Let me ask you this: is there a better way to eat the negative feelings you have about your stupid job and your stupid life than via a bag full of cookies to the face?
Yes, there is: eating your feelings via a batch of delicious HOMEMADE cookies to the face.
Luckily for you, Brooklyn writer Stacy Adimando breaks it all down in her newly-released book, The Cookiepedia. We're talking 50 delicious recipes and enough food porn to put the Keebler Elves out of business forever.
Read on for a ridiculous Q&A where Adimando humors my asinine questions and lets me Photoshop her very professional headshot in with the Cookie Monster. If you make it all the way to the end without going to the store to buy a bag of Oreos, you'll have a chance to win a copy of The Cookiepedia for free.
Your feelings? Eaten. Your waistline? Let's not talk about it.
Why cookies? Give me the backstory.
I had some interest in going into the cook book world, because I was doing all of this recipe and developing at [Every Day With Rachael Ray], but I wanted to try my hand in the book world. So, I got into a conversation with a publisher about a cookie book and I was resisting it for a bit, wondering if people would want baking advice from someone who doesn't own a famous bakery or isn't on TV. But finally I came around to the idea that people would want to get advice from someone comfortable in the kitchen. Now that I've had time with it, I can see that that's the attraction with it. It's not snobby or fussy. I baked every one of the cookies myself, so it comes from an "if I can do it, you can do it" place.
[Laughs] I was a girl scout, but I wouldn't say I was big on cookies. I think cookies have to fight the stigma that they're kind of a sissy food. That they have this girly conotation or a Betty Crocker wearing an apron kind of feel to them, but I don't think that that is true after spending so much time with cookies. I think what they should be is an everyman type of food. They shouldn't be precious or delicate, they should be something that you can roll up your sleeves and have fun with. So I really put a lot of effort into getting the message across that you can turn this into whatever cookie you want. Go ahead and mess with the dough, you can make the cookie of your dreams.
[Laughs] I should have put that as my tagline.
Is it too late to change the title of the book to that?
I think so.
Yes! But it actually works to my advantage that I spent so much time making cookies that now I can say, "Listen, I'm off-duty, you should cook for me."
So if you tried all of the cookies that you made, how did you not gain weight?
[Laughs] Who says I didn't gain weight? I actually don't think I did gain any weight but I will say that when you have to look at a refrigerator full of cookie dough for a year, you're a little less likely to shove half a dozen cookies in your mouth in one sitting. Although, I will say that I did get in the habit of coming home and eating 2 or 3 cookies every day for the better part of a year. So, how I didn't blow up, I can't tell you. So the message here is that cookies can do no harm!
Would you recommend this book to a girl who has just gotten dumped and is looking for creative ways to eat her feelings?
[Laughs] Yes! And I'd also like to add that most of the cookies in the book can be made in under an hour.
Oh, so that's good. It'll be quicker for her to gorge then.
For that, I'd recommend the Everything But the Kitchen Sink cookie, which actually encourages you to shove anything and everything from your pantry into the dough. If that cookie doesn't cure a broken heart, nothing will.
The Pistachio Butter cookies, definitely. I got all Brooklyn on myself and went and got a bottle of Frankie's Olive Oil and made a pistachio butter out of fresh pistachios and olive oil and then turned it into a heavenly, chewy, brown-sugary cookie. That cookie is unstoppable. I can't stop eating them.
I'm going to give the politically correct answer and say that I have an Italian background, so I really wanted to be around my people. But I HAVE pledged to start going to Park Slope more. I was just there last night!
Yeah, yeah, fine. What's your favorite Brooklyn bakery?
What's your favorite Brooklyn restaurant?
That's a really hard question, but if you put a gun to my head, it would have to be Frankie's.
Not a Park Slope restaurant, I see.
Why don't you ask me what my favorite Park Slope restaurant is then?
Because you're not going to be able to tell me one because you don't go to Park Slope.
Whatever. Listen, I need to know: are you looking to put the Keebler Elves out of business?
[Laughs] Yes, I've received many threatening emails from the Keebler Corporation.
Okay, seriously: can you eat Chips Ahoy! now or are you ruined for store bought cookies?
Well, I've sort of become the Cookie Critic around people I know, which I appreciate, but there will always be a special place in my heart for the junk food, supermarket cookies, especially Oreos.
Oreos. That's another thing. Cookies pair well with milk, but I'm looking for a suggestion for a cookie that will go with my favorite beverage, which is Colt 45.
[Laughs] I mean, if I can default again to the Everything But the Kitchen Sink cookie, I'd have to say that nothing goes better with a cold Colt 45 than a cookie with some Cheetos in it.
You know the Oprah people aren't asking these questions.
I know, I know.
Let's end it with this. How do you feel about the Cookie Monster?
Me and Cookie Monster are boys.