It’s 9:25 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27, and we’re live from the Super Moon spectacle. Students are gathered on Foss Hill, waiting for the eclipse to begin. There is a large crowd huddled by the Observatory, taking turns looking through the giant telescope in an effort to view the extraordinary celestial sight.
What they have all gathered to see is the Super Blood Moon, a spectacle we won’t see again until 2033. The rare event involves the coincidence of a “super moon” (which occurs when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit) happening on the same night as a lunar eclipse. This arrangement hasn’t happened since 1982.
Currently, the moon has a partial dark shadow creeping around the left side. We were promised that there would be moon themed music and munchies, but we have yet to see if this is fact or fiction.
9:52 p.m. Still no moon munchies, but someone is playing harmonica and guitar, which is “moon music” if I’ve ever heard it. The moon is now turning red, with only a sliver remaining yellowish-white.
10:04 p.m. The moon is now transitioning to orange, looking more reminiscent of the “blood moon” photos I googled earlier.
10:06 p.m. People keep counting down as if something is going to happen, but nothing ever happens by the end of their chanting. Some people scream “Happy Christmas!” or “Happy New Year!”
Though both of these exclamations refer to the wrong occasion, the long-awaited emergence of the Super Blood Moon certainly has me feeling giddy, like a kid staying up past hir bedtime on New Year’s Eve or opening hir presents on Christmas morning.
Social media surely reflects the excitement. Everywhere, first-years snap Instagrams under the starry sky, blinding surrounding spectators with their flashes in the process. The Yaks from this event are also pretty noteworthy. Favorites include:
“The moon is blood red tonight. This is the squirrel kings way of reminding us that he requires additional sacrifices this week. Thank you, have a pleasurable evening,” “Moon & chill on Foss?” and “If you’re not at Super Moon, you’re a real lunatic.”
10:15 p.m. The moon munchies have arrived! Someone has provided some astronomically delicious, star-shaped cookies, and they are the perfect accompaniment to the celestial spectacle before me.
Below is the recipe for these lunar treats. Whether you didn’t have the opportunity to witness the marvel that was the Super Blood Moon or simply want to relive the wonder a second time, I highly recommend that you give these a go. With a rich chocolatey flavor and a shape referencing the celestial, they are truly the cookie embodiment of the rarity that was the Super Blood Moon.
This recipe will yield three batches of 40 cookies. The extra dough can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to a month! If you are freezing the dough disks, you should wrap them in cellophane and place them in plastic bags. When you are getting ready to use the dough, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
Chocolate Star Cookies
(courtesy of Williams Sonoma)
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
3/4 tsp salt
4 tbs coarse sugar (adjust to taste)
1. In an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until smooth. In another bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cream of tartar and salt. Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until blended.
2. After mixing, turn out the dough onto a floured work surface. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces, pat each piece into a flat disk, and wrap each separately in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the disks you plan on using immediately for at least 1 hour and store the remaining disks for future use.
3. After refrigeration, preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. On a work surface, place the disk between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, and roll out until it is about 1/8 inch thick. Cut out cookies using a 2-inch star-shaped cookie cutter (or any shaped cookie cutter you desire).
5. Transfer them to the prepared cookie sheets, leaving about 1 1/2 inches of space between each. Gather the scraps, re-roll and cut out more cookies. When finished, sprinkle the cookies with the coarse sugar.
6. Place the cookies in the oven and bake until the edges are crisp, about 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool briefly on the sheets. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tip: If you desire a delicious dessert sandwich, frosting makes a great filling in between two lunar cookies.