Wednesday, March 2, 2011

chocolate coconut walnut cookies

the cookies! scroll to the bottom if you'd prefer to bypass my ranting and read about them!
Living in an apartment building is an interesting experience, for various reasons. Also, it seems to be something that most of us deal with, at some point, so I think that you will be able to relate. Whether it is right after we leave home for the first time (I think dorm living qualifies as apartment-like living, right?), after college when we are still too restless to commit to one spot for long, or at any point that buying a house requires more money or responsibility than we are willing to devote. The three of us (ginger, spoon, and pi) currently fall somewhere between the second and third situations I have described--early twenties, uninhibited, impulsive, and generally trying to figure out life. Apartment living suits us perfectly, I would say. However, nice as it may seem to not be responsible for shoveling the driveway or mowing the lawn, living in a building with a bunch of other random people does not come without some interesting consequences.

First of all, in most places, it costs an arm and a leg to do laundry. Everyone who has ever lived somewhere where the laundry machine runs on quarters knows what it is like to go as long as possible between loads.

This may manifest itself in various ways, such as the re-wearing of any clothes whose cleanliness has been found to at least surpass a certain level (smells decent, no overly visible spots, etc.). People in this situation may also be found to become unreasonably upset when they are spilled on or otherwise gotten dirty--especially when it's on jeans (which almost never have to be washed, if successfully maintained). For me, my limiting factor is definitely underwear. Yes, I said it--it's true. I can go through clothes and clothes without doing laundry, but as soon as I'm out of underwear, I have no choice. I am forced to either pay up (in quarters, which I never seem to have enough of), or go home. I'm 22 and I still bring my laundry's free, okay? This is probably worse--I have actually attempted to prolong my time between doing laundry by going out and buying more underwear...only to realize that it would have been cheaper to just do my laundry. It must have been something about the amount of quarters it takes that made it seem like the better financial decision at the time. Ranting aside, quarter-eating washers are something I certainly will not miss when I either live in a house or have a place with laundry.

Secondly, landlords can be interesting. As can "caretakers"/"building managers," as we have found. Our landlord has been in our apartment exactly once. I have never actually met her, so the fact that she does in fact exist is something I believe simply because spoon has told me that it is true. She is mostly unresponsive to questions/e-mails, especially when they are in regards to our dishwasher which has not worked since we moved in (man, we could use that thing), or the second air conditioning unit that was supposed to be fixed last August. I have mostly given up on her, but will continue to grumble about having to do dishes by hand most certainly until I move out. Our "building managers" as they call themselves are also rather curious. They live in the building as tenants and are in charge of those jobs such as mowing of the lawn, vacuuming the hallways, and fixing things that need fixing. We don't usually see or hear from any of them except when it snows and they come around banging on our doors trying to figure out whose cars are still parked in the lot, or when we see their son mowing the lawn in his Joe Mauer jersey (so far the only shirt we have ever seen him wear). Anyway, they're interesting to deal with, to say the least.

Finally, for now, when you live in an apartment, you are there with a random assortment of other people, as I mentioned. Often, you have pretty much nothing to do with each other, and it may even feel rather awkward every time you see another tenant in the hallway or parking lot. The other thing about your neighbors, of course, is that you don't get to choose them. So, if you're stuck living next to people who constantly burn popcorn, or play Dance Dance Revolution at all hours of the night, you pretty much just have to deal with it. Walls in these places are notoriously thin, and even if it's not ideal, you often get to hear what's going on in the next room. For us, rather, we get to hear what's going on directly above us. And it never stops. By the way it sounds when our upstairs neighbors (affectionately known as "the elephants") walk from room to room, they must weigh about 300 lbs each.

They also like to jump off furniture, drop things, play ridiculously loud video games, and yell at each other such that we can hear every word (funny, I just heard the girl yelling about something, how ironic). At all hours of the day. And night. We've decided that this guy and girl who live above us do not have jobs. Nor do they sleep. Not ideal for us, who rather enjoy sleep, and being able to concentrate on things. Sometime, some night when they are being especially ridiculous (tag around the apartment, perhaps?) we are going to run up the stairs ring their doorbell, and run away as fast as we can. We are going to ding-dong-ditch these people. That will teach them! Well, maybe not, but at least we can say we got back at the elephants at least once. Mark my words. It's going to happen. Ah, apartment living....

Okay, okay, sorry about that, I have a cookie recipe to share as well. This is the good stuff. Spoon wanted to call them Elephant cookies, after our lovely neighbors, but I wasn't so sure. So I'll just call them what they are--which is a lot of things, so be prepared. These cookies have all manner of wonderful rolled up in them, and are quite delicious, if I do say so myself. These cookies contain some decently healthy ingredients, so you are allowed to eat more, not that you'd be able to help it anyway--I put dark chocolate, coconut, oats, and walnuts together--oh, and a little bit of peanut butter too, and mmmyes. Very good. Like chewy and crispy at the same time, with enough going on to keep things interesting (one wouldn't want to get bored while eating a cookie, now would she?), but not so much that you become overwhelmed and forget what you thought you were eating in the first place (a cookie!). I think these would also make delicious ice cream sandwiches...just saying :)

Chocolate-Coconut-Walnut Cookies
(with oats and peanut butter, but that makes the name too long)

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½  tsp baking powder
1½  tsp baking soda
½  teaspoon salt
¾ cup (1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¼ cup peanut butter
¾  cups granulated sugar
¾  cups packed light brown sugar
2  eggs
½  tablespoon vanilla
1 ½  cups semisweet (or darker..) chocolate chips
1 ½  cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sweetened, flaked (or shredded) coconut
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or line with a silicone baking mat.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in peanut butter until well combined. Gradually beat in the sugars and continue to beat until light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the mixer speed to low and gradually add the flour mixture, mixing until just combined. With a wooden spoon or large rubber spatula stir in the chocolate chips, oats, coconut and walnuts—this might be kind of tough, but use your muscles!

For each cookie, drop spoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheets and use your hand to press them down slightly. Bake until the edges are set but the middles still look light and puffy, about 10 minutes—make sure you don’t overbake them! Enjoy!

 mmmmm nomnomnom

1 comment:

  1. These sound A-MA-ZING...can't wait to try them :)