Sometimes I try to be perfect. Find the perfect recipe. Assemble the perfect outfit. Articulate the perfect retort. When it’s not competitively triumphant, it can be utterly exhausting.
I can’t change who I am, but I can, with intermittent determination, refocus my intent. Stop thinking and just say what I’m feeling, wear what best expresses my moment and bake what makes me happy.
When too many obligations vie for my attention at once, I find it best just go back to what I want. Start with who I am. With what’s really important.
With a chocolate chip cookie.
This week, take something off your mind that doesn’t need to be there and bake some cookies instead. Life really can be as simple as chocolate chip cookies because, just like life, it’s up to you how many other ingredients you add to the mix, how much heat you put them under and how well you chose to savor the final product.
Chocolate “Ship” Cookies
I got this recipe from a man I used to work with who also sold ships. He brought in a batch that his mom made and I demanded a copy to discover how such a fine crumb could be in such a soft, chewy cookie. After making a few adjustments to the original, I feel very satisfied with this both chewy and cake-like delight.
Start by introducing your refrigerator and pantry friends in a bowl.
Let the butter invite one of its neighbors.
The most rewarding moment: adding noble gems of chocolate to an eager batter.
Mound into satisfying balls.
Hover as close as possible so as not to miss a moment of sweet fragrance.
1 ½ C all purpose flour
½ C cake flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 ½ sticks butter
1/2 C + 2 T white sugar
1/2 C + 2 T brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 ½ C milk chocolate chips
- Set oven at 375. Be sure that your egg and butter are at room temperature.
- Combine butter and sugar in a bowl and beat together until they have accepted their friendship and are a light brown color with a fluffier texture than they were after the first few stirs. This will take at least 3-4 minutes.
- Add the egg until the whole mixture is combined thoroughly.
- Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
- In a separate bowl, stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add the flour mixture to the creamed butter mixture in 2 parts. Be sure to blend between each flour addition.
- Mix your chocolate chips by hand into the batter.
- Scoop onto an ungreased cookie sheet in dollops sized around 2 T each and bake in oven 12-14 min
- Cool long enough that you can start inhaling them without burning your mouth.
I can’t be there with you so here are my best pieces of advice heading into cookie land:
-Don’t over mix the batter once you start adding the flours. The flours only need to be mixed until the batter becomes all one consistency.
– Number one rule of baking: do not over bake your desserts. If these cookies are golden brown all over, you have baked them too long. Check your baking ego at the door and use an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is right where it needs to be.