Lizards in hiding.
Right now I’m going to tell you a story. A story about a lizard. It’s a true story, and it goes a little something like this…
Last Friday I was in my kitchen, baking (obviously) a few batches of my favorite Hershey kiss chocolate chip cookies. As my oven beeped letting me know my first batch was done, I turned and grabbed my oven mitt to retrieve them. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a small, brownish “tube” like thing sticking out from behind my microwave, in between the wall it’s screwed into and the back of the microwave. I think nothing of it and assume it is just some piece of tubing that has slipped out and needed to be pushed back in. As I’m raising my hand to readjust this “tube” (since when do microwaves have tubes?!) I look a bit closer and realize that said “tube” has….wait for it….SCALES.
Oh…….wait…..what?!? Instantly I think, “wait a minute. what is that? Microwaves don’t have tubes and they definitely don’t have scales. That almost looks like a tail. A brownish….reptile like….tail. But no, there is not a reptile in my kitchen! That is absurd (I am now sweating profusely) why would a lizard…how did a lizard…oh God, it’s a LIZARD!!!! IN MY KITCHEN!!! AND HE IS ALIVE!!”
The shouty capitals are necessary because that is exactly what I was doing….freaking out. I was screaming, and sweating and crying and laughing hysterically. I was like The Joker…in flannel pajama pants…wearing one oven mitt. My 3 year old was in hysterics because I was in hysterics and I could not calm down. It was so ridiculous.
Let me just sidestep here and explain something. I. HATE. LIZARDS. All lizards…the cute garden ones, the medium house pet ones, the big blue tongued ones….all of them. It’s their scales, and their sliminess, and their wee beady eyes (name that movie for 500 points!) that make my skin crawl. I want nothing to do with them. So to have one in my kitchen, my sacred space, it was…well, it was too much. I lost it.
In a moment of sheer terror I called my Mom at work. She lives in Colorado so obviously she was a huge help. She could not understand a word of what I was cry-laughing into the phone and sat laughing at me for most of the “conversation.” Awesome Mom. Thanks.
My next completely irrational thought was to call a pest exterminator. Perhaps not completely irrational, but I pretty much knew before I even dialed that they were going to say “sorry ma’am, we don’t do lizards”, and they did. It was what else they said that really just adds to this whole debacle. After explaining to me that they “don’t do lizards” I was instructed to go ahead and just call 911. I am dead serious. The exterminator told me to call 911. For fear of being the next YouTube sensation for “100 dumbest emergency phone calls EVER” I opted against that suggestion. I mean, really? “Hello, 911? Yes, could you please take a break from fighting crime and saving lives to come pull a lizard out from behind my microwave?” No.
Next option….who is home in my neighborhood that could come rescue me? All 3 of my surrounding neighbors are at work. Of course. I look down the street and see one car parked in the driveway. I’m pretty sure it was emanating some kind of soft golden glow as I ran (no, sprinted) down the street to see if they were home. My biggest fear was that the dragon behind my microwave would skitter off somewhere leaving me eternally afraid of finding him adrift in my cupcake pans. NO! The thought of it made me run faster.
Kurt (my personal lizard slayer) was home and more than willing to come rescue me. He popped on some hospital grade rubber gloves and we were on our way.
Being the Knight in Shining Armor that Kurt is, he sees the tail and just grabs it. I puked in my mouth a little. He pulled gently…hmmm…nothing. He pulled again and I hear little scratching sounds on the back of my microwave, like nails on a chalkboard. I didn’t know how much more I could take at which point Kurt announces, “I’m afraid if I pull too hard I will pull his tail off.” I’M SORRY, WHAT!? I continue my profuse sweating and now I have perma-goosebumps all over. He asks for a butter knife and upon my handing one to him he proceeds to gently wiggle this gigantic gila monster out from behind my microwave. I screech once more as he grabs him and tosses him into a Rubbermaid container. He throws the lid on top and before he walked outside to toss the mini serpent over my backyard fence I snapped a quick pic of the reptile that nearly destroyed my lovely morning. It was no cute garden lizard folks….check. it. out.
Kurt took him out back and tossed him far, far away. Then he jumped up on his trusty white steed and rode off into the morning sunrise. I kid. He tossed his doctor gloves and went home. I seriously don’t know what I would have done if he hadn’t been home. My lizard hero.
As a thank you to Kurt, I made him a delicious batch of cookies (duh). These are a new creation and holy cow- they are delectable. Toot, toot.
