February 12, 2010

Operation: Seduce the Neighbors


[si-doos, -dyoos] -duced, -duc⋅ing.
1. to lead astray, as from duty, rectitude, or the like; corrupt.
2. to persuade or induce to have sexual intercourse.
3. to lead or draw away, as from principles, faith, or allegiance: He was seduced by the prospect of gain.
4. to win over; attract; entice: a supermarket seducing customers with special sales. 

Don't worry. We're not going to do #2...at least not right away.


Seriously, Mom, I'm just kidding. Sheesh.

We're going more for #4. We, the women of 915 Orient, are going to seduce the men in 913 Orient into being our friends. We need male friends. Perhaps they need female friends? Maybe?

And possibly letting us watch TV at their house. I hear they're into Project Runway. (I may have just rubbed my hands together in a slightly evil/gleeful manner. Let's pretend that I didn't though.)

How are we going to seduce them you say?

With baked goods and our charming personalities.

What else?

First things first, baked goods. We're going to start with these fantastic Ricotta Cheese Cookies.
Don't be put off by the ricotta. It weirds some people out, but it just makes these cookies amazingly moist and dense. They're almost like an old-fashioned drop sugar cookie. The cookie base is just slightly sweet and with a basic icing turns into this little bite of heaven. They even get better after a few days. YUMMY.

Are you down with the ricotta yet?

Do you say "rih-caw-tuh" or "rih-coh-tuh"? I say the first, but I know the real Italian pronunciation is the second. Just one of those interesting things.

The thing I like about this recipe is that it's really basic. The only slightly odd ingredient is the ricotta. Everything else you have: flour, sugar, eggs, wah-nilla, baking powder, salt.
You combine the sugar and butter (which I had to soften in the microwave due to the fact that our house is too cold to properly soften butter) and then beat on medium high for 5 minutes.
See how it goes from being a grainy, yellow mixture to a pale-yellow, light and fluffy mixture? You'd be able to tell better if I were patient enough to use photoshop before exporting my photos to the internet. Anyways, that's what you're looking for-the light and fluffy.

Then you just add the ricotta, eggs and vanilla.
Next your dry ingredients. (I did double the recipe which is why my KitchenAid is overflowing.)
And double is 8 cups of flour which also happened to be exactly the amount in our flour jar. Luck was on my side!

After you scoop the cookies onto a cookie sheet, approximately 2" apart and cook for 15 minutes at 350. Then let your cookies cool.
It's a little difficult to know when the cookies are done because they don't brown very much on top. They spread just a bit and the only color occurs on the bottom.

Trust your timer.
I like to ice mine with a basic icing of butter (2-3 Tbsp), wah-nilla (1-2 tsp), then add milk and powdered sugar until I reach the right consistency and taste. I've told you how I feel about measuring for icing. I don't do it. It's just not my nature. And I'm cocky.

Don't forget the sprinkles for Valentine's Day either.

I honestly think that the more cliche it can be the more I will like it. And, yes, I used multiple shades of red/pink icing. Because I am anal retentive. And semi-psychotic.

So I didn't actually make these solely for the purpose of neighbor seduction.

I made them to send to my family.

I also made Valentine's cards.
I just whipped them up. See, I really might be semi-psychotic. If obsessive-compulsive crafting can count as psychotic. I might be over-dramatizing myself a bit and not helping my quest to find a boyfriend, so I'm just going to stop now. 
 Happy Valentine's Day!

Ricotta Cookies
2 cups Sugar
1 cup Butter, softened
15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
2 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla Extract
2 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Salt
4 cups flour 
1. Pre-heat your oven to 350
2. Combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
3. Add ricotta, vanilla and eggs.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder and salt. Mix until a dough forms. 
5. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. 
6. When cookies are cool, ice with your favorite icing and enjoy!

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