Caffeine and Cookies

Sometimes your trip is longer than expected. Also, caffeine can keep you awake.

My parents were big believers in long car trips when we were kids (I’ve been to 45 states so far). My one and only flight was to California in 8th grade, and that was only because we had one week and you can’t exactly drive to California and back from Michigan in that time frame.

That’s why here we were, driving from Michigan to Yellowstone National Park when I was between 10th and 11th grade. It was our last day of driving, and my father thought that it wouldn’t be that bad, since we just had to drive across Wyoming. We were in Ely and had just stopped for both ice cream (my mom and me) and tacos (my dad and brothers). And, somehow, we ended up with a 64-oz Mountain Dew.It was approaching dusk and we were leaving town for the rest of the drive. We were traveling in a full-sized Ford Econoline van with a pop-up trailer attached to the back.

At that moment we noticed the deer running along the side of our car. And that deer then decided to turn in front of our car.

There was quite a bit of shock afterwards, since my family had never hit a deer before (which actually was an amazing feat with how many trips we had to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula). Somehow, our car and everyone in it were fine, so we got back on the road.

I then was placed in the front seat and put on “deer duty” to spot any animals that could possibly run in front of our car. I also was given the 64-oz Mountain Dew to make sure I stay awake.

At this point, I should probably mention that I had never had caffeine before in my life. Ever.

Needless to stay, I was wide awake and wouldn’t shut up for the next 9 hours while my dad drove and my brothers and mother slept. From reports, I was barely making sense at some points. And I was singing and dancing along to country music while strapped in with a seatbelt. I also was jumping into air (or as far as I could jump while in a seatbelt) whenever I saw something that *could* be an animal that might run into our car.

My father maintains that I wasn’t *that* annoying. I’m convinced he’s just trying to be nice.

P.S. Personally, I wasn’t that big on Yellowstone- it was too touristy. However, Glacier National Park in Montana was infinitely nicer.

Caffeinated Chocolate Pecan Balls

eat these to stay awake

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks softened butter (feel free to do this in the microwave if necessary)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 and 3/4 c flour
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder (make sure it’s unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c chopped pecans
  • Cooking spray

How-to

  1. Mix together butter, sugar, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir until combined. Pat down, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Coat cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  5. While oven is preheating, remove cookie dough from the fridge. Roll dough into teaspoon-sized balls. Place onto cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake cookies in batches for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies just feel firm. Let cool and serve.
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74 thoughts on “Caffeine and Cookies

  1. When I was a kid we drove to Florida a few times from Nova Scotia, Canada. We always drove straight through, and since I can’t sleep (and never could) while in the car (or airplane, boat, train, bus….) I was the ‘navigator’ while my dad drove and my sister and mom slept in the back. I think I was just given the job to help keep my dad awake. Good memories.

  2. Yellowstone is great off season, without the hordes of tourists, but Glacier is amazing as well. We’ve made both road trips quite a few times, both kids in tow, from Texas. Straight through: only once–and never again.

  3. We went from Texas to Yellowstone in an RV and it was a super memorable trip. It was pretty touristy, but we got out of those areas and saw bison, wolves, and lots of deer. πŸ™‚

  4. I remember as a kid, I was about 10 and we planned this trip to Yellowstone Park. We drove from Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada in an RV with my whole family! All we saw when we got there was a blizzard!!! We had to turn around and go back down the path… As some may know its really not that wide to turn a big RV around!! I remember my dad asking me to look out the back window of the RV and to tell him when I didn’t see the edge of the mountain anymore!!! Trust me! The look my dad gave me … I asked no questions and just did it! My mom refused to do it, so it was up to me!! We made it off that mountain to realize that five more minutes of driving up the hill we would of been at the top where the weather was ok!!!! Quite the adventure I will never forget it!! Thanks for the flashback to Yellowstone Park!!

  5. Loved your story! I grew up in Michigan too and my dad took us with him on many long business trips through many fine states. My favorites were Natural Bridge in Virginia and of all things, Lincoln Nebraska.

  6. They look so good! And what more could you ask for? Caffeine and cookies= the perfect treat! πŸ™‚

  7. Hello!
    Thanks for following me! You were my first follower which is pretty amazing! (Didn’t have to bribe any of my friends to do it… pretty sweet!)
    I enjoyed your stories and recipes and looking forward to more!

  8. wow lotsa buttah! Mountain Dew has excellent caffeine for driving or riding in your case.

    When my husband and I took our two kids to Yellowstone and then to Glacier National Parks we didn’t hit a deer but we saw plenty of bears. Luckily we saw them from the road and not on the hiking trail.

  9. wow lotsa butta!

    Mountain Dew is the most excellent caffeine to drink when driving or in your case riding.

    When we took our kids to Yellowstone and Glacier National Park we didn’t hit a deer but we saw plenty of bears from the car. Luckily we didn’t see them on the hiking trails.

  10. I remember being similarly unable to sleep on first drinking caffeine. I remember thinking it was hilarious that I couldn’t get to sleep, just bouncing around the room.

  11. Oh my God…you had me cracking up chick! Deer. Mountain Dew and Cookies, what a combination. Any time you have chocolate you better believe I’m going to try it πŸ™‚ Love your blog funny and food. C’mon now. πŸ™‚

  12. I smiled reading about family road trips. I am forever grateful to my father for taking us on one at least once a year so that by he time I had graduated from high school, I had been to 45 states also plus Canada and Mexico. I still love road trips.

  13. I think I love these cookies. My family (5 kids, two gigantic yellow labs, and my mom and dad) drove 12 hours twice a year to my grandparents house. We would leave at like 2 in the morning so my dad could drive without us kids bouncing all over the car and asking to stop at a bathroom every five minutes. We loved those trips. They were always such an adventure. My mom would pack sandwiches and a thermos full of coffee for my dad. Twizzlers and pretzels for us. Bet she wishes she had these cookies! Except there’s no way she could have kept them out of the grasp of 5 kids. That sounds like a mommy nightmare.

  14. And recipes too! I just made my first time attempt at my own version of Italian wedding soup. Well your cookies reminded me of my meatballs. Hubby called to say he was on the way home and asked what we might be doing for dinner…I told him I sort of followed the recipe on the back of the orzo box, but for me that goes without saying. What to make really good brownies out of a box mix? The one that calls for 1/2 cup of water and 1/4 cup of oil…change the water to 1/4 and add 1/4 of apricot jam. It takes a little longer to bake…but they come out very moist. And that’s what I get for watching ‘Cup Cake Wars!” Cheers.

  15. ooh, I’m gonna have to add espresso powder to my rumballs this Christmas! These sound great and I think a medical student would be an expert on staying awake! LOL thanks for following me

  16. Oh my stars this had me cracking up!!! I can completely visualize your young self hopped up on caffeine, especially Mtn. Dew … that was poorly planned πŸ™‚ I can recall my own child on a Mtn Dew High … whoa! Where is the propofal when you need it! Thanks for sharing!

  17. Just discovered your blog…hilarious! I remember getting all crazy on a box of chocolates on a trip with my dad. I was jogging around the hotel room in circles to entertain myself. On another note, you are about the zillionth person I’ve heard say they loved Glacier National Park. I definitely need to add that one to my list!

  18. Morning, we are pleased to announce that we have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger award. Love your stories, your humor and most of all your recipes!! For the next step visit our blog. Enjoy!

  19. Morning, I am pleased to inform you that I have nominated you for The Versatile Blogger award for your hard work at blogging! The next step is posted at my blog. Enjoy!

  20. First of all, thank you for following my post! I just started blogging and I dont know much about yet but i was afraid I wouldnt get any followers so thank you! Could I ask how you found me if you remember? I really enjoy reading your blog and I look forward to more!

  21. Here’s another vote for Glacier National Park! I live in northwest Montana and feel supremely lucky that I can see the Park out the window where I work while I sit at my desk. I’m a lucky gal! Your post brought back vacation memories of my own!

  22. I don’t know how I accidentally tripped across your site but I love, love, love it … I have subscribed to your blog feed & I’m nominating you for MY Food Stories Award for Excellence in Storytelling. I know some bloggers don’t participate in blog awards but I hope you’ll at least check it out because mine is unique in the fact that it is only is given to food sites that tell great stories and all the nominees are in the running for the monthly award and prize. If you’re interested, you can check out the details at my site … http://foodstoriesblog.com/food-stories-award/ … Either way, love your site and I hope you’re having a great foodie day! By the way, I’m a nurse πŸ™‚

  23. Great story. The Caffeinated Chocolate Pecan Balls look wonderful but after reading your story I wonder if eating them will cause me to sing and dance along to country music and jump into air? πŸ™‚

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