Today I woke up at 5:56am. Perhaps it was because I went to bed at 8:30pm. Or maybe it was because I was jolted awake by my very scary dream that was essentially the plot of Unstoppable. Well, I haven’t technically seen Unstoppable, but I was on a train speeding toward another train. I am going to go ahead and assume that my dream covered the main points of the movie. Only there was no Chris Pine in my dream. Talk about a buzz kill. Anyway, I woke up feeling slightly frightened and I may have yelped when Harley grabbed me from under the bed like dead Mischa Barton in The Sixth Sense.
When I calmed myself, I ate breakfast and made a Facebook page. You should probably go “Like” it, because otherwise the most productive thing I have done so far today would be a total waste. Then I spent 10 minutes pressing on Harley’s squishy belly because it feels like a stress ball, only squishier. That was probably the highlight of her day, thus far. Oh, and I made a page about my travels. Check that out too. It’s no squishy kitten belly, but hey, what can you do?
I am in a fun sort of mood today. Can’t you tell? Perhaps it is the excitement of my decision to try a different eating pattern. It stems from the fact that I am always hungry at 3pm. Always. A normal person would just eat a snack, but I generally eat dinner (If you have just stumbled across my blog and you are wondering what 90 year old woman who eats dinner at 3pm and goes to bed at 8:30pm would be writing a blog, please note that I am not, in fact, 90 years old. I am 21, the age of hard partying and early bedtimes.). Anyway, so I am going to start working on eating four small meals each day instead of 3 big ones. Plus, it’s always nice to have an extra meal. That means more food.
Or more dessert… you decide.
Vanilla Pretzel Cookies
- 1 large egg
- 10 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (2 3/4 oz) sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
- 1 large egg white, lightly beaten with 1 teaspoon water
- 4 teaspoons turbinado (or other sanding) sugar
- Place the egg in a small saucepan. Cover with 1 inch of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fill a small bowl with ice water. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the egg to the ice water and let stand for 5 minutes. Crack the egg and peel away the shell. Separate the yolk from the white; discard the white. Press the yolk through a fine-mesh strainer into a small bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, salt, and cooked egg yolk on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down sides of bowl and beater with rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low then add the vanilla and mix until incorporated. Stop the mixer; add flour and mix on low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds. Using a rubber spatula, press dough into cohesive mass.
- Divide the dough in half; roll each piece into log about 6 inches long and 1 3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap each log in parchment paper and twist the ends to seal and firmly compact dough into a tight cylinder. Chill for 30 minutes.
- With racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven, preheat to 350 F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Slice the dough into 1/4-inch rounds, and roll each round into a ball. Roll each ball into a 6-inch rope, slightly tapering the ends. Lift one end and cross it over so that the end rests near the center of the rope to form half of the pretzel shape. Cross the other end of the rope over to form the second half of the pretzel shape. Place the cookies 1 inch apart on the prepared baking sheets. Using a pastry brush, gently brush the cookies with egg white mixture and sprinkle evenly with turbinado sugar.
- Bake until the centers of the cookies are pale golden brown with edges slightly darker than centers, about 15 minutes, rotating baking sheets from front to back and top to bottom halfway through. Cool cookies on baking sheet for 5 minutes; using thin metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.