Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends

 

Episode: Goodbye to Bloo
“Sugar-Free” Foster’s Famous Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends is one of the most brilliant concepts for a cartoon. It’s fun to see imaginary friends as visible, living, breathing beings coexisting with humans. And when their children have to give them up, instead of just going “poof,” the imaginary friends can go to a safe place like Foster’s until they meet a new family. I’d be more than happy to adopt someone. (I’d snag up Wilt in a second.) But if I had the chance, I’d love to be in Mac’s shoes. He gets to play with all the friends he wants every single day. I know that he has to show up every day if he wants to keep Bloo, but spending most of my free time at Foster’s doesn’t sound too shabby. The whole reason for Foster’s existence is to get friends adopted, so it’s tough to have to let go, but having great friends for a little while is better than never making any at all. (And if the family isn’t the right fit, the friends find their way back to Foster’s sooner or later.)

When the tables have turned and those at Foster’s hear about Mac moving, they try to do something special for him to show how much they care. The sweetest gesture that I’ve seen in this show (And a whole lot of other shows for that matter.) is when Madame Foster bakes a special sugar-free batch of her Famous Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies just for Mac. He was surrounded by those cookies when Bloo decided to start selling them, but he was never able to try one because he can’t have sugar. So when Madame Foster presents Mac with a plate of cookies and he gets all excited, it’s really touching. There are some very important people in my life who have to watch out for refined sugar, (No, not because it makes them crazy.) so I’m always on the lookout for sugar-free desserts that actually taste like something. After a little experimenting, I finally made a batch of cookies that are really good.

The sizes seem to vary with these cookies, but I prefer the ¼ cup sized ones. Bloo mentions in “Cookie Dough” that the original Foster’s Famous Cookies bake at 250 degrees and the slow-bake method does indeed work. I’m just not patient enough for it, (My cookies were in the oven for 40 minutes!) so 350 degrees it is for me.

Recipe makes about ten cookies.

Ingredients

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, room temperature 

½ cup organic raw agave nectar 

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 2/3 cups, plus 2 tablespoons sifted flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 ½ -1 ¾ cups sugar-free chocolate chips
(You may want to use less if your stomach’s not too familiar with sugar-free chocolate. Too much of a good thing can be bad for you if you get my drift.)

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

In a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and agave nectar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop dough by ¼ cupfuls, 2 inches apart, onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Flatten the cookies slightly.

Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies are golden and set, 18-20 minutes.

Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to cool slightly before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. Now you can eat!

Variations: I know that agave nectar as a sugar substitute is debatable, but I didn’t want to rely on a granulated sugar substitute. (Although those are the truest sugar-free things I know of.) You can use honey or maple syrup instead. If dry ingredients are more your style, replace the agave with 2/3 cup granulated artificial sweetener and reduce the amount of flour by 2 tablespoons. You can help the cookies brown by spraying them with cooking spray, but they won’t get that dark.

fosters-chocolate-chips-2fosters-cookies

Madame Foster typically only bakes her cookies once a year to keep them special, but there’s no way I could handle that. I’d turn into a raging cookie addict like Frankie did before or I’d at least down an entire plate in one go like Bloo. (Although he ate the cookies just to speed Mac along.) But now that I’ve started to work on cracking the sugar substitute code, I won’t feel as bad if I make these cookies a little more often than Madame Foster. (I’ve still got a long way to go because they’re not healthy.) I’ll try not to get too out of control and slip into a cookie coma. I just need to take my time and chew slowly enough to savor each and every bite.

 

Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!

 

 

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