Monday, February 28, 2011

Craic Cookies

In Ireland there are lots of words that I took to mean one thing that to the Irish actually mean something completely different. This Friday in Cead Mile Differences we are going to look at what some of those words and phrases are. I decided for a sneak preview we would discuss the word Craic (pronounced crack) which in Irish means good fun, or good times. I will never for get the staff meeting I sat in the first Monday I worked in Ireland asked a coworker how her weekend was. She smiled and said "it was really good, a few of the others from the office and I went out and even though it wasn't the plan, ended up having great crack." (as heard by me). I sat through the meeting freaking out wondering what the heck I was doing in a company and a country for that matter that proudly regaled their crack habits. After working up the courage to ask my supervisor if there was a serious crack problem in Ireland, the miscommunication came to light and everyone got a very big laugh (at my expense). I loved introducing this term Craic to the study abroad students that came every semester and especially loved showing the sign in the Guinness Factory that said "Welcome to Guinness, home of the craic"

I heard about this recipe from a friend who love the Kelly and Regis show and knew that I had to make it. The first time I made these cookies were for a girlie dinner at my sisters house. Even though we had stuffed ourselves with cheese from a delicious raclette dinner, the five us managed to put away over 30 of these cookies. We weren't proud, but did deem them addictive...kind of like we would imagine crack to be. But since we are ladies and we did have good fun making and eating them - we deemed them Craic cookies - a favorite amongst my friends.

I made a batch for the Christmas goodie boxes and overestimated how many I would need. This recipe makes a TON. I decided to put the remaining dough into a brownie pan and see if the translated to cookie bars. Translate they did my friends. I almost like these better then the cookies. Either way - you won't be disappointed!

The Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookie aka the Craic Cookie!
recipe by Christina Tosi
1 cup butter (that's two sticks, unsalted)
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 Tbsp corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsps salt
1 1/2 cups your favorite baking ingredients (options: chocolate chips, Raisenettes, Rollos, Cocoa Krispies)
1 1/2 cups your favorite snack foods (chips, pretzels, etc.)
Note: as said above, I used chopped up bittersweet chocolate and crushed pretzels. I’ve also used potato chips and all of the leftover Christmas candies. Next time I was thinking about trying Chex Mix. You can really put anything in and it will taste amazing!
1. Beat butter, sugars and corn syrup on medium high for two to three minutes until fluffy and pale yellow in color. Scrape down the sides with a spatula.
2. On a lower speed, add eggs and vanilla to incorporate. Increase mixing speed to medium-high and start a timer for 10 minutes. During this time the sugar granules will fully dissolve, the mixture will become an almost pale white color and your creamed mixture will double in size.
3. When time is up, on a lower speed, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix 45 - 60 seconds just until your dough comes together and all remnants of dry ingredients have incorporated. Do not walk away from your mixer during this time or you will risk over mixing the dough. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl with a spatula.
4. On the same low speed, add in the hodgepodge of your favorite baking ingredients and mix for 30 - 45 seconds until they evenly mix into the dough. Add in your favorite snack foods last, paddling again on low speed until they are just incorporated.
5. Using cookie scoop, portion cookie dough onto a parchment lined sheetpan.6. Wrap scooped cookie dough tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of one hour or up to 1 week. DO NOT BAKE your cookies from room temperature or they will not hold their shape.
7. Heat the oven to 400 F. Take the plastic off your cookies and bake 9 to 11 minutes. While in the oven, the cookies will puff, crackle and spread.
At 8 minutes, the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown towards the center. Leave the cookies in the oven for the additional minutes if these colors don't match up and your cookies still seem pale and doughy on the surface.
8. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pan before transferring to a plate or an airtight container or tin for storage

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