I woke up to an email from a reader of the blog today. Our friend, Simmy, happened to stumble upon a Momofuku Milk Bar Cookie mix at Target!
At the price of $4.99 to make 12 cookies, this is less expensive than purchasing 12 of these babies at the Milk Bar Store, and considering everything that is in them, the price is pretty good. If you want to try making these but don’t want to do it from scratch, this is a great idea!
A portion of the email read as follows: ……..came across this https://www.target.com/p/milk-bar-compost-cookie-174-mix-16oz/-/A-16887648 tonight at Target , I thought of you! Now, I have a thing about how ‘natural flavors’ are now in everything (like butter, which, should not need butter flavor in my opinion) …so I don’t know how you’ll feel about whatever they added to this mix but, it looked kind of good.
And it got me to thinking….and I did reply that although I am not one for mixes, and even though Barefoot Contessa’s Outrageous Brownie recipe is the best from-scratch brownie recipe ever, there is one mix that shall always remain my favorite.
Like mother, like daughter! Oona is a fan of from-scratch baking and loves making Ina’s Outrageous Brownies–but she, also like me, adores Duncan Hines Brownie Mix!
Duncan Hines Brownie Mix.
Duncan Hines. Best damned brownie mix of all time. And that shiny top–be still my heart. I could (and I’m sure I have) eat all 12 brownies this mix makes. Just gimme a large glass of cold milk and I’m in heaven!
I know. I know!!! There are brownie perfectionists who feel that the DH mix has an odd taste but, in all honesty, I love it. This mix was always in my pantry when the kids were younger. If their friends were over and there was no time to bake from scratch, this was the go-to brownie.
It was great because you could add nuts or more chips or peanut butter chips or white chocolate chips or even broken up pretzels for that zing of saltiness. In fact, Oona and I had a conversation about this brownie mix just the other day. I can’t remember how we got on the topic but I think it was about baking.
Anyway, back to bake it from scratch or a mix. For me, I enjoy the process of baking. I usually have the ingredients on hand so it’s no big stretch or additional expense for me. It takes more time, but on those days when time is not off the essence—it works!
And it works today.
We woke up on this Spring day in now-late April to frost on the car windows. It is now after the hour of noon and the temperature is a cool 55 degrees and the high of 57 degrees is expected.
Bonaparte went to have the brakes fixed on my car and is now doing grocery shopping with the list I gave him. As for me, I’m spending this day pre-baking, baking and cooking.
I’m taking advantage of the coolness of the weather and instead of complaining about the cold, I’ll use it to my advantage of using the oven before the Spring suddenly turns into an unexpected early summer. Because as much as I love to cook and bake, I distance myself during those warm months so that more time can be spent outside and lighter fare is prepared for meals. I kind of put the kibosh on baking during those summer months as well.
And since this coming Thursday is “Bring Your Child To Work Day” I’ve prepared cookie dough. Kids love chocolate chip cookies. Right? And since I was a SAHM, and never had the opportunity to bring children to the office, I’m now going to enjoy this day. None of the previous companies I worked for were particularly child-friendly and never “celebrated” BYCTW Day. The company I now work for is very much into this. And I decided to bring cookies since I’ve no kids to bring.
I’m going to bake these the night before I bring them to the office..
Here’s the recipe. From Milk Bar Life by Christina Tosi. You can see that this is a well-used recipe because the page is a hot mess!
I made about 60 scoops of cookie dough. After one of my sisters saw an IG photo, she immediately phoned me to ask, suggest, demand that I leave a dozen or so of the scoops and bring them to her home next weekend. We have a family reunion to attend! Naturally being the good sister, I’ll comply.
The scoops of cookie dough are now in Ziploc bags firmly nestled in the freezer!
Since my husband surprised me with the gift of hair for my birthday, I’m surprising him with “The Good Loaf”—the bread I make that I’ve held off on since rejoining Weight Watchers.
The dough is proofing and ready to rise!
And as we are running low on Gougères, I’m going to bake a couple of batches as soon as Bonaparte returns from the market with the cheese and milk.
Butter, milk, water and salt are awaiting the rest of the ingredients for the gougeres!
And at almost four in the afternoon, the baked gougeres are bagged and ready to be placed in the freezer alongside the cookie dough!
Granted. Baking from scratch is time-consuming and, if you are like me, messy–but the end result is always a pleasing one so I do it with love!
Yeah. I’m all over the place with mess when I cook and bake. It’s hard for me to remain organized and not messy. Note the hair color. I’m doing my hair tomorrow. No more black. I’m going brown! Like Duncan Hines Brownies!
My J. Crew Pixie Pants are a flour-spotted mess. This is why I bake and cook in my pj’s!
Baby artichokes are simmering. My healthy choice for eating.
After coming to a boil, I simmered them for an hour. Now nice and tender, I can pick on these Zero-pointers!
And the Cornish Game Hens are spatchcocked and ready to be dusted with fresh Rosemary and seasonings.
I have to season these guys!
Fresh Rosemary for the birds and the sauce!
What makes a great sauce? Cognac, cream, butter and shallots..
…along with a little sweetness with dried cranberries soaked in more Cognac and drained cherries. Alas, this sauce is strictly for my husband. I’ll be passing…
It’s difficult to be on a weight loss journey when you love food as much as I do. But—I’m trying my best. That’s why I’m so happy to be going to the Weight Watchers meetings on Monday evenings. Because I missed the meeting last Monday due to my Birthday, I’m looking even more forward to this Monday meeting.
And it is even more challenging as you age. What I think is best for now is to face the reality that it will take a while to lose those last ten pounds and hopefully, the weather will warm up so that outdoor activity can resume!
Tonight, I shall not overindulge. My dinner will be the white meat of the hen and baby artichokes. I’m going to pass on the bread but will enjoy our aperitifs.
Overall, it’ll be a busy afternoon.
So, tell me—do you take advantage of the cooler weather to cook or bake more? Are you a bake mix person or do you bake from scratch? Thank you Simmy for inspiring me for a fun post to write!
And yes. I took my hair off to bake and cook! It’ll go back on when we have our aperitifs!
Here’s—or rather Hair’s the video review I did on the Chloe wig that my husband got me for my birthday. There’s humor in it so I hope you enjoy (and subscribe)!