I found this recipe on Eat The Love and wanted to re-create it in a different way. I substituted the raspberry with peanut butter and (just for kicks) threw a few Snickers chunks in the middle. Because, why wouldn’t I? Snickers make everything better. Fact.
These are fun to make (even if they do take a bit longer since you are “marbling” 2 doughs) and so very worth the extra fuss.
Preheat the oven to 350°.
We will start with the peanut butter dough…
Using a whisk, combine the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Stir until well combined.
In your stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, butter and sugar.
Add one egg and mix on low, then add the additional egg yolk, vanilla and peanut butter. Mix on low until combined.
Keep your mixer on slow/medium speed while you gradually dump in the dry mixture. Scrape down the bowl and mix again until dough forms. If the dough seems crumbly or is falling apart you may need to add a little milk. About 2T should do the trick!
Transfer to another bowl, cover and set aside. Clean out your mixing bowl and let’s make the chocolate dough!
In that small bowl you used earlier go ahead and combine the flour, sea salt, cocoa and baking soda. Whisk until all mixed and uniform in color.
Now, back to the mixer! Cream together the cream cheese, butter, sugar and dark brown sugar- about 1 minute or until fluffy.
Add the egg and mix on slow speed. Keep the mixer on slow while you add the egg yolk, and vanilla.
Dump in the dry ingredients and keep the mixer on slow as you do. Speed it up slowly as the wet ingredients and dry ingredients combine. Scrape down the bowl as needed and mix again until well combined.
At this point you can use either a 1t scoop (for smaller cookies) or, if you want bigger cookies you can use a small cookie scoop.
Scoop 2 balls of peanut butter dough and 2 balls of chocolate dough. Lay them, alternating, on top of each other and press down. Roll them into a ball and set aside.
Stick your thumb into the center of one of your balls of dough and spread it out, creating a bit of a hole in the dough. Stick your Snickers chunk in and pinch the dough over it so it cannot be seen. Roll the dough into a ball and place on a parchment (or Silpat) lined baking sheet. At this point you can manipulate the dough as you wish to achieve the marbling affect you are going for.
Place in the oven for about 13 minutes. Add time in 2 minute increments until slightly brown around the edges, and no longer glossy.
Let them set up on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to wire racks to cool.
And, voila! Adorable and oh so tasty marbled cream cheese cookies! Indulge and enjoy!
Thanks for stopping by and let me know what you think in the comments section below. Here is the printable recipe:
- 2 3/4C flour
- 1/2t baking soda
- 1t baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2C sugar
- 1/4C (2 oz) cream cheese
- 6T unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1t vanilla
- 3/4C creamy peanut butter
- 2C flour
- 1C unsweetened natural cocoa powder (not dutch processed)
- 1t baking soda
- 1t sea salt
- 12T unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2C cream cheese, room temperature
- 1C sugar
- 1C packed dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1T vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- For the peanut butter dough: In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir until well combined and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the sugar with the cream cheese and butter. Cream on medium to medium high speed until fluffy, about 1 minute.
- Keep your mixer on slow while you add the egg and additional egg yolk. Mix well.
- Add the vanilla and peanut butter and mix again until just combined.
- Keeping the mixer on slow, gradually add the flour mixture until the dough forms.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give it another good mix. If the dough seems crumbly or dry you may need to add up to 2T of milk. Do so if necessary and mix well.
- Transfer this dough to a different bowl and cover.
- Clean our your mixing bowl and make the chocolate dough.
- In the same small bowl you used previously, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and sea salt. Whisk until well combined and inform in color. Set aside.
- In your stand mixer, cream together the butter, cream cheese, sugar and dark brown sugar. Give it a good mix for about 1 minute until fluffy.
- Keeping the mixer on slow, add in the egg and egg yolk.
- Add in the vanilla and mix. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again.
- Mixing on slow, gradually dump in all of the dry mix. As the dough begins to form, speed up the mixer and mix until well combined. Scrape the bowl is necessary and mix one more time.
- Grab 2 small cookie scoops for bigger cookies, or the 1t for smaller ones and dig out 2 balls of dough from each flavor.
- Stack them on top of each other alternating flavors. Smoosh them down and roll into a ball.
- Chop up your Snickers bars width wise and place one of the chunks in the center of the ball of dough. Wrap the dough around the Snickers so it cannot be seen and re-shape into a ball. Place the ball on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet.
- Bake the cookies for about 13 minutes, adding time in 2 minute increments until the edges are barely brown and the tops are no longer glossy.
- Let them cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool.