VD Will Change Your Life

Hello snazzy pals! Here is a superdeluxe, superlong, superpackedwithpeanutsit reallysatisfies Valentines Day advice blog! Not only is there advice but there’s a contest and two easy steps that will guarantee you have a rad valentines day NO MATTER WHAT.

No, I’m not kidding.

I will be frank. I used to hate Valentines day. Partially because it seemed like so much PRESSURE but mostly because it seemed to bum so many people out.

And that is when I thought of my Two Easy Steps to Guaranteed VD Joy

Are you ready? ARE YOU REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADY?!?
Okay.

Step 1: Bake cookies
Step 2: Give them to all your friends and anyone who you want to be friends with.

I will let you read over that a few more times until the brilliance sinks in. Is it sinking? No? Allow me to explain:

By baking cookies and giving them away to your friends, you make everyone’s day. No one can be sad when eating a homemade cookie! You are spreading the love. Which is the whole point of Valentines Day!

BUT you also get something out of it. Not only can you Bask in Admiration, but if there happens to be someone you’re interested in, in either a Friendly or MoreThanFriendly way, you can slip them a cookie too. This is a nice gesture that will keep you on ThatPerson’s mind but since you’re giving delicious snacks to lots of people it also can’t be misconstrued as TooSerious.

Being nice to people is good karma by itself. But nicepluscookies means you get double karma points plus some of those bonus points you can redeem for good hair days and not getting mascara on your eyelid even if you are putting it on in a hurry mornings. And who doesn’t want that?

Finally, having done this will make a lot of people see you in a new way, as fun and nice and generous, and you’ll find that you will suddenly have more people saying ‘hi’ to you in the hall, more people smiling at you, and just generally more icing to put on the cakes of your days. Really. Don’t believe me? TRY IT.

I’ll make it EZ. I’m including three of my favorite cookie recipes.

But wait, there’s more! Since VD is conveniently located on a Wednesday, I challenge you to use this as your Wednesday Why Not.1 Which means that anyone who tries out this system and emails me to tell me how it went, will be entered into a drawing to win an autographed book. Um-hmm, because that. Is. How. I. Do. CONTEST STYLE.

Yumaluma Chocolate Mint Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 bag chocolate chips (optional. But really, why wouldn’t you? I mean unless you hated deliciousness)

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. Using electric mixer, beat butter and sugar in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs and peppermint extract. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt and beat until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Flatten balls slightly to 1 1/2-inch rounds.

3. Bake cookies until edges begin to firm but center still appears soft, about 13 minutes. Cool on baking sheets 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. (Cookies can be prepared up to 5 days ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)

Makes about 48.

Strangely Fabulous Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee powder
1-1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy (approximately 30 seconds)

2.Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds.

3. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips.

4. Using a 1 ounce scoop or a 2 tablespoon measure, drop cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet about 3 inches apart. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2 inch circle. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a little longer for a crispier cookie.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Seven Layers of Heaven Cookies
(what I like most about these is that butter appears to count as a layer. Go butter!)

1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups graham crackers
1 can Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups coconut
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup butterscotch chips (can be omitted)

Melt butter in a 9X9. Sprinkle crumbs over butter and pour Eagle brand condensed milk over the crumbs. Top with remaining ingredients in the order given and press down firmly.

Bake 25 minutes or until lightly brown at 350 degrees.

Makes 12-16 (depending on your desired hugeness)

If cookies are too hard, lay in a supply of Tootsie Pops. This will also enable you to start some conversations by raising one eyebrow and saying with a smile, “How many licks does it take you to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?” Which, as my college roommates can attest, has worked for me on many occasions

So, everyone ready to SpreadSumLuv and take VD by storm? And then email me at advice@michelejaffe.com and brag about it? Fantastico! Go put the YAY in VALENTINES DAYYY!

^^^^
Dear Michele,
There’s this guy I like, at school. He doesn’t talk a lot, at least not to me, and I suck at making conversation (let alone flirting). I kind of think one or two people have possibly implied he might like me, but I am not sure at all. But if he likes me, he’s sure strange about it because he seems to ignore me a lot. I want to show I like him without coming on too strong, because I feel like
that’s what I’m doing. What should I do?

Wallflower.

Dear Wallflower,

Its like the Two Steps were just WRITTEN for you. Baking cookies and then giving him one is a primo opportunity to chat in a casual-yet-fun way. And you can chat about cookies! What could be better than that?
Answer: nothing.
(Except maybe chatting about cupcakes)

^^^^

Dr J,
Valentines is coming up, as you know. I’ve been going out with this guy i like, and on Valentines day it will be only about 3 and a half weeks. I’m not sure if he’s getting me something, but I’m going to feel bad if he gets me something and I dont get him something. I’ll also feel awkward if I get him something and he doesnt get me something. [[Not bad, but awkward cause he'll feel awkward for not getting me something]] If I do get him something, what do I get him? We’re only 14… HELP!!!!!!!!
Thanks,
To Give or Not to Give, that is the question

Dear To Give or Not to Give,

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s a…

CUPCAKE!

What? Yes, a cupcake is the superhero you need to save the day. For a cupcake is exactly what you should give your pal. Not only are cupcakes delicious and nutritious. They are like the chameleon of cakes, the ‘cake for all situations.

If he gave you a present then giving him the cupcake and saying “this reminded me of you because its sweet and makes me smile” will make the cupcake seem very thoughtful; if he didn’t give you a present then giving him the cupcake and saying “happy Valentines day” will be casual but kind.

Rain or shine, in the face of a diamonte heart pendant or a stick of gum, the cupcake will swoop in and save the day.

^^^^^
Don’t forget to email me your Valentines Day cookie stories for a chance to win an autographed book!

Be cookalicious!

airkisses,
Dr. J

Need Advice? Mail your questions for publication to advice@michelejaffe.com. The doctor can't promise to answer them all, but she'll do her best. (By sending a question you grant permission to have it appear here. Letters may be edited. Advice is for entertainment purposes only. No blaming us later okay? Okay.)

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