Betty versus Veronica problem.
You see, according to stereotypical cultural dictates, all women are supposed to be 'Bettys' or 'Veronicas.' Betty is the all-American girl. Blonde, wholesome, clean-cut. As American and pleasing as apple pie. Veronica is complex. Wealthy, remote, difficult to please. Spoiled, difficult to stomach, yet intoxicating as a glass of expensive wine.
I'm a brunette and there is no one with hair or a complexion less suited for blonde highlights, much less a platinum coiffure. I like the theater and movies with subtitles. I'll tell you what I think rather than what you want to hear. And I'm standoffish, a loner by nature. Happily single.
On the other hand, I'm always the girl with the stain on her shirt, who doesn't understand the point of wearing makeup to work out, and who is more adept at quoting Blackadder and discussing NCAA bracketology than keeping track of how short hemlines should be this season.
My inability to fit into either stereotypical category is supported by how I straddle the line with other commonly paired feminine ideals.
In Chicago, Velma is a cool, distant, tall drink-of water. A murderous flapper with a heart of ice and a voice of pure smoke. Roxie is scrappy, scrambling for fame and attention. A trashy, sexy blonde. Now, I have been told that I create the impression of being classy, but fundamentally I am no Velma because even if I were rich, I'd just be wearing more expensive jeans that made my butt look better. And I have freakishly short legs and arms. Porpoise arms.
I've always felt that even on a crass and stereotypical level there needs to be a middle ground between Betty and Veronica, but I guess the fact that most women (perhaps most people) are a bit of both is why the stereotype is so powerful. One or two people seem to slip into the Betty/Veronica roles quite easily (I've met one or two women who have said, quite directly: "I am so Betty," or "I am Veronica) but most people secretly feel that there is some lack of harmony between the complete nature of their character and the cartoon-like cultural ideals...
I'm not sure there is a similar dichotomies of male romantic ideals. Perhaps Richie and Fonzie (the nice boy versus the cool, bad boy)? Or Shelley versus Byron?
Shelley--intellectual, spiritual, vegetarian, effete. A serial monogamist. Killed when a gust of wind blew over his boat. Byron--angry, passionate, inclined to have sex with anything that moved (male or female), swam the Hellespont. Chronic over-eater, over-drinker and dieter. Killed fighting for Greek independence.
Anyway, in most ways, these cookies are totally Bettys. They make use of cinnamon, which is a very wholesome spice. The browned butter adds a little sophistication but overall, although these aren't traditional chocolate chip cookies or Snickerdoodles, they would totally not be out of place at a bake sale at Riverdale High School, taste-wise. They're mainly Betty, with a little bit of Veronica thrown in, which is what I suspect that most of us are, deep down inside...male or female...
Browned Butter Cinnamon Cookies
-yields approximately 36 cookies-
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups all-purpose flour
Milk (if needed)
Milk (if needed)
Powdered sugar for rolling
1. 'Brown the butter' by heating the butter in a saucepan at low-to-medium heat, until the butter begins to bubble and foam. Cool for at least a half an hour, or until the butter has re-solidified.
2. Preheat the oven to 350F. Cream the butter and the sugar. Fold in the yolk. Sift the cinnamon and the flour together, then spoon the dry mixture into the wet. If the dough is sandy, you can add a tablespoon of water or milk until it has a cookie dough consistency.
3. Scoop dough into rounded balls on a cookie sheet. Chill for 15 minutes or slightly longer if you needed to add liquid to make the dough come together.
4. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the cookies look puffy and 'cracked.' Cool for 1-2 minutes, then sprinkle powdered sugar on the surface.