Peanut Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Things I Learned This Week Living In The South: 

1. Apparently in The South, when not in your home, you should never assume you can wash your hands in the kitchen sink. You are to state to the homeowner that you desire to wash your hands and then inquire as to where said hand washing should take place. My public apologies to all who I may have offended these past few years. 

2. I am far too attached to my nap jeans (yes, nap jeans) that I was paralyzed at the door of my home not able to comprehend what to do next when I realized they were left at the beach from last weekend's shenanigans. Thankfully there is a lovely woman bringing them back to me. I am sure you are asking what are 'nap jeans'?  Well when I nap I refuse to take my pants off. If you nap with pants off you are just going to bed in the middle of the day. Nap jeans provide next level napping etiquette.  

3. I am a caterer's worst nightmare. In my weekly role of Proxy Fiance to my friend Ashley I found myself at a cake tasting (that I demanded we have). And then proceeded to spend an hour in the most Minnesota passive aggressive way demanding a very specific wedding cake from a far more talented than myself cake decorator.  So for the second time this week I publicly apologize for my less than stellar behaviour, in this, my adopted home, The South. 

P.S. The above mentioned cake decorator gave us only amazing samples and a coffee buttercream that made the Golem in me want to steal away to a cave and never share it. Please check her out if you are in Winston Salem. She can be found at The Humble Bee on Brookstown or on Instagram here.   

P.P.S The above mentioned encounter while in my role of Proxy Fiance led to a need for the below cookies to be made. Though not my favorite, Ashley's real finance does love them. 

Peanut Butter White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies


Yields Roughly 42 Cookies

Martha Washington's Shrewsbury Cakes

Shrewsbury Cakes

Having survived yet another week in the cube farm I opted to spend my Friday and Saturday evenings being social. This has lead to a very screwed up sleep cycle.

Things That Have Happened Due To My Messed Up REM:

  1. While walking home one morning at 130am I was mildly shocked to have a golf cart whiz by at a good speed on main street with two young women in the back seat yelling, “Oh heeeeey Benjamin.” I have no idea who they were.

  2. It is quite possible that a group of young adults and one senior citizen had a conversation over brunch about sharting. Yes, sharting. It was determined by the group as a whole that if one sharts alone it is rather embarrassing. However, if one sharts in the presence of a loved one, say a boyfriend or girlfriend, the shart is to be deemed hilarious.

  3. While downing beers, watching football, and eating what I feel to be the saddest BBQ pulled chicken sandwich ever I was pleased to learn that my own inquiry of “presidential cookies” on Google returned with a list of the favored cookies by all previous FLOTUS (or is is FLOTI because it’s plural?).

HIllary had her Clinton Chip’s. Barbara had her Cowboy Cookies. Mary Todd had her Sugar Cookies. Eleanor, her Honey Drops. And now Melania with her Sour Cream Sugar Cookies in the shape of stars. Let’s just assume that last recipe was handed down from the Old Country. 

However, this week we are going back to the OG FLOTUS herself, Martha Washington. Known around the swamp and Lady Washington, Miss Martha was quite the hostess. And among her arsenal of revolutionary treats were the delicious Shrewsbury Cakes shown above. 

More of a biscuit than cookie (or cake as it is named), this cookie was perfected in a time when sugar was not readily available. The Shrewsbury Cake is pretty tasty and I feel would hold up well when smuggled across the Potomac in the dead of night. Or eaten raw while horizontal on your sofa praying the next fart is simply just that and nothing more. 

Shrewsbury Cakes






Dark Brown Sugar Cookies

Dark Brown Sugar Cookies

This past Friday I found myself languished in an oversized booth of a new Thai restaurant painfully waiting for my Panang Curry to arrive tout de suite. It had been a draining week in the cube and I needed sustenance and ginger martinis fast! Upon arrival I unhinged my jaw, inhaled my curry, cleansed my palette with a second martini and flagged down the wonderful waitress so I could pay my tab. 

And in that slow motion moment in all great movies. She returned uttering that dreaded and demoralizing phrase, "Do you have another card? This one was DECLINED!!!!". Followed by a cackle one only sees in great Disney movies the moment the pre teen princess decides it's a good idea to trust her gut and go with the strange bitter hag she only just met.  

Panic set in until I realized that for some strange reason I was griping some crumpled up green receipts in my hand. It was then I realized that those were not receipts but cash! Not something I normally have. So I did what all my forefathers before did. Paid the lady and got on my way. 

One quick call to my bank later I was informed that my debit card had been "compromised". Apparently someone had tried to use it to buy a $299.04 movie on "". Now I am not a cheap person but I don't pay for those kinds of movies. There are plenty of free sites. And to pay $299.04 for one I said to that phone banker, "daymn".  So they kindly stopped the transaction saving me from paperwork and the poor house.

