You know that whole don’t judge a book by it’s cover theory? Well, today the perception I projected gave me just the boost I needed, even if it didn’t match exactly how I’m feeling these days. I met M’s best friend for breakfast. DL’s friendship has been one of the good things that came out of this often awful situation. Is it okay to admit that anything good actually grew from my husband’s passing? There goes that grief guilt vortex, opening, threatening to suck me in again…
My point is, when I sat down at Balthazar, DL said I looked dazzling. Inside, I felt like a wreck, Disheveled, exhausted, and aches in places I forgot you could get aches, from the physical work of packing boxes, working on the garden upstate, and an overall lack of sleep. There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done.
There’s no doubt that sleep would be the best medicine for my physical fatigue, but the kitchen is the key to maintaining my mental stamina. How else would you explain the need to bake four tarts in one day? In the midst of a very busy work schedule (not complaining!), and boxes piling up high as my head, I decided it was time to try my hand at making puff pastry from scratch—for the first time.
The kicker to this story is that the Apricot-Almond Cream Tart I made was met with rave reviews from my best friend and her daughter. Much like DL’s “dazzling” comment, their adoration for that tart was the boost I needed to feel like I’m doing something right in the midst of the temporary chaos leading up to moving day.
As I started packing up the kitchen stuff last week, I deemed a sheet pan, a couple of cooling racks, and two loaf pans as part of the essentials to keep out until the bittersweet end. A good deal of my pantry ingredients have been boxed up, but the sugar, flour and molasses are still sitting on the shelf. In the back of my mind, I thought “I might want to make chocolate chip cookies before we move”. I somehow imagined Michael looking down, laughing, expecting nothing less.
My Very Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
makes 36 three-inch cookies
Music Pairing: Where is My Mind by Pixies
This recipe is an oldie but goodie from the archives. Below is the original headnote that went with it back in 2010.
Perhaps one of my favorite things about this cookie is they’re stress free. Rather than planning on time to make the dough and bake it right away, it’s done in stages. The dough takes all of 5 minutes to make—10 minutes if you decide to nix your stand mixer and do it all with a wooden spoon. Then just sit back and let the dough transform in the fridge, and bake as you need them.
You can even form the balls and freeze them on a lined cookie sheet. Once set, store them in an air-tight plastic bag and you’ll be ready for surprise company or a last-minute treat at a moment’s notice.
4 cups (500 grams) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon (6 grams) fine sea salt
2 sticks (224 grams) butter, softened
2 cups (400 grams) sugar
2 tablespoons (40 grams) molasses
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons (7 ml) pure vanilla extract
12 ounces (336 grams) bittersweet chocolate discs
In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. Beat butter, sugar and molasses until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until well mixed. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Stir in the chocolate discs. Let sit in refrigerator overnight before baking, and may be stored this way for up to two days. Yes, I realize this is the very hard part.
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF (180C). Line baking sheets with silicon mats or parchment paper. Gently form dough into 1 1/2 to 2-inch (3.5 cm to 5 cm) balls and place 2 to 3 inches (5 cm to 12 cm) apart on prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes on middle rack. Remove from oven and let cool on pan for 2 more minutes. Transfer cookies to a rack to cool completely if you have any will power left.
This post is part of Food Network’s #SummerSoiree. See what my fellow food friends are sharing this week:
The Lemon Bowl: 5 Ingredient No-Bake Fig Newton Bites
Dishing: Caramelized Pineapple with Mint
Weelicious: Raspberry Cheesecake Jars
Virtually Homemade: Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Salted Brownies
The Heritage Cook: Anzac Biscotti
Taste With The Eyes: Cherimoya Brulee
Devour: The 5 Best Picnic Sweets
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes with Chambord Raspberries
Red or Green: Healthy Ginger-Molasses Cookies
Cooking With Elise: Salted Caramel Brownies
Swing Eats: S’Mores Bars (Gluten-Free)
Domesticate Me: Summer Berry Parfaits with Vanilla Bean Ricotta and Toasted Almonds
Dishin & Dishes: Triple Berry Pretzel Salad Dessert in a Jar
Food For 7 Stages of Life: Oats and Peanut Laddoo (No Bake Energy Bites)
Bacon and Souffle: Mason Jar Overnight Oats
FN Dish: Make-and-Take Picnic Desserts