I feel bad giving these cookies a somewhat downtrodden title. The truth is, these are EXCELLENT cookies, cookies of your dreams, cookies of obsession, cookies that could dominate the self-control of an ascetic monk, and here I am calling them “Better Late than Never”. Sigh…. Let’s talk about exceptionality and my troubled relationship with time and then I’ll give you an awesome recipe.
So, the reason this post is titled Better Late than Never Cookies, is that these are delightful cookies that I sent as gifts to friends and family …..
for the Christmas/Hanukkah holiday season…..
sometime in February.
Because, dear reader, I am almost always late. It’s kind of a major feature/problem/quirk/fault of my life. I think most folks would categorize it as a problem or fault, but as I’ve been unable to make much progress on this issue, despite my best efforts for the majority of said life, I’m choosing to regard it as a “feature”. (If the Iphone can do it, I don’t see why I can’t). One day I just got to the point where I realized that there was a window of diminishing returns in my energy spent beyond just “doing my best”. I had to wind myself into extraordinary anxiety in order to achieve what so many seemed to find easy, and it simply wasn’t worth it. So I save my DEFCON 1 level anxiety for important meetings, deadlines, and catching flights, etc., and the rest of the time I just try like a normal human. If you hate me because I’m tardy a lot of the time then I know that it’s best to just gently release you back into the wild….much like scrubbing an old high school acquaintance with objectionable political views from a facebook feed. Really, we’ll both be happier. My husband simply believes that I have a different relationship with time than most people. I think it’s one of the reasons I married him.
Lest you think that I don’t understand how annoying it is for other people, or how it can be seen as a sign of selfishness or lack of respect, please trust, I GET IT. I get it so much there’s still a significant percentage of my regularly scheduled nightmares devoted to the subject. Despite claiming to have liberated my psyche from an expectation I can’t seem to meet, I’m largely full of it. Every “People Who are Late are @ssholes” article out there sends a tiny dart of poison into my heart. And I clamorously gobble up funny articles like the one about CLIPS (chronically late insane persons), as well as actual scientific research on how the human brain perceives time differently - from person to person, culture to culture, and in different scenarios (spoiler alert: time doesn’t really exist the way we think it does). But for all the new info coming in regarding things like polychronic time, most Americans still believe in the moral superiority of the minute hand.
Some have posited that those who are always late think they are exceptional. And so here is a secret just for you. I’m not late because I think I’m exceptional. Rather, I feel I must be exceptional because I know I’m going to be late.
Or, it’s possible, that I’m late because I feel I must be exceptional. Bustle once VERY GENEROUSLY observed, whilst we were washing dishes together, that the reason I must put off washing my dishes was because I was such a freaking perfectionist about how clean those dishes needed to be. I could write an entire post on the generosity of spirit that goes into Bustle’s worldview and how it makes her both a better and a happier person, but…back to cookies, exceptionality, and time.
In a now famous graduation speech, Neil Gaiman offered his advice on the 3 reasons people succeed:
“because their work is good, and because they are easy to get along with, and because they deliver the work on time. And you don’t even need all three. Two out of three is fine. People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time. People will forgive the lateness of your work if it’s good, and if they like you. And you don’t have to be as good as everyone else if you’re on time and it’s always a pleasure to hear from you.”
He said a lot of other really wise words, and I’m pinning the video of his address at the bottom, because it’s definitely worth watching, but it was this particular bit that struck me – because it’s true. I’m under no illusions as to which two of the big three I can offer the world.
So here are some cookies. They are late. But they will be absolutely DIVINE, and I hope it was a pleasure to hear from me.
This recipe originated from a recipe at Taste of Home. I have made some small modifications (as I always do). The sea salt and nutmeg kick it up that extra notch. Enjoy!
*You will need a 10"x15" baking pan (aka cookie sheet). I can't stress enough that you can't fudge the dimensions here. I tried subbing a standard sized cookie sheet and trust me, it really screws things up. Also, just so we're clear, your baking pan will need to have sides, not just be a flat sheet. You'll also need aluminum foil.
12 whole graham crackers
2 cups miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup flaked coconut
pinch of nutmeg
Pam or other cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 10"x15" baking pan with alumininum foil. Use enough foil to cover the entire surface, edges included. Coat foil with cooking spray.
Place 12 graham crackers in the bottom. They are all supposed to fit perfectly, but they probably won't. Do your best.
Sprinkle 2 cups mini marshmallows evenly over the graham crakers.
In a small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and cinnamon over medium heat. Stir until the mixture starts to turn to candy (butter is completely mixed with sugar, and the texture changes to a viscous caramel-like sauce).
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, a sprinkle of sea salt and a pinch of nutmeg.
Spread caramel sauce evenly over graham crackers.
Sprinkle almonds and then coconut over the surface. If you end up with any "bald spots, fill in with a little extra coconut.
Bake for 14-16 minutes, until surface is evenly melted.
Cool for 10 minutes and use a pizza cutter to cut into squares or triangles.