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And that's how you make a real cookie

We’re in the holiday season, which means cooking and sharing, of course, with smiling family members gathered in warm kitchens to lovingly re-create treasured specialties from recipes passed down through the generations.

There’s an easier way for the cookie-confused, one that purists scoff at – until they taste the end product. Essentially, we’re going to doctor a tube of Pillsbury chocolate chip cookies into unrecognizability.

You’ll need the cookie dough and bags of dried cherries, pecan halves and semisweet chocolate morsels, all found at most supermarkets. For a “gourmet” touch, find some pine nuts.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Unwrap the dough and lay the tube on the surface of a nonstick baking pan; be sure the dough is very cold. Ignore the Pillsbury directions. We want clunky, politically incorrect cookies, so we need to break the rules.

So, using a blunt knife, cut the roll into 1/2-inch-thick coins. Place them around the cookie sheet. We want them to melt into each other and stick together, so that when they cool we’ll need to break them off at the “seams.”

Now the fun part: Take a few cherries, pecans, chocolate morsels and pine nuts and mash them into the dough.

Put the cookies in the oven. Let’s bake them for 20 minutes. We want them dark and crunchy.

Remove the cookies from the oven.

What do you say now, Martha Stewart?

While the cookies cool, put a quart of milk and your favorite glass into the freezer. You know what comes next.

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