I shouldn’t be doing this.
I mean this literally, this, right here. I don’t really have time to write right now: I’m less than a week from graduating from Prestigious University and moving across the country to live with my Beloved Husband. I still have one fifteen-page paper to turn in before I’m done, and the apartment is in total disarray. Half my possessions are sold, and the other half are strewn about.
But the baking bug hit, and I had nearly all the ingredients for the recipe I wanted to make and was walking by the grocery store for the one thing I didn’t have. Besides, I had to close Twitter before Judy Blume spoiled Mad Men for me. So clearly, it was meant to be.
(Original recipe here. Strikethroughs are things I didn’t use. Bold are things I went “eh!” on and added extra.)
5 dozen ahahah, no, 7 dozen? 100 cookies.
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon espresso powder
1 Tablespoon Kahlua
1 cup butter,
at room temperature refrigerated
light brown sugar, packed firmly granulated white sugar
granulated white sugar certified organic sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted & then cooled a bit
1 (12 ounce) package
semisweet Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line cookie sheets with foil.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; set aside.
3. In a small dish, dissolve espresso powder in Kahlua; set aside.
4. In a large bowl, use extreme manual labor to cream butter and sugars together. Add Kahlua mixture, eggs and vanilla; beat until thoroughly combined.
Add cooled, melted chocolate and continue to beat until it’s mixed in. Add flour mixture and beat at low speed until all flour is incorporated into the dough, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls (or use a cookie scoop) 2-inches apart onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until they are golden brown and no longer look gooey in the middles. Cool completely
on wire rack wherever you can find.
So, I totally lied about having all the ingredients. In the midst of cooking, I found out all my brown sugar was rock-hard and completely unusable. Alas. I’ve found that organic sugar tends to be a good match for brown sugar, though. I deleted the chocolate, because I hate things that are too rich. NOT LIKE I’M GOING TO EAT THE ENTIRE BATCH OF COOKIES BY MYSELF, RIGHT GUYS?
So, I’ve committed to the recipe — mixed the sugar, mixed the flour and the cinnamon and the baking soda (what is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?!) and in a small bowl the Kahlua and espresso powder (which smells heavenly) — when I realize that I’ve left the butter in the refrigerator. No problem, I reason, I’ll just put it in the microwave for fifteen seconds.
Then I had that awkward moment when you realize you sold your microwave last week and the only way you can get this butter to room temperature is through application of an open flame.
Probably not a great idea for my current state, so this leaves me reverting to a primeval state: legs splayed, thin green plastic bowl between my legs, as I ineffectually stab at the way-too-hard butter in the pool of sugar with a wooden spoon.
You might ask, why do I do this? Why do I suffer through mixing by hand? And the answer is twofold: one, I’m wary of electric mixers, and two, I can’t afford one. With a mixer, would I be able to judge the texture properly? Will the mixing process be the same? Will I ever accidentally leave a lump of delicious margarine in a cookie? I could answer these questions if I ever got the chance to use a mixer. In the meantime, this is my calorie-burning workout of the night.
Once the butter and sugar coalesce into a pale yellow ball of yummy, I forget all of my frustrations and hatred. Once I add the Kahlua et al, the dough smells positively alcoholic, and tastes like a coffee frappe. Adding the flour mixture gives it a delicious cinnamon-y flavor, as well. All is good!
And then…I run into a problem I have a lot. Well, two problems.
First, I didn’t realize that this recipe made 5 dozen cookies until the dough was mixed together. That’s rather a lot of cookies.
Second…I somehow have a miraculous touch when it comes to cookies. I can make nearly double the recipe of any given cookie recipe without doubling the ingredients. It’s Gestalt-y. How do I do this? I don’t know. Am I measuring a rounded teaspoon wrong? Does flour, butter, and sugar flow from my fingertips? I can’t tell. And due to the aforementioned packing, I only have one baking pan.
So right now, batch #3 is in the oven, while batches #1 and #2 cool on the rack behind me. My apartment will be nearly a thousand degrees probably ’til near 1 in the morning at this rate. And I’m no closer to being done with my 15-page-paper.
At least I have delicious, delicious cookies to keep me company.