TEA-hee-hee’s Delicious Plan, Step 72
Hullo! Spot of tea? Or perhaps a spot of tea and … A STACK OF COOKIES?
Come again? You’re trying to eat healthy? “Stack of cookies” isn’t exactly on the diet? Bully for you! You are the picture of self-restraint. But what if I told you that these cookies were made with multigrain flour, and metabolism-boosting chili-roasted pepitas, and flavonoid-rich dark chocolate? And that they freeze beautifully, so you can make a batch and then warm them up one by one? Portion control, my pretty little picture of health! A veritable Richard Simmons, you are!
What if I told you these cookies were … ENDORSED BY OPRAH WINFREY?!
TEA-HEE-HEE’s DELICIOUS PLAN, STEP 72: Gain Approval of Oprah (Gayle Optional)
As you know, I have a lot of time to think whilst haphazardly stashed on top of the refrigerator, fighting a permanent chill on my cast-iron bottom. I also have a lot of time to listen to books on tape. I just finished Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. It’s part of the research for my Delicious Plan. Why anyone would want to resist tea and cake is beyond my imagination. But if they do, I will be ready, armed with decades of psychological research performed by humans on humans! Really, humankind. You’re making this far too easy for me.
Much to my delight, several chapters in this book are dedicated to the science of making and attaining goals. One suggested strategy is to break big goals down into extremely specific next steps, so the subconscious knows it has a plan, and can relax. Here’s an example, drawn from my Delicious Planning Notebook:
1. Make Sweet and Spicy Multigrain Cookies, once featured in O, The Oprah Magazine.
2. FedEx a batch to Oprah.
3. Appear on a special episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show (put back on air just for me), in which she thanks me for the cookies and surprises me with a teapot-sized Aston Martin.
4. Weep into Oprah’s bosom.
5. Between sobs, ask that Oprah give everyone free tea.
6. EVERYONE GETS FREE TEA.
7. Watch reruns of the show during prime time.
8. Drive teapot-sized Aston Martin to meet Oprah in Santa Barbara.
8a. Pick up Gayle (optional).
8b. Pick up at least one of Oprah’s cocker spaniels.
9. Charm Oprah during leisurely drive up the Pacific Coast Highway.
10. Potential conversation topics: Dr. Oz’s strangely pointy ears, world history, cream scones, colloquialisms of Dr. Phil.
11. Shoot cover for inaugural issue of T, The TEA-hee-hee Magazine.
12. Tantalize readers and advertisers with a super-sized Extreme Makeover Issue.
13. Undergo extreme makeover.
14. What in heaven’s name is on my head? Is that a NOSE RING? WHO DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DEALING WITH HERE?
16. Find the fool who pierced my nose and make him pay.
Sweet and Spicy Multigrain Cookies
Very nearly approved by O, The Oprah Magazine
Makes 18 cookies
To make the multigrain flour mix used here, combine 1 cup each barley, rye, whole wheat, and all-purpose flours. There will be half a cup of multigrain flour left over for another use. I recommend hitting up the bulk foods section of your local hippie market and buying just enough of each flour for this recipe.
- 1 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp. chili flakes
- 3 1/2 cups multigrain flour mix
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 16 Tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped, divided
- 1/2 cup dried sour cherries
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss together the pumpkin seeds, vegetable oil, 1 tsp. of the salt, and the chili flakes. Place the spicy seed mixture on a sheet pan and toast until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
Increase oven temperature to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining salt, the multigrain flour, baking powder, and baking soda. In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars together until fluffy. You can use a stand mixer for this, or a hand-held mixer, or maybe even a very excited cocker spaniel who enjoys cookie dough just enough to mix it, but not eat it. Mix in the eggs one at a time. Add the flour mixture and continue to blend on low speed, until just combined. Using a wooden or other large, sturdy spoon, slowly mix in half of the pumpkin seeds, half of the chocolate, and all of the dried cherries. Scoop mounds of dough, about 3 Tbsp. each, onto parchment-paper-lined baking sheets, leaving about 3 inches between each scoop.
Gently flatten the cookie tops with a spoon. Sprinkle the remaining pumpkin seeds and chocolate on top on the cookies. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool cookies on a rack.