Nerd Cookies and a Giveaway
Let’s start with a question. What is the etiquette for posting recipes to your blog? After all, there’s a thriving community of cooking blogs composed almost entirely of recipes; a community whose activity and sheer bulk overshadows even the sprawling craftblog community. You’ve got to figure most of those recipes did not spring virgin and fully-formed from blogger’s heads. They’re probably from cookbooks, from other blogs, from family- or if not directly from, than deeply inspired by. Sharing recipes has been integral to the whole human food experience, I suspect, since we started writing the damn things down, but sharing and copying run too close together for comfort much of the time.
It seems to be a fairly popular topic in the food blog community as well, much as the line between inspiration and copying as been hashed and rehashed in the craft community.
Factoid number one: copyright law doesn’t protect a list of ingredients. It’s all the other stuff- the precise diction of the instructions, the carefully-staged pictures- that gets protected. But forget the law; what, in food-blog-world, is polite? You see, I’d like to start posting more cooking here, and I’d like to share the recipes with a bit more than a link, because this is the internet and the link that is here today may 404 tomorrow. But I would hate to venture forth into the world of food blogging, only to make a total ass of myself from the get-go.
For today, then, we’ll stick to a link. I’m always on the lookout for better cookie recipes, and even like to take a somewhat experimental approach to it. My chocolate chip cookie experiment, for example, is legend amongst my coworkers (who get to eat the leftovers). The current victor in the experiment gets the hallowed title of “go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe”… until it must defend its title from the next challenger. Dun dun DUNNN!
In my world, there are similar bouts and title belts for sugar cookies. Right now, the title holder for “Go-To Sugar Cookie Recipe” is this hard-fighting badass: the Best Cutout Sugar Cookies (indeed!) recipe from ApartmentTherapy co-blog, the Kitchn. The cookies manage to stay soft while still being easy to cut out and transfer to a baking sheet, hold their shapes fantastically through baking, and are delicious. Make some. Nom them. Thank the Kitchn.
A little while ago, I whipped out a batch and immediately made them as nerdy as possible. Behold, lab cookies!
Yes, that is a beaker, an erlenmeyer flask and a test tube. No, they are not beautifully decorated, mostly because I wanted to eat the damn things already. These are the notorious Science Lab Cookie Cutters (which I picked up from ThinkGeek), and just imagine what you could do with them, were you more patient and less hungry than I. If your imagination is failing you, then how about taking a look at the fine flask-y cookieworks of other, more talented bakers. Go on, click on a few. I’ll wait.
Awesome, right? In fact, I wouldn’t post these sad (but very, very tasty) excuses for science cookies at all, if it weren’t for one detail.
See it? What is that, standing unopened behind my cookies? Could it be a bright and shiny, brand-new, whole other set of Science Lab Cookie Cutters just for one lucky reader?
Oh, it could. Erlenmeyer Flask, Beaker, Test Tube and even an atom (well, in a symbolic sense)! All you need to do to win these beauties and make your own nerdtastic cookies is leave a comment. Make sure you include a method of contact (or how will I tell you you’ve won?), and you’re good to go!
But wait, there’s more! Get a second entry by sharing about this contest somehow. Blog, tweet, facebook, tell your Aunt Cathy over the thanksgiving Turkey, I don’t care; just leave a second comment telling me how you told someone else and you’ll have two entries
(Science break! Or, well, math. The problem that has always nagged at me with the get-a-second-entry-for-sharing! deal is that, if the people you tell actually come over and enter, then your second entry won’t do a whole lot for your chances. I mean, say two people enter. They’ve each got a 50% or 1 in 2 chance. But then let’s say person 1 tweets the giveaway, gets a second entry, and then three people come over from twitter and enter. Now each person has a roughly 17% (1 in 6) chance except the tweeter, who now sits at around 33%, which is not as good as their original 50% chance. Boo, probability! Maybe you want to keep it secret. Keep it safe. Tell no one. That sort of thing, y’know?)
The contest is open to readers in the US and Canada and runs from today, 11/22/2011, to two weeks from today (12/6/11) at which point I will select a commenter at random, drop them an e-mail for their address, and send them some geeky fun just in time for the Holiday cookie season. Good luck!