Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Confession Time

I have a confession to make.  It's a big one, so you should sit down.

I, Heids McGhee, have been going through the McDonald's drive-through nearly every day for the last month.

I, Heids McGhee, love McDonald's coffee.

Morally, ethically, and nutritionally, I am opposed to McDonalds.  In my mind, McDonalds is like Walmart's irritating step-brother.

Here's how I justify it in my head....

1.  It is only a dollar.  Well, actually it's  $1.09.  (And, truthfully, this arguement doesn't even hold after today's drive through experience....I got caught in one of those "pay for the person behind you" schemes.  So, my $1.09 ended up being $3.76 for the big man in the little red truck behind me who upon finding out I had paid for his heartattack on a biscuit starting honking and gesturing wildly at me.  At which point, I realized he had no clue that this was a "thing" that strangers do for one another and no, indeed, I was NOT being flirtatious.)

2.  I always put any change I have in the collection bin that goes to the Ronald McDonald House.  So, technically, my coffee habit is supporting parents that need housing while their kids are in the hospital.  (And being one of those families, I know how crucially important those houses are.  See, for this reason alone, I should not even feel as if I have to justify this habit.)

 3.  It's really all my grandma's fault anyway.  Grandma loved her coffee and she loved it hot.  Piping hot.  And apparently food temperature preference is herditary, because I inherited Grandma's preference.  And since McDonald's serves its coffee much hotter than any other establishment, (and despite $640,000 lawsuits, they refuse to lower their temperature) that's where I will get my scalding caffeine fix.

So there.  Conscience cleared.

I figured since I may as well give you all something to confess about as well.  I know that most of you are on a New Year's diet, but I just can't help myself from sharing this cookie recipe with you.  So go ahead and make them.  And then e-mail me your confession.  In some weird way, it will make me feel better than blaming Grandma for my bad habit.

Salted Caramel Rounds

  • 2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 36 milk chocolate covered caramels (AKA Rolos)
  • 12 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
  • 1 teaspoon whipping cream, half and half, or light cream
  • course salt
1.  In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.

2.  In another large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated and brown sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally.  Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture. If necessary, cover and chill for 1 hour or until dough is easy to handle.

3.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch balls. Press a chocolate-covered caramel into each ball and shape dough around caramel to enclose. Place cookies 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.

4.  Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are firm. Transfer cookies to a wire rack; cool completely.

5.  To decorate, in a small saucepan combine vanilla caramels and whipping cream. Heat over medium-low heat until caramels melt and mixture is smooth. Drizzle melted caramel mixture over cookies and then sprinkle cookies with coarse salt. Let stand until set.

Mix your butter and sugar.  

Add eggs and vanilla.

Mix up your dry ingredients.

Add your wet and dry ingredients.  

Make a cookie ball and stick your rolo in the middle.  

 Make sure the rolo is in the middle of the dough ball.  

Bake.  Let cool.

 Make your caramel sauce.

Sprinkle with sea salt.

These cookies were really quite amazing.  I suggest you try them and if you have any extras, drop them off to your McD's coffee-loving friends.