Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pillsbury's Best?!

I think I might do it. I just might be beating my friend Meghan's due date with a cookie delivery this week. Tonight I baked [with warm baby thoughts, and between Emmy awards for best supporting actor & actress in a comedy] a batch of Pillsbury's Best cookies from their 4th Annual Grand National Bake-Off. Circa 1953. Hey. That makes this the 50th anni of the bake-off!

Sans the flour sifting [I am not a purist when it comes to directions], I baked Mrs. John L. Parisot [oh, to be void of a first name and settle for the identity of a Mrs.] from Marseilles, Illinois' senior-category-winning recipe for...

Chocolate Pixie Cookies*

Per Pillsbury, these dandies "...taste like black walnut brownie bars and look like old-time molasses cookies with 'cracked' tops. Mrs. Parisot outlines the cracks by rolling the cookies in confectioner's sugar before baking."

I love it when a recipe calls for "confectioner's sugar" - it makes me feel a little like Willie Wonka [I do have sunglasses like the Burton-inspired, dazzingly-Depp character]. It takes a real artist to be a confectioner, right? Then dust me in it and call me madame artist! An 88cent bag of powdered sugar can really charge your kitchen ego.

On to the missus' award-winning recipe for Chocolate Pixies:
Sift together
2 c Pillsbury's Best Enriched Flour
2 t Calumet Baking Powder [there they are again. baking powder pimps]
1/2 t salt
1/4 c butter or margarine and
4 oz chocolate in saucepan over low heat - remove from heat and cool slightly
Blend in
2 c sugar
4 eggs, one at a time, beat for 1 minute
1/2 c black walnuts or English walnuts, chopped, and the dry ingredients. Mix well. Chill at least 15 minutes [or an entire episode of Mad Men]
into balls using 1 T of dough for each. Roll in confectioner's sugar. Place on greased baking sheets [crap. I forgot the greased sheet part. you shouldn't]
Bake in slow oven [huh? is that politically correct?] at 300 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
*be warned - you will have intent to lick the bowl

The cookie dough resembled brownie batter. Really resembled it. So much that I chilled it for an additional 15 minutes and stuck the Kitchen Aid mixing bowl in the fridge in between balling. I also liberally [damn near socialist-ly] dusted my fingers with confectioner's sugar before rolling the sticky, chocolatey dough into lopsided, funky shapes that loosely resembled spheres. Once they had their 18-20 minutes of hatha baking, they were perfectly perfect. Round, crinkly, chocolatey, and walnut-y.

Meghan, may this batch of Pixies ease your labor pains and celebrate your baby joys!


  1. Heidi, these look great, I want to try
    the recipe, any special kind of choc for
    the 4 oz.?

  2. I went old school & used chocolate chips - but the better grade the chocolate [aka dark chocolate would be swell] the better the cookie!

  3. Those look fabulous! If only I'd had a few when I was in labor (it was awhile ago, but more recently than 1953, ha ha) - the heck with the epidural!

    Oh what am I saying, I'll have both!

    I love those Bake Off cookbooks, they are truly boss :)

  4. They are some yummy cookies too! Yes she beat Patrick's delivery with the delivery of yummy Pixie cookies :).

  5. I prefer to use unsweetened bakers chocolate