Friday, August 5, 2011

The Betty Crocker Project : Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies

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So the other night Dan and I were talking about progressive American presidents. There's one president in particular who in our opinion was the best one this country has ever had: Franklin D. Roosevelt. He's the guy who faced a crumbling economic system, housing and unemployment disasters, and a world war. He also created numerous programs that not only built and improved many of the roads and bridges we still drive on, parks we visit, and railroads that bring us food, but also created groundbreaking programs to support the elderly and the poor. He also gave great speeches. I mean, real make-your-heart-beat-faster, proud-to-be-American things that bring tears to your eyes and make a lump rise in your throat. This is part of one of our favorites:
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace—business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.

They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.

Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me—and I welcome their hatred.
Now, because we are who we are, this conversation gradually slipped into something beyond a political conversation. See, Dan does a great FDR voice. I mean really spot on. If you not familiar with what that sounds, like click the link for the quote above*. Now, just for fun, imagine that voice saying your favorite movie quote. Here are two that have been Shannon-tested and are pretty much a new level of hilarious/inspiring when FDRed :
  • Right now they gotta do what's right for them, 'cause it's their time. Their time, up there. Down here it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket.
  • Ray, when someone asks you if you are a god, you say "Yes"!
It's Friday night, and if you're looking for something to make this evening a little special, why not try speaking like FDR all night? I think you might be surprised how encouraged and patriotic those around you will become. Let's practice:
  • We will have a pitcher of (insert the name of your favorite beer here) and the largest soy cheese pizza you have or we will have nothing. A side of fries would be welcome as well.
Oh and we made these cookies and they're freaking amazing! They combine a buttery cookie, sweet fruit and dark chocolate. Dare I say it? They are awesome! (Did you read that in the FDR voice? You want to make cookies now right? See - it's like magic.)

Dark Chocolate Apricot Cookies
  • 1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Cup Margarine
  • 1/4 Cup Almond Milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon Orange Peel (finely grated)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Orange Extract
  • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
  • 3/4 Cups Dried Apricots (diced)
  • 1 1/2 Cup Vegan Dark Chocolate Chips
In a large bowl, blend Powdered Sugar, Margarine, Almond Milk, Orange Peel, Vanilla and Orange extracts with an electric hand held mixer until smooth. Then gradually mix in Flour, Cornstarch, Baking Soda and Cream of Tartar and blend until it is a soft dough. It will first become small pebbles but if you continue to blend it will become a dough. Be patient.

With a large spoon, mix in the Dried Apricot until it is evenly spread though out the dough. Cover the bowl with foil and chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375.

After the dough has chilled, pull it out and using a soup spoon to scoop out your cookies. Use your hands to form them into coins smaller than your palm but smooth and place them on an unlined cookie sheet. Bake the cookies for 5 to 7 minutes or until they are a light golden brown.

Cool them on a wire rack. Once they are cooled, melt your Chocolate Chips. Pour your Chocolate Chips into a souffle dish and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir with a spoon and if they are not yet a smooth sauce, heat for another 30 seconds. Dip your cookies halfway in the melted Chocolate and move gently back and forth to evenly cover half the cookie. There might be a little extra Chocolate when you pull it out. Use a spoon to clean up any extra drips. Try to make sure your Chocolate isn't too thick on your cookies. It will take forever to harden.

Place your cookies back on the wire rack to cool. Once your Chocolate has hardened - they are ready to eat!

Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort. - Franklin D. Roosevelt

* I admit the nerdbot in me is like - Who doesn't know what FDR sounds like? Sorry it's the nerdbot judging not me.

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