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Big Gigantic Kitchen Sink Cookies

All this terrible weather has done nothing beneficial besides put me in the mood for a sweet, gooey, everything-but-the-kitchen-sink-filled cookie. Snow outside, warm cozy apartment, melty cookie in my hands on the couch. What could be better?

Besides the snow, I’ve had another thing on my mind lately: Big Gigantic. They’re my favorite performers in the whole world. Dominic Lalli and Jeremy Salken are a sax- and drum-playing duo, respectively, who rock amazing beats to the sounds of electronic music. No, they’re not DJs. They have talent…. and a lot of it. I will be seeing them for my 5th time this February, and in anticipation of it, I’m dedicating this cookie recipe to them. My Big Gigantic Kitchen Sink Cookies are soft, gooey, and full of tons of sinful ingredients, like oatmeal, pretzels, peanut butter and chocolate.

Take one bite of these Big Gigantic cookies and your taste buds will experience the same miraculous symphony as my ears do every time I listen to Big G. Better yet, why don’t you bake these cookies while listening to them? Find all of their songs on their Soundcloud page here. And be sure to buy their brand new album on iTunes starting February 11th!

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I told you these things were big, gigantic and full of deliciousness.

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar

2 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal, divided

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

2 sticks unsalted butter, slightly firm

1 cup smooth peanut butter

2 tablespoons light corn syrup or honey

1 large egg

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

2 cups pretzels, broken into 1-inch pieces

 

DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375. Place the brown sugar, 1/2 cup of the oatmeal, and the granulated sugar in the work bowl of a food processor and process for 2-3 minutes until the oatmeal is very finely ground and powdery

In a medium bowl, strain together the flour, salt and baking soda. Stir in the remaining oatmeal and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the butter with the peanut butter and corn syrup or honey on medium-low speed until smooth and lightened in color. Add the oatmeal-sugar mixture in three additions, mixing well after each addition. Add the egg and vanilla and mix for 1 minute longer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low, then incorporate the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing just until blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the chocolate chips pretzels.

Drop palmful ball size mounds of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart. Press down slightly. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until the edges begin to turn golden brown. Do not over bake.

Remove the cookies from the oven and let stand for 2 minutes. Using a metal spatula, carefully loosen and transfer to cooling racks. Enjoy!

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Comet Ping Pong = Best Pizza North of the Equator

Having just one quick year left as a college student in DC, my friends and I are trying to take full advantage of the amazing city that surrounds us. And by take advantage of the city, I mean take advantage of all of the amazing restaurants. DC is an up and coming city when it comes to food, offering the full spectrum of eats; anything from classic American, to authentic Ethiopian, to Spanish tapas and everything in between. Some of my favorite restaurants here belong to ethnicities and flavors that are rarely familiar to the common pallet, but my newest obsession is something everyone can relate to: pizza.

I heard about Comet Ping Pong a few years ago, as being one of the best restaurants for pizza in DC, along with 2Amys. However, after watching about it on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and hearing Guy Fieri claim, “If you live north of the equator, there is no excuse not to come here,” I just had to get over there as soon as possible. A week later, I’m sitting at an old-school ping pong table inhaling pizza that is, indeed, the best.

The environment at Comet is truly unique. Exposed walls with peeling paint adds to the personality, and the open space is lively and young. Ping pong tables are open in the back while you wait for a table (which is definitely smart and necessary, as we waited an hour for a table!). The beer list is quite extensive, and so are the pizza options.

Our ping pong table laden with pizza!

I went with five of my friends, which was extremely beneficial because I got to try four very different, yet equally delicious pies:the Steel Wills, The Hottie, the Yalie and The Drive. The Steel Wills had Comet’s signature tomato sauce (which they bottle… I die), wilted spinach, fresh creamy ricotta, roasted garlic, and salty kalamata olives. Salty goodness with creamy cheese and something green to finish it all off? Yes, please. The Hottie was the quintessential pizza- with tomato sauce, gooey fontina cheese and pepperoni- but the cherry on top was the jalapeno pepper rings. Literally this was the perfect, most classic pizza with a kick. I felt like I was at my 4th grade pizza party at the bowling alley. The Yalie was a white pizza with thyme, parmesan, lemon and fresh clams. It was garlicky and flavorful without tasting too fishy. Finally, the Drive, complete with wilted broccoli rabe, garlic, rich melted onions, salty Pecorino Romano and an egg. When you cut into the pizza the yolk spread throughout the pie, creating the perfect creamy dipping sauce. Each pizza was unique and truly amazing, and the crust was not too thin but not to thick, with plenty of char yet still being chewy on the inside. It was sweet and just about perfect.

The Steel Wills

After hearing that Comet offers freshly baked cookies and homemade ice cream for dessert, we couldn’t turn it down. A warm, soft, chocolate chip cookie was paired beautifully with a hearty scoop of salted caramel and praline ice cream. It was the perfect ending to a perfect meal, and wee devoured it in about a minute.

The before and aftermath

Pizza is such a classic American staple, and everyone has their favorite type, but Comet brings the perfect pizza to a whole new level. I will challenge anyone to try and tell me they do not enjoy their pizza, whether you’re a thin crust New York-style fan, or a Chicago-style deep dish fan. Pizza is singlehandedly my favorite food, and Comet Ping Pong definitely makes the list of my top choices, next to Italy. So, in the words of Guy Fieri, if you live north of the equator, there is absolutely no excuse for you to not come here.