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It's hard to move across the country when you could fill an entire car just with your kitchenware. It's hard but that's what I pushed for when packing the car with my boyfriend before our cross-country move from New York City to San Francisco. As I guess I should have foreseen, this plan didn't go over very well. Counterarguments of "but you need clothes" and "I need clothes" and "what about my TV?" abounded. Yet I stood by my boxes, losing but determined, while he picked up various items and jabbed, "What the hell is this thing even for?" (Um, those are maple leaf-shaped pancake molds. Duh.)
By the end we compromised, and I chose as best I could. Food processor? Coming with us. What if I want to make pesto before the basil runs out? 24 count mini-muffin pan? Coming with us. It's so small, I'll shove it under the seat! Set of six french onion soup bowls, so beautifully glazed? Desolée. I'll see you on the other side my friends.
Now, having arrived in San Francisco before my boxes, I'm in the moving equivalent of limbo. I'm missing what I consider crucial items for my kitchen, such as an electric beater, a paring knife, and that adorable Japanese mug that's shaped like a penguin. This situation put me in a bit of pickle for this week's Cookie Monster, so I decided to keep it simple with a tried and true shortbread cookie.
Made with just a few basic ingredients, shortbread proves that you don't need a bunch of gadgets to make great desserts. Because I'm missing my electric beater and didn't feel like hand-whipping some butter, I said a prayer and made the dough in my food processor. The cookies came out exactly as they should: firm but easy to bite through, with a slightly sandy texture and a strong buttery flavor. To add another dimension, I dipped the ends in melted dark chocolate. Obviously a double boiler was more important than my sheets.
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About the author: Carrie Vasios is the Community Manager of Serious Eats and writes the Cookie Monster, and Serious Entertaining columns. She likes perusing her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar.