Sisterhood of the Cookie Pants

Friday, July 23, 2010 33 comments
Chocolate Coco-Macadamia Bites

My sisters and I never shared - our clothes, that is.

Oh sure, there were the inevitable hand-me-downs when we were kids and had no say in the matter. In fact, my sister L and I looked so close in age despite the 15 months separating our births that our mother would often dress us like twins. But even then, we were different: same clothes, but hers in trimmed in blue, mine in red.

Me, L, M and Buddha-baby P

As we grew older, we continued to develop our own sense of style (dubious, in my case) and the idea of swapping outfits never came up. Eldest sister M was the epitome of '80s high school fashion, all cinched waists and brooch-adorned collars, while L was peasant skirts and smart-girl chic. Little sister P was still in elementary school so her ensembles were assembled by Mama, but I had no such excuse for my choice of woeful wear: baggy sweatshirts, Loverboy t-shirts, and patterned jeans (God help me, I had a white pair with black paisley print that looked like a bad case of varicose veins).

Fast forward to the present, when we're grown women with jobs, families and even more divergent, albeit more refined, tastes in clothing. Moreover, how we dress seems to reflect our individual personalities and outlook on life. M's penchant for floaty styles and the color pink matches the deeply romantic free spirit that lies beneath her hectic career-woman exterior. L is a Wonder Woman who keeps her family and the family business humming along, and she makes running errands, taking calls from clients, and ferrying kids to school and practice while wearing a pair of jeans and a casual top look like a walk down the runway. Finally, P has grown up from the Buddha-cheeked baby sister ten years my junior into a creative, confident entrepreneur who treats her body right with organic food and beach yoga, which shows in a womanly shape that she proudly clads in form-fitting outfits.

And what about me? Well, the paisley jeans are long gone, although I still have my fair share of baggy sweatshirts. It's safe to say that my style is . . . safe. Chunky sweaters for  winter, capri pants for summer, subdued colors and a closetful of outerwear for every 10 degree incremental change in temperature are pretty much the staples of my wardrobe. Unfortunately, the relative blah-ness of my sartorial selection mirrors my general approach to current life. I've been terribly busy maintaining a status quo, settling into a smooth, unbroken pattern of sameness. I am happy, but my happiness is threaded with caveat - I can do what I want to do as long as I do what I need to do. Indulgence, whether in food, in clothes or in activities, can only be enjoyed with tradeoffs: a cookie means a workout; a new pair of jeans, a paid article; an hour of television, an hour of pulling weeds.

And this is where my sisters and their clothes come in. During those wonderful times when we can all be together, I look at them and see that, despite the difference in their physical shape and fashion sense, they share the same timeless piece that fits them all perfectly - a vivacity and joy of life that make them so beautiful. They are effortless and unaffected in the way they present themselves outwardly and it frees them to enjoy the little indulgences without the self-consciousness. Perhaps because I live so far away, I don't share in this as much; but last Christmas, I finally got a chance to try it on.

My Cookie Pants

"Hey, are those your cookie pants?" my brother-in-law asked L. They smiled at each other over their inside joke before she turned to a confused me and explained: It was from an episode of a TV sitcom in which a main female character dealt with difficult situations by baking cookies, donning her 'cookie pants' and eating her way back to contentedness. L had adopted the term whenever she wasn't particularly in tip-top or polished shape, but really didn't particularly care. That was it. And yet, it meant a lot to me.

Putting on cookie pants means taking part in indulgence without guilt or recrimination. It's doing what it takes to regain my equilibrium and my focus when life gets a bit wobbly and fuzzy. It's letting my gut pooch out over the waistband, putting my feet up and watching 'America's Next Top Model' every once in a while because it's fun. It's sharing something with my sisters that fits each of us in our own way.

My sisters and I never shared our clothes before, but for now, I'm borrowing the cookie pants indefinitely.

Chocolate Coco-Macadamia Bites

These are Cookie Pants-worthy. What more can I say? It always bothered me when I'd bite into a flat, disc-shaped cookie and not get a single morsel of chocolate chip or nut. So, I decided to go with a two-bite chocolate truffle-like shape to accommodate a whole macadamia nut surprise inside. The result is a rich cocoa-flavored, brownie-textured bit of indulgence.

Yields approximately 3 dozen (if you don't nibble on the dough)


1/2 cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
2/3 cups sweetened coconut flakes
Roasted whole macadamia nuts, about 36

To make:

1. Preheat oven to 375°F;
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy;
3. In a small bowl, whisk flour and cocoa, then add to creamed mixture and mix until just blended;
4. Add coconut flakes and mix on low speed until well blended;
All lined up & ready to bake!
5. Chill dough until firm enough to shape by hand. Form a ball with one Tablespoon of dough, then press a whole macadamia nut into the center, covering it completely. Place on ungreased cookie sheet or one lined with parchment paper;
6. Bake for 12-15 minutes - cookies should look dry on the outside but may still feel soft. Cool on cookie sheet completely.
7. May be stored in the freezer (if there's anything left!)


  • Heather S-G said...

    ha ha ha ha ha...I love Scrubs!! =) And I almost made it through your whole story without crying. Almost. Makes me think of my own sisters and how, even though we all came from the "same" place we are all so style, attitude, life choices...yet inside we are all a little bit the same, too. And omg, I'm totally wearing my cookie pants right this minute!...wish I had a couple of your cookies to justify them ;)

  • Chef E said...

    Me too, loved this! My little sister and I are totally opposite, but when we were young we are the same height and could wear each others clothes, one day soon, one day again we will!

    Not if I eat things like this though, lol, they do look good!

  • Unknown said...

    Oh yeah - I've got cookie pants - just never had a name for them. I borrowing it now, too!
    And I think perhaps one of my first expeditions in my newly-named cookie pants may just be this recipe. It looks fabulous and I LOVE macadamia nuts!

  • Jeanne said...

    I don't have any sisters to share clothes with, but I do have some cookie pants! I generally refer to them as "pajamas", but I'll have to start calling them cookie pants. And these cookies look like the perfect excuse to put on the cookie pants!

  • Liren said...

    LOL, I have been feeling the need to wear my cookie pants (these days either yoga pants or apres ski fleece ones in the winter), since I've been baking and eating things like ice cream. I would gladly don them for these delicious cookies, my my! They look SO good!

  • The Cilantropist said...

    I really enjoyed reading this post, sisterhood is something special, and as we all grow older it is nice so sometimes take a look at how everyone has evolved and deals with life. I completely understand your sentiment of a trade-off: one indulgence for one necessity. It is a balanced, but sometimes tough way to do things, but at least you still indulge! :) I think there are a lot of people these days that have almost too much discipline and they dont allow themselves anything they enjoy, which is sad. So glad to see you are putting on the cookie pants and making these yummy cookies! Keep it up! :)

  • The Diva on a Diet said...

    Hmm, after reading this, I'm thinking I should borrow your traditional approach, Noodle, because I'm pretty sure I live in my cookie pants. Every day! LOL

    Loved reading about you and your sisters and really love these unusual cookies too. I'll bet you can't eat just one! ;)

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Thanks, everyone, for your comments! Sister M was actually visiting from CA this weekend and we had a wonderful time together. Wish we lived closer to each other . . .

    Penny - I have at least two pairs, both in slimming black! 8-)

    Girlichef - There's so much about my sisters that I love and I wish we could be together more often to share. 8-)

    Chef E - Sis L and I are still close in size. I'd love to borrow her clothes if she'd send them to me from CA to MN! 8-)

    ValleyWriter - I suspect we all had cookie pants by another name! These bites came out really well and I sent some along with my visiting sister so that she can share them with the two other siblings back in CA. 8-)

    Gera - Thank you! My sister and I were just laughing about it because we all have such strange expressions on our faces. Hope you had a wonderful weekend, too! 8-)

    Jeanne - One of my pairs is actually yoga pants but cookie pants make me smile! Good thing I was able to share these cookies - otherwise, I'd need to expand my cookie pants waistline! 8-)

    Liren - Both my pairs of cookie pants are yoga pants: maybe they make me feel more serene as I indulge! 8-)

    Cilantropist - Thank you! You hit a close point: there was indeed a time when I was 'too disciplined' and lost my joy of eating b/c it became only about how many calories I was consuming. Now, I'm in a much happier place in my cookie pants! 8-)

    Jenn - Lazy day pants sound good, too! 8-)

    Diva - Confession: I change out of my pajamas into my cookie pants nearly every day! And no, you can't eat just one. So thank goodness for cookie pants. 8-)

    Phyllis - [LOL!] I envy you that all your pants could qualify as cookie pants! That means you're in a perpetual state of serenity in your indulgences (all of which are so fun!) I envy your stress-free approach to enjoying life and food! 8-)

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Juliana - Cookie pants are a must for this combo of chocolate, coconut and macadamias - some of my most favorite ingredients! 8-)

    Mysimplefood - I had such a hard time not eating all the macadamia nuts before filling these cookies! 8-)

    Greg - Right! (I hope . . . ) 8-)

  • lisaiscooking said...

    I want to put on some cookie pants! I might need to keep wearing them for a few weeks if I have these cookies around. I'm a serious fan of macadamia nuts, so these look amazing!

  • Threads of Inspiration said...

    I loved your story of your sisters, especially as I am looking forward to a visit from my family this weekend. I think I need to designate a pair of my pants as cookie-pants...then I will have to eat cookies when wearing them!

  • Tangled Noodle said...

    Sister M came from California for a visit last weekend! We managed to polish off a batch of these cookies. 8-)

    Unja - I like the idea of a cookie dress! Even more comfy . . . 8-)

    A Little Yumminess - I had a hard time keeping myself from munching on the macadamias, but they tasted even better enclosed in chocolate-coconut cookie!

    Kat - My cookie pants definitely got a good workout with these.

    Lisa - Thank you! It was a treat to buy the macadamias so I wanted to do something special with them. These definitely fit the bill!

    Amanda - Thanks! I haven't heard if a winner has been chosen yet . . .

    Threads of Inspiration - Have a wonderful time with your family! The joy and danger with having cookie pants are that they have to live up to their name! 8-)

    Magic of Spice - Aww, thank you! My sisters are wonderful women and I am fortunate to have them. 8-)

  • UrMomCooks said...

    Really enjoy reading your posts and all the wonderful references! My daughters and I included you on a list of blogs we recently discovered and want to recommend! Thanx for a great blog!

  • SKIP TO MALOU said...

    My sister and I dress so differently too since we were kids and up to now. We laugh at how different we are in fashion and in everything that we do.
    But cookie pants, yeah I could imagine both of us wearing it with our feet up while nibbling these Chocolate Coco-Macadamia Bites.
    Great post Tracey, I was smiling all throughout while reading it and looking at your old photo.

  • Conor @ Hold the Beef said...

    I am not sure I have cookie pants, but I definitely have theoretical hammer pants, and lots of actual pyjama pants, which do the same thing. Wearing pyjama pants as cookie pants has the added bonus of being happy to admit you have no desire whatsoever to venture out into humanity.

    Great post and they look like some killer cookies.

  • Lori said...

    Ha, ha! I absolutely love this story. Great way to tie it into those pants and those amazing cookies that I will be trying soon!

    I'm sure you underestimate your style status in the family. My wardrobe has suffered greatly since I've started spending more time in the kitchen. I am a spiller and a splasher so I have sworn off wearing anything of value when cooking. If I ever get my own cooking show the theme will have to incorporate pajama pants and old tshirts.

  • Lori said...

    Ha, ha! I absolutely love this story. Great way to tie it into those pants and those amazing cookies that I will be trying soon!

    I'm sure you underestimate your style status in the family. My wardrobe has suffered greatly since I've started spending more time in the kitchen. I am a spiller and a splasher so I have sworn off wearing anything of value when cooking. If I ever get my own cooking show the theme will have to incorporate pajama pants and old tshirts.


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