I get a lot of questions about what happens to all the food I make. Do I eat it all? Do I throw it out? Do I secretly have a family of 6 squirreled away in my office?
There is a lot of food in my kitchen on any given day, and some it does go to waste, but usually I will only toss the brownies I've manhandled for a photo or the chicken that slipped onto the floor because I am a flustered, non-poised photographer.
Here's what happens to the rest of it: I eat some of it. A lot of it I freeze for later. My freezer is a veritable treasure trove of desserts: It's like a mini bakery, and my 3 AM tipsy self is always very grateful. But there are always extras, so if any of you are ever in NYC and hungry, drop me a line and come eat cake in my kitchen! Seriously.
My best, and favorite, way to put all the food I make to use is to pack it up and drop it off for friends. Lately, I'll stop at the shop downstairs and ask for a few empty cardboard bakery boxes. Then I'll neatly box up whatever I've baked that morning, nestling the cookies or brownies or whatnot between layers of wax paper. I write a little label, so people know what they're getting, then I hop on the subway like an in-transit Martha Stewart. Or a traveling one-woman bakery.
I get off in Tribeca and walk a few blocks to the big, hulking office building where lots of my hungriest male friends work. I try to look nonchalant and non-threatening while I get the stare-down from the security guards as I loiter awkwardly. I smile, angle my body away from the label that says "BROWNIES" on the box, and think "what? women don't show up here with brownies every morning?". Maybe if I wear a pantsuit next time they'll think I'm holding heavy boxes of very important documents on mergers and acquisitions.
My friends come downstairs, and I hand off the goods. Then I take a walk, grab coffee, and do some writing down by the harbor at a little table with a glassed-in view of the water.
Yesterday I brought these cookies on my delivery route, and they were a big success. They're called Ranger Cookies. It's an old-school retro recipe, often made using cornflakes instead of Rice Krispies, but I prefer using the lighter, crisper cereal here. I found the recipe on the King Arthur website, but there are plenty of other versions out there.
You can easily play around with the recipe as long as you keep the base consistent: Swap the cereal out for a different kind, use a different type of chocolate, and so on.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 cups Rice Krispies
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and salt and mix. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.
Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda and beat until just mixed, scraping down the bowl as you go. Add the oats, coconut, chocolate chips, and Rice Krispies and beat until just combined.
Drop the batter by spoonfuls (I used a tablespoon cookie scoop) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave at least 2 inches between the cookies as they will spread considerably.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown and with no visible raw spots to the batter. Let cool on the sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.