I love that I live in a state that’s so proud that one can easily find cookie cutters shaped like it.
Every Texan has a pride issue. Most of us Texans are fully aware of it, but a select few are just too proud to admit it. If you aren’t Texan but have ever met one, you’re fully aware of the boastful confidence we have in our once-was-its-own-country state.
One time I asked my husband (who, mind you, fulfilled his lifelong dream from childhood of being a “soldier man” by serving in the U.S. Army and who also teaches U.S. history, government, and economics), “If Texas wasn’t part of the United States, would you rather live in Texas or America?” To which he unhesitatingly responded, “Texas,” with a capital T.
“Really? Why is that?” I asked.
I really love America (and for the record, so does he), but his answer made sense: “Because I’d never want to live in an America without a Texas.”
Dear Lone Star State, we love you to the moon and back. We love you from one end of the state to the other. (Which, in all reality, is about the same distance. Those of you who’ve driven from one end of the state to the other know just how true that really is.) By the way, did you know the first words spoken on the moon were spoken to a radio in Texas?
Ok, back to the cookies. Not only are they shaped like Texas, they’re just like Texas: awesome. There are a few great things about these Texas chocolate chip cookies: they’re moist, delicious, and super easy to make. But really, the best thing about them are the in-betweens.
What are in-betweens? Pieces of deliciousness that reside between one cookie and the next. And the best thing about in-betweens? They’re calorie-free because they’re not actually cookies.*
But don’t worry, they’re calories you won’t regret consuming. I mean, just look at this mound of yumminess!
Before we can enjoy the in-betweens, we have to make the shaped cookies. Let me show you how to get perfectly shaped cutouts of these cookies, and then we can indulge in those delightful residual pieces! In-betweens give a whole new meaning to the term, “leftovers.”
Once you mix the cookie dough (recipe below), you’ll put a bunch of dough lumps onto a non-stick cookie pan (you don’t need to grease it if it’s non-stick). The pan I use is about 17″ x 12″.
Your lumps of dough will look a little bit like the map of the world.
Then, use your hands or a spatula to evenly press the dough across the pan. It’s ok if you don’t reach the edges of the pan with the dough; when it bakes, the dough will even out and cover the entire pan. Once your dough globe looks more like Pangaea (or Cookie Pan-gaea, if you will), you’re ready to put the pan in the oven.
Separate out your M&Ms into the red & blue pile and the reject pile. My taste buds rejoice in the reject pile, because I get to eat it while the cookie dough bakes.
Yes, that’s an adorable towel with Texas shapes on it in the background. Thank you, Aunt Cheryl!
Evenly distribute the red & blue M&Ms onto the dough and lightly press down on them like so:
Bake the dough until it’s slightly golden brown (about 10 minutes on 350) and looks like this:
Let the dough cool for about 5-10 minutes before you begin cutting out the Texas shapes. It’ll come out of the oven feeling like July in Texas. Wait until the dough feels more like September or October.
Then, you’ll press the cookie cutter into the dough to start cutting your shapes. If the cookies are still rather doughy and don’t easily separate when you cut them, wait a bit before you try to move the shape from the cookie pan to the cooling rack. Sometimes they’ll come right out with the cookie cutter.
These cookies are just too fun!
Once you’ve finished cutting out all of your cookies, you can sit back and enjoy the rejects (if you didn’t already eat them while impatiently waiting for the cookies to bake) & the in-betweens!
Of course, you can enjoy the Texas cookies, too, but there’s just something about those in-betweens that make us leap for joy.
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (room temperature)
- 3/4 c packed light brown sugar
- 1/4 c granulated white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 1/4 c flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 3.4oz package instant vanilla pudding
- 2 c semisweet chocolate chips