This week random.org picked out Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman, somewhat to my dismay, since it's mostly about baking, making your own stocks, or making your own sausages. None of those are my comfort zone, and with Mr. Fraser out of town at a conference, leaving me solely responsible for all house and kid care, I kinda wanted to stick to what's simple.
What does baking have in common with stocks and sausages, you may ask? (I know I did.) All are amenable to ratios--once you learn a certain balance of liquid, fat, starch, etc. you can use those ratios to create an almost infinite array of flavors. Since I was keeping things simple for the week, I made cookies. Very basic cookies:
They're 1 part sugar to 2 parts butter to 3 parts flour, plus whatever flavorings you add. And that's all. No eggs. I don't think I've ever made cookies without eggs before. I made one batch with a little salt, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves, and another where I replaced the regular sugar with dark brown sugar but still added salt and vanilla.
They turned out well--dry, crisp, buttery, and more sophisticated somehow than most sweeter, cakier cookies. Will make again, and may use to introduce Miss Fraser to baking, since the dough molds like modeling clay and I wouldn't have to worry about raw egg issues. (I'll cheerfully lick the bowl clean myself, since I know the odds of the one or two eggs I used happening to carry salmonella are very low, but I'd feel like a Bad Mommy to encourage my daughter to do likewise.)