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Friday, May 4, 2012

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

I'm just going to come out and say it. . . Dinah is a turd. She is a very cute turd. But boy oh boy, she is bad. Well, I guess I should rephrase that. Dinah is not bad, she is a puppy. She's just doing what puppies do. But holy crap. Puppies are bad! I'm pretty sure I am partly to blame. But I also blame Ron. He was intent on getting the puppy who whined and screamed and yelped while all of her other littermates slept calmly in the corner. However, it should be known that Ron and I are only 30% to blame combined; Dinah herself makes up for the other 70%. She is a fiesty bugger and I am convinced she is the reincarnated version of the ornery Madison (or as my Dad used to refer to her - the hound from the Darkside) and cunning Salem mish-mashed together.
I should note that I am slightly annoyed with Dinah right now so I obviously don't think these things of Dinah all the time. Dinah is an absolute joy and I love her so much. But she just tore a giant hole in my favorite running shorts and sprinted away with a rather sizeable piece of my right thigh in her mouth. And no matter how many times I yelped or pretended to be a dog or ignored her or whatever else the positive reinforcement training teachers tell us works, she still thought that my right thigh was an awesome chew toy to play tug-of-war with. In the middle of the street. In front of the new neighbors. This was almost as bad as the time she ripped my pants down in the middle of a crowded park and exposed my bloomies! (I'm kidding. I don't even know what bloomies are. So no bloomies. But she did let the park-goers see what color undergarments I was wearing that day.) Sadly, I don't have enough fingers to count how many times this has happened to me since Dinah came into our lives. But I thought we were over the ripping pant and human flesh stage so I mistakenly opted to put on my exercise gear earlier than usual this morning. Human error. But Dinah is now 15 weeks and this behavior needs to be nipped, fast.

Raising a puppy is hard. It is so hard. Oh my goodness is it hard! And I seriously have no clue what I am doing. I'm new to this parenting thing. I should add that it is obvious that Dinah is a dog, so who knows what I am in for when human babies enter the picture. However, parenting is parenting. And most days I fail at it. There was a while there when Ron would come home from work. I'd be slumped on the kitchen floor, hair a total mess, dressed in the same clothes I had on when he left for the day. It was not pretty. I also think words like "[y]ou were less stressed out when you were studying for the bar exam" were thrown about a few times. And in all honesty, I was. At least I got law. At least law let me sleep. And leave the house to go for as run! I could read it and figure it out. Dinah, not so much. Right now, I know she does love us, she just has an odd way of playing. She is the most socially-oriented dog I have ever met and instead of playing with other dogs, she plays with humans and by pouncing on her sister Cali. We need to figure out how to teach her to distinguish because when she is 65 pounds, she can't just jump on humans and eat their legs!

I think the key to teaching her these things is to shove massive amounts of treats in her face. This is the only way Dinah learns. Dinah is obsessed with food. Obsessed with her kibble, her dog treats, her Scooby snacks, any type of dog food. She can be tearing through the house and as soon as you say 'sit' and she sees that there is a possibility of receiving a treat, she will come to a screeching halt on her butt. She recognizes words that bring her really yummy goodies. She's remembered some key words since she was 7 weeks old! For instance, the word 'cookie' is one of her favorites. Last year, I watched my professor's dog. Gibson Prince, a lovable goldendoodle, would get six cookies before bed. And I loved how excited Gibson got when I said the word cookie. So, when it was time to start training Dinah, I called her kibble 'cookies' as if thinking it would trick her into realizing it wasn't just blechy kibble. So now Dinah comes sprinting for a cookie when the word cookie is spoken.

This has never been a problem.

Until yesterday when I decided to make cookies. Ron is coming back from a hectic work week in Minnesota so I wanted to surprise him with a recent request for White Chocolate Macadamia Nut cookies. I started up the oven and got out the baking supplies. . . Dinah was there, in an instant, at my feet, freaking out. Now, I've never admitted this outloud because, well, I just haven't. But when I cook or bake - and I am alone - I talk outloud like I am hosting a cooking or baking show. I also sing. Loudly. Sometimes I even create lyrics about the ingredients I am using. Yes, haha. Now let's move on. So, you can imagine what happened when I kept "telling the camera" what type of "cookie" I was making for Ron. It was an interesting baking experience - Dinah managed to cause a few cookie casualties - but the end result was amazing.
White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies
from Ghirardelli White Baking chips package
Yield: 5 dozen cookies
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups unsifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups (one 11 oz bag) Ghirardelli Classic White Chips
  • 1 1/2 cups Macadamia nuts, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs, one at a time, and beat well.
  3. Blend in flour, baking soda and salt.
  4. Stir in white chocolate chips and nuts.
  5. Drop by teaspoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy!

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