thank you, miss betty…

being 37 wks pregnant has left me a few things…irritable, sore, impatient & unwilling to stand on my feet for hours in the kitchen. thanks to the last 2 endearing characteristics, i have become quite the short-cutter in the cooking/baking dept. a friend turned me on to the cheap betty crocker bag cookie mixes a few months ago. life-saver when i feel like ransacking the neighborhood to squelch my chocolate attacks – kind of how i felt about 30 mins ago. then i remember the walnut chocolate chip cookie mix in the pantry…hello betty!

trouble w/me though is i can’t follow box recipes. something in me refuses. ridiculous habit i know & sometimes i ruin things for it, but not today. i did what i always do – i stared at the picture on the front for a minute, flipped and read the instructions/ingredients…then comes the weirdo in me…i read ALL the fine print & any recipes included at the bottom for inspirations or ideas as to how best sabotage the easy-to-follow steps above.

i try to steer clear of butter – ava’s dairy problems leads to butter rationing & elimination from most recipes – so i consider my alternatives there first. last time (w/the oatmeal choc chip) i stuck w/good ole applesauce, but they made the cookies more like an oatmeal bake – too healthy for the kind of day i’m having. so, i spotted the veg oil substitution – 1/4 c oil, 1 egg & 1 tbsp of water. a-ha! there it was! anytime anything calls for water i revolt. depending on the recipe, i use coffee, juice – anything but water. why not take the opportunity to add a little zing or extra flavor to something?

so my brain starts piecing it all together & i’m reminded of an amazing greek choc chip cookie i had years ago that had the slightest hint of lemon & cinnamon. it’s seriously to the day the best choc chip cookie i’ve ever eaten & have failed to replicate.

this awesome cookie led to this…1 bag of walnut chocolate chip cookie mix from miss betty, 1 egg, 1 tsp of vanilla (i always add vanilla to everything – why not?!), 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsbp of ORANGE JUICE, hello!, & finally, that sinister tbsp of oil.

i slabbed it all in a square non-stick brownie pan & baked it @350 for 15 minutes & it didn’t last 10 seconds out of the oven before i devoured a chunk of it. soooo good. you’ve got to try it. i could taste the hint of citrus & cinnamon. the greek grandma who made my complimentary cookie still takes the cake, but this will do!

yes…yes, this was the size of the piece i ate just now…don’t judge! 🙂

any other short cuts you love? i’d love to hear about them!

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