However that leaves me cash poor for one week as I wait for my new card. Which lead me to think this is a perfect time to play the game Eat Only What's In Your Home and Not Buy Groceries For A Week. It's a fun game I sometimes play given my monthly (not weekly) pay check. It makes you think outside the box and not waste a thing. 

Naturally I needed cookies for breakfast today while I watched This Old House. And since I was using only ingredients presently located within the confines of my apartment I was limited.

The end result being Brown Sugar Cookies. There are few things I stock up on. Dark Brown Sugar is one of them. For some reason down here in North Carolina Dark Brown Sugar is not always at the grocery store. So when I see it I load up like I'm heading to the bunker for a few years. 

My breakfast cookies turned out well. And this recipe could not have been any easier. One bowl is all you need. Just two notes. The original recipe called for 2 Cups All Purpose Flour. I had to add almost another full cup to make the dough the correct consistency. And I also made the balls much smaller than the original 1/4 C stated in the recipe. 

Let me know below if you like this recipe! And please feel free to hit that share button to impress all your friends with them!




The Damn Month of Pumpkin: or How Bubbie's Pumpkin Cookies Get Me Home

Bubbie's Pumpkin Cookies

There is something about the first frost that makes my mind turn to holiday music, dressing in layers and a longing to be back home.

Thankfully the first frost was not where I currently live, but seen on Facebook thanks to an old friend back in Minnesota. The sight of the browned grass, crumbled leaves, and ice, did for a hot second, make me mentally wax poetic of my youthful days growing up in Duluth, MN. October snowstorms, February's burst water mains, April's ice caps that last into June. By the way it's October 18th and I have my air conditioning on in my apartment. Bless The South. 

Duluth is where Winter comes early to the party, eats all your favorite chips, crashes on your sofa, and suggests you make pancakes the next day before overstaying its welcome well into Spring. It is during those winter months that I have painted a memory of foods gone by that led me to the kitchen today. Be it Just J's Dumps, Just Joni's Fudge (recipe yet to be released), or The Matriarch's Sauerkraut and Dumplings, I cannot help but anticipate a long holiday break in a few months. However as it is October, or The Damn Month of Pumpkin as it should now be known, I will for my own mental stability of being a million miles from home make Just Joni's Pumpkin Cookies (now to be known at Bubbies Pumpkin Cookies). The only other acceptable pumpkin flavored food besides pumpkin pie. 

Please note that because I am a high maintenance gay son who cannot leave well enough alone I have altered my own mother's recipe. I will leave it up to you decided which works better for you.



Wanted: Bubbie For Hire or How I Made Hamentashen Last Week

Chocolate Hamentashen


We (me) here at Benjamin Plante are looking to hire a bubbie for a long term contract position. The ideal candidate will be able to tell if I am eating enough just from a single phone call. She will be suggest I eat more but also remind me that I've put on weight since the last visit. Which was exactly 54 days ago.

She will grill me on my non existent social life reminding me at the same time she will never have great grandchildren. She will set me up with Ada's son from Temple (he's a doctor). When that doesn't work out she will set me up with the gentile at the grocery store (as long we raise our children Jewish).

She will expect me to call every week. She will be at my door in a matter of hours when I am sick. She will always suggest I wear a coat no matter the weather. She will openly judge my tattoos and badger the rabbi on where they can bury my body because of them. She will threaten her own life or my own should I think of getting another tattoo. 

You know Ruth from Temple? She will take me to Ruth's suit guy because he's the best in town and will not cheat you. She will be patient with me as I try to learn mahjong. She will fight the butcher for the best brisket on my birthday.

She will have endless hugs that leave me winded and covered in lipstick smears. She will have a story that will make no sense at first but 45 minutes later have the answer to whatever problem I am presently having. 

This position pays with weekly phone calls. Visits to Boca, Baton Rouge, New York or the Shalom Home as needed. Compliments to your cooking and letting you know Mrs. Schwartz's matzo balls are dry. Making sure the temperature is always ideal in my apartment when you visit. And the promise that I'll name my future unborn children after your brother Saul. 


A lifetime in the kitchen and mastery of the mean streets of life. 


No knowledge of technology whatsoever. When using Facetime I must be assured you will disconnect at least five times and yell as though it were a transcontinental call from 1930.

And the ability to work effectively with a novice jew feygele.

Referrals welcome. 


Last week I was in the kitchen during a Southern Snow Day baking hamantaschen and pondering life's mysteries. After a couple attempts I found myself swearing at the dough. I couldn't get it the right consistency. And in a short moment of self pity I found myself wishing I had a grandmother (bubbie) to call and tell me what I did wrong. Though a basic recipe I was convinced there was something only a bubbie could get right. I could be wrong. 

Grandparents seemed to exit stage left rather quickly in our family. My memories are not of time spent on grandma's lap or the dinner table. But of stories as told by our parents. 

I'm only in my early to late 30s. There is still time to find a bubbie to make me feel fat while overfeeding me. 

Chocolate Hamantaschen


Prep: 1 Hour

Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes

Yield: Makes 50 Cookies