L’Shana Tova, Office Stace Readers or Happy New Year to all those celebrating! It’s a