Thursday, March 28, 2013
Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
I feel as though the last three weeks of my life happened in a matter of hours. One second I was talking about being real with pancakes and the next thing I knew, three weeks had passed. As I pressed post on all that pancake talk, unexpected things began happening left and right. People moving on, being forced out, going new places, breaking things off, making amends, not getting what they deserve, doing the unexpected, and being altogether crazy.
Despite all of it though, I was seemingly handling myself pretty well. All the uncertainty was rolling right off my back, like nothing had happened. Then, I almost severed the tip of my left ring finger. As in, I cut more than halfway through, nail and all. Standing over the cutting board, staring down at bloody bell pepper, I slowly realized how bad it was. I transitioned to the sink, and placed my hand under the running water, holding the tip of my finger on. I kept thinking how it was weird it didn't hurt and how those knives were actually pretty sharp, despite my complaining otherwise, and how I really freaking wanted some tacos damnit. I was completely composed as Dale cleaned and bandaged me up. And then, I sort of lost it. I was suddenly full on hysterical. It sounds silly, but apparently this was my breaking point. Dale, knowing it was about more than a cut finger, finished the tacos. And I ate them, through tears and despondence. Because I was determined to have those tacos. I had been "fine" this whole time--you know, that "blessing in disguise," "things will work out," "nope, haven't heard anything yet, but it's ok because," "things will be hard but we can do it," etc., attitude. But I guess I needed to just be sad, to be scared about the future, to be angry that life isn't fair. So I had my moment then gathered myself again over the next day then made cookies.
These cookies aren't anything fancy, and they don't purport to reinvent the chocolate chip cookie or anything. They aren't gooey, chewy chocolate chip cookies but are instead tender and crumbly. They aren't all the same size, and they aren't all perfectly round. And I love them for it. Because they taste like a cookie. Like a really good cookie. That's all I wanted--a soft, crumb-leaving, delicious, straight forward cookie, studded and sprinkled with chocolate. And I can tell you with certainty, these are all those things.
Also, if you get a chance, please venture over to steadyhandcoffee.com and read about a little coffee shop that could.
Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
adapted from How To: Simplify
makes 18-24 cookies
140 g (1 cup + 2 Tbsp.) all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
large pinch salt
113 g (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
90 g (1/4 cup + 3 Tbsp.) granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or extract
small splash almond extract (optional)
1/2 cup chocolate chips (milk, dark, whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup dark chocolate, roughly chopped
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light. Add the egg and mix until combined. Add vanilla and almond extract and mix until combined. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture and mix until almost combined. Paddle in chocolate just until evenly distributed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake, no more than two days. (I usually refrigerate cookie dough overnight before baking.)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and stack on top of another baking sheet. Spoon tablespoon-size pieces of dough onto cookie sheet about two inches apart. Bake until puffed and lightly golden on the edges, about 10 minutes. Cool on cookie sheet about 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
(And in case you were wondering, my finger has healed magnificently.)