When you have a ribeye steak, you must floss it. Oh, that meatloaf tasted great, you must floss it. Now, floss it. Floss it good! —Homer, to the tune of "Whip It" (and a clever sponsorship by the National Dental Association?)
Sorry to get your hopes up, but we’re not making a ribeye or meatloaf this month. But we are making something that’s only a little bit gross this time! So there’s that.
First off, Happy Holidays to those that celebrate! In honor of said holidays (albeit a little late), we’re diving into a season 13 Simpsons episode wherein the First Church of Springfield sells its figurative soul and Lisa becomes a Buddhist. Oh, and it’s Christmas at the end. And there’s cookies! (It’s not all sacrilege.) But before anyone swaps their beliefs or eats treats, Homer helps Bart, Milhouse and Lisa build a model rocket. Milhouse almost blows it (get it?) when he he exclaims how surprised he is that Homer is interested in science. Bart expertly diverts Homer: "He didn’t say science. He said pie… pants." "Mmm… pie pants." Homer immediately blows up a couple of rockets, knocking Milhouse’s beautiful blue eyebrows right off his face. Some nerds come over and help, successfully shooting a hamster named Nibbles high over Springfield. Then the rocket goes awry and totally blows up the church. Marge claims it is the worst thing that Homer has ever done, and he replies "You say that so much it’s lost all meaning!"
Members of the congregation gather to figure out a plan to rebuild the church. Someone suggests calling David Bowie, but the Reverend reminds them that he has "done enough" for the church. Mr. Burns comes to the rescue and brings an ad exec along to rebrand who quickly covers the church in advertisements and fills it with gimmicks. Lisa is obviously offended and storms out to find a new religion. Her soul search leads her to the Springfield Buddhist Temple, where Lenny, Carl and Richard Gere are just hanging out. Lisa decides she’s a Buddhist and proudly tells her family, shocking her mother. Marge and family begin "Operation X-Mas Remind of How Good Is" and try to sway Lisa back to Protestantism through Christmas festivities (oh yeah, it’s Christmas). There’s even a "pony" under the tree—Ralph and Milhouse covered in gift wrap. Lisa runs back to the temple and Richard Gere tells her she is free to celebrate Christmas, sending her back home to spend the holiday with her family (but no pony).
Before we get to our recipe, I’d like to call attention to a couple of great food references in this episode. Lenny declares at the temple that he dreams "about meatball sandwiches. All you can eat for two bucks!" And at the Simpsons home, Homer forces Bart to butter his bacon and bacon his sausage, which reminds me of the Good Morning Burger.
Cookie time! While trying to persuade Lisa to celebrate Christmas with her family, Marge makes Christmas cookies. She pulls a tray of decorated cookies out of the oven, shows them to Lisa (who is definitely tempted), and then throws them in the trash. It’s pretty cruel, especially for Marge. Bart runs up exclaiming "Alright!! Trash cookies!" and eats several before choking on a dog food lid. So yes, let’s all make trash cookies for the remainder of the holiday season. I guess you could not throw them in the trash and just eat them, but then what kind of Simpsons fan are you?
Trash Cookies (Gingerbread Cut-outs)
Based on my original recipe on Serious Eats
Makes 40-60 cookies, depending on cookie cutter size
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 egg yolk
2 cup sifted flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
For the Icing:
2 cups powdered sugar
About 2 tablespoons lemon juice
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Mix in molasses and egg yolk until well mixed.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and spices. Slowly add to butter mixture just until fully incorporated. Cover and chill your D’OH! at least 1 hour.
Preheat to 350°F degrees. On a floured surface, roll out 1/2 of D’OH! to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, repeat until all D’OH! is used. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake until just firm, or 8-10 minutes. Place on wire racks to cool completely.
For the Icing: Add juice to powdered sugar until desired consistency. Separate into small bowls to add food coloring, and add to piping bags or zip-top bags with a small hole cut in one corner to decorate. Alternatively, spread icing using a knife.
Throw in the trash.
Laurel Randolph is a food and lifestyle writer hailing from Tennessee and living in Los Angeles. She enjoys cooking, baking and candlestick making. Tweet at her face: