Searching for Happy in Warm Chocolate Chip Cookies

On nights when you are cold inside. When the bottom is at eye level and threatening to drown you and part of you is embracing a drowning cookies straight out of the oven can work as a temporary cure-all. This is where I’m at right now. Thinking about it, I’ve been about here at about this time for the past three years, but all for different reasons. It’s part of how this blog got started after all.

Without competition this time is the worst because I got to feel such ecstatic happiness before the same person caused…the worst. I hate to think what next year will bring. Instead I’m thinking about cookies and chocolate. In this case it was sadly only a momentary desire to pull myself out of my comforter and off my floor. It didn’t even last through the entire batch. Nope, the next morning I opened the fridge to forgotten unmade cookie dough. I also opened the pantry to uneaten cooled cookies.

I’m not there yet, but I keep reminding myself that somewhere in those Chocolate Chip Cookies are the roots to happy times.

A lot of what I like about cooking is the repetitive rhythm. You don’t often get that with cookies since so many recipes require getting out the mixer which doesn’t give the same satisfaction. All of the simplest cookie recipes only need a wooden spoon and your arm to stir with. Manual labor plus repetitive motion — happier days are around the corner. Right? Well, maybe another bite of cookie just to make sure.

The number of ingredients make these cookies a little more complicated, but they, too, belong on the simplest cookies to make list. They come from my second ever cookbook which is still turned to even though it is a kids cookbook. Why toss aside greatness? It’s too rare. I’ve also made very good banana chocolate chip cookies by replacing the egg with a mashed banana (if you change out the butter, this also makes them vegan.) I meant to put in pecans, but forgot I had to go to the store for these. Luckily, I had a few walnut halves in the pantry store. I usually go for the semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, but happened to have milk chocolate on hand. This time around I mixed the two together — they seemed like a good combination, but others might not think the same.  Your preference.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

from Kids Cooking a Very Slightly Messy Manual

½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 palm fulls chocolate chips
½ cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

In a small saucepan melt the butter and then stir in the sugars. Let cool. In a large bowl mix together flour, baking soda and salt. Lightly beat egg in a small bowl. Stir egg and vanilla into butter mixture. Add butter mixture to flour mixture. If you need to beat it a bit, go ahead. It’s okay. Add in chocolate chips and nuts.

Put in the refrigerator for about an hour. Or cheat by putting in the freezer for as long as you can wait.

Heat oven to 375°.

Remove from refrigerator and drop spoonfuls onto a ungreased baking sheets. Bake for about 12 minutes, but keep an eye on them. Remove from oven. Remove from sheet to cool. Just cool enough to eat though. Warmth is essential for happiness.

Makes 2-3 dozen cookies.

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