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Thursday, February 11, 2010

It's Inventors' Day: Let's Play a Game!

I like to play these kinds of games with a nice setting of milk and cookies by my side. How about you? Cookies and milk are especially good when I'm working on a crossword puzzle. "In the old days" (the days before the move to PA:) a package of Pepperidge Farm® Milano® Cookies would be the cookies of choice. I find them delicate enough for dunking (yes I'm a dunker from way back:) should I decide to have milk or tea when settling down with a magazine or a puzzle. Books are a different story. Like most of you, I don't really have time for games these days. However, todays is Inventors' Day, a day worthy of a quick match game and a plate of freshly baked cookies. Let's play!!!

Milk & Cookies

There was no way I was going to get to the store today to pick up a package of my favorite "game" cookies. There's about a foot of snow outside my door. Instead, I decided to venture out via a Cocoa Pinwheel Cookie recipe I found in a 1977 Ideal's Hershey's Chocolate & Cocoa Cookbook that I was just about to relocate to the garage for our community yard sale come spring. Don't quote me on this but I think Pinwheel Cookies fall into the category of refrigerator cookies or slice and bake cookies (as opposed to mold cookies or pressed cookies, I think:) Or is that ice-box cookies?

I'm calling my version of these cookies Vanilla & Chocolate Pinwheels because instead of using one full cup of granulated sugar, I used the remainder of the vanilla sugar I had "fermenting" for quite a while. I just replaced about half the granulated plain sugar with granulated vanilla sugar. That's about it! The cookie dough was actually very easy to work with and as soon as it got too soft, I wrapped it up in wax paper and let it chill for about an hour. If I were to ever make these again, I wouldn't roll the dough into a ball before chilling. I would make it more rectangular or in the shape of a square ball. I'm sure it would have made it a heck of a lot easier to roll it flat into a square if I didn't start with a ball. Still without a rolling pin, I used my trusty napkin holder dowel again. It worked just fine. (I added rolling pin to my new kitchen accessory list:)

Vanilla & Chocolate Pinwheels
1/2 cup butter
1 3-ounce package cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar (here's where I used half vanilla sugar)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla (I used Watkins Vanilla)
1-1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder (I like aluminum free)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup Hershey's Cocoa
3/4 cup sifted flour (this flour goes in at the end)
Directions:
1. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla in large bowl.
2. In a separate bowl combine 1-1/2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Gradually add flour mixture to creamed mixture; blend well.
3. Divide dough in half. (I eye balled it:)
4. Blend cocoa into one half of the dough. Shape and refrigerate while preparing remainder of the dough.
5. Take the remainder of the vanilla dough and add the saved 3/4 cup of flour. Shape and refrigerate 15 minutes for easy handling.
6. Remove from refrigerator and roll each portion into a 9-inch square. (You won't need additional flour, it's very easy to work with and shouldn't stick.) Place chocolate layer on top of vanilla (or visa versa:) Roll up jelly roll style and wrap dough tightly in waxed paper or plastic wrap. (Colleen put her Peanut Butter Chocolate Pinwheel Cookie dough upright in a glass to keep its round shape.) Great idea Huh? Chill at least one hour or overnight. Slice dough 1/4-inch thick and place on un-greased cookie sheet. (they don't spread so you can put them pretty close together) (The Purple Foodie shared her tip for slicing in the Nutella Pinwheel Cookies post she shared for World Nutella Day)
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 to 15 minnutes or until lightly browned.
8. Remove from cookie sheet. Cool on wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen cookies. 
My Note: That's way too many cookies for me. I'm going to try a little experiment. I'm going to cut the roll down into 3 logs and put two in the freezer and keep one in the fridge. My son's birthday is this weekend and if per chance, I happen to be cooking dinner, I'll just grab Pinwheels from the freezer. I think these will freeze just fine. Enjoy!

Match the Links Game

Now for the game. It's easy really. Just match the person in the column on the left with their Months of Edible Celebrations link on the right. The hints at the top should give you an idea of what Tasteful Inventions have been shared in previous months. Don't worry, the answers are at the bottom of this post. Have fun!!!

Hints
Cocoa Powder
Root Beer Float
Eskimo Pie
Irish Coffee
Nutcracker, Nutpick
Paper Drinking Straw
Pop Rocks, Cool Whip & Tang
Match the Links
A: C. J. Van Houten
B: Frank Wisner
C: Christian K. Nelson
D: Chef Joe Sheridan
E: Henry Quackenbush
F: Marvin Stone
G: William A. Mitchell
1: Pop Rocks, Cool Whip & Tang!
2: Nutcrackers, Nutpicks @ MIT
3: Drinking Straw Day
4: Irish Coffee Day
5: The Black Cow
6: Eskimo Pie Day
7: Chocolate Milk Powder Day

Match Game Answers

Wasn't that fun? So, How'd you do? Here are the answers. 
A & 7-Coenraad Johannes Van Houten invented the process of making cocoa powder in 1828.
B & 5-Many credit Charles Elmer Hires as inventor of the Black Cow otherwise known as a Root Beer Float. However, legend has it that soda shop owner, Frank Wisner not only "invented" the soda fountain drink, he named it after the Cow Mountains of Cripple Creek, Colorado. The Black Cow
C & 6-Christian K Nelson was a high school teacher who invented the Eskimo Pie.
D & 4-Legend has it that one night in 1942, Chef Joe Sheridan was serving coffee at the Shannon Airport when it occured to him that tired travelers needed a little something extra. He sweetened hot coffee with sugar, a dram of Irish whiskey and floated a dollop of lightly-whipped cream on top. "A delectable brew was born."
E & 2-Henry Quackenbush's first successful invention was the extension ladder. His company manufactured products ranging from rifles to kitchen gadgets. His most successful kitchen gadget invention came in 1878 when he created the first nutcracker and nutpick.
F & 3-Legend has it that Marvin Stone invented the first paper drinking straw while sipping a mint julep after work.
G & 1-The General Foods research scientist who invented Pop Rocks, Cool Whip and Tang was named William A. Mitchell.

FYI:

Today is also Don't Cry Over Spilled Milk Day, the birthday of Paul Bocuse, touted as the ambassador of French cuisine, the birthday of Lydia Marie Child, author of The American Frugal Housewife AND, the day the television program The French Chef made its debut with Julia Child in 1963.
Can you guess from this riddle what day tomorrow is, besides Abraham Lincoln's birthday?

Flowers of England, Fruit of Spain
Met together in a shower of rain;
Put in a bag, tied round with string.
If you tell me this riddle, I'll give you a ring.

Resources
1. Pepperidge Farm® recipe archive
2. Tasteful Inventions (my other blog)
3. Log Cabin Fever (Abe Lincoln's 200th birthday last year, has a Log Cabin Syrup die-cut cookbook posted, very cool)

21 comments:

  1. Love those cookies and that jar!

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  2. Fun! If not for work, the fur-girls and I would have game day. Of course, they like milk A LOT. They don't know cookies, except as in the dog cookie sort.

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  3. Love the cookies and the games! I heard it's a national plum pudding day tomorrow?

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  4. A thought about your first paragraph: I love to eat while surfing the web, but my keyboard became disgracefully full of crumbs and coffee stains. I just got a new computer and have sworn off of this habit.

    I used to make pinwheel cookies from a recipe in The Joy of Cooking. I think you smushed the two layers together, rolled them up, and THEN refrigerated the roll. I don't make cookies very often any more, alas.

    best... maefood.blogspot.com

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  5. I want that jar! So adorable.
    I've made these cookies before, and they are always a hit. Guess ppl love old-fashioned sugar cookies!

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  6. Hey Cool game! Very interesting way to mix things up!

    When I was a kid I liked to have a bowl of cereal for breakfast and read and play the games on the box. I don't know there was something about it. It just kinda went together.

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  7. The jar is so adorable. It makes me want to make some cookies right now and find a cute jar! My kids will love it for sure. They have never experienced getting cookies in a jar.

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  8. Wouldn't "freezer cookies" have been perfect for the snow day this week? Wish I'd thought of it - but I had to make due with black bean chili! Hope you're staying warm, Louise!

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  9. Thanks Jan They were fun to bake!

    Oh the girls will have their "cookie" day sooner than they think Channon. February 23rd is National Dog Biscuit Day!

    You guessed the riddle 5 Star Foodie! Today is indeed National Plum Pudding Day!!! (Feb. 12)

    Congrats on your new computer, Mae. I sometimes think I spend more time cleaning my poor Mac's computer keyboard than I do blogging. I will definitely "smush" next time. I was trying to do it pretty like. Next time, I'll go for yumminess first!!!

    Thanks Natashya I'm not repeating recipes but if I did, I think I would add more vanilla sugar next time.

    That's how much I know Sophia. I thought these were old fashioned butter cookies!!! They were good! Still are...

    Thanks Jim, for some reason, I do believe you were the inspiration for today's game. You're having way too much fun over there "baking" up those blogging tips and tricks of yours. Personally, I was never quite the bowl of cereal for breakfast kind of gal. Snacks yes:) I do know people who collect those retro boxes with the games on the back. Do they still have games on them, I wonder...

    Thanks for visiting dining room table. Bake up a batch of cookies and put them in a glass jar with a ribbon. The kids will think it's a special occasion. If you need some coaxing, I posted the Cookie Jar poem by Edgar A. Guest here. Stop by anytime. You have some nice looking dining room sets on your site:)

    Well, the creek is indeed frozen T.W. But, the fact that I can actually make a statement like that in rural PA makes me all warm and fuzzy inside:) I hear New York got more ice than snow. We have a beautiful blanket of snow up here. I'm even plowed out. It seems my new neighbor will plow me out anytime for a plate full of cookies. How cool is that? I do love PA!!!

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  10. Your blog is always so much fun to read and so informative. Those cookies look yummy!!! I love games! Thanks!

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  11. Lovely cookies, perfect with milk!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  12. Don't you just love pinwheel cookies? They look kind of fancy, in a homespun way (in this house anyway, grins). I had forgotten about the tip to leave it in a glass. Thanks for the reminder. Now you have me craving cookies!

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  13. oh, hypnotic and mesmerizing--how lovely!
    thanks for the diversion--your post was a lot of fun to read! i do enjoy a brain game every now and then. :)

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  14. I've never had vanilla chocolate pinwheels before - they are so pretty!

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  15. hi, louise!!! whaaa, i tried my best but scored zero. haha.

    i'm a dunker, too, by the way, and love those milano cookies, too! :D no wonder we connect in several ways! haha. :)

    happy chinese new year and happy valentine's day!!!

    sending love from asia.

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  16. You are a nice host! Cookies and games !

    So your father was a boxer ! Wow!

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  17. Thanks Duckie.

    You say the sweetest things Julia. Thank you so much for dropping by. There are more cookies left...

    Thank you Rosa

    They sure were good Katy! It worked out great that they are freezer cookies. I mean really if I ate them all...

    Hi Grace. Thank you for your delectable words. I'm always trying to come up with ways to add a bit of spice. Games work, sometimes:)

    They're real easy to bake up Pam. Let me know when you try them.

    hi there acey, catching love from asia:) it's so nice to "see" you. happy chinese new year and happy valentine's day!!!

    Thanks Sidney something different for a change. Yes, my father was a boxer. I remember when I was very young staying up to watch "the fights" with him. Happy, happy, Sidney!!!

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  18. Thanks for this info, this issue has been bugging me like crazy for the last couple of days :)

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  19. I'm glad you liked it Term Papers. Drop by anytime:)

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Through this wide opened gate,
none came to early,
none returned to late.

Thanks for dropping in...Louise