprinkles, okay? I could have gone out and gotten some, but at this point I was tired and also I thought this would be a funny little moment. Plus, I expected them to melt into a glob and maybe it’d all go brown or something…
After 8 minutes I pulled them out and allowed them to cool, and I was impressed that actually yeah, decorating them first wasn’t an issue. If I’m honest, that step is what inspired me to do this article in the first place, because I assumed they’d be a total mess. But, no. They were fine, which I guess makes sense, because it’s not quite enough time for anything to melt, but it’s enough time to cook the dough. The only annoying part was that the raisins fell out of the cookie constantly.
So, here they were! Cookie Monster’s face cookies!
Just for kicks, I also made some of the Muppet cookies with royal icing, but it didn’t set very well and the icing ran on to the plate a bit.
All that was left to do was taste them! So, after I’d eaten my dinner and cleansed my palate, I bit in to Bert’s head, and… well, this picture speaks for itself…
They were okay. Nothing special. They were a little bland, they could have used a little more vanilla or sugar to bump up the sweetness, because the ones with the royal icing tasted better. Honestly, if anything they were a little disappointing. That flour taste really came through, even though I’d used the exact measurements for everything. I can’t imagine these are really Cookie Monster’s recipe, because he surely has a more discerning palate that this.
And so that’s how I spent a Sunday afternoon last week. Next time maybe I should make Oscar’s anchovy sundae! I can taste the regret already…
By Jarrod Fairclough – Jarrod@ToughPigs.com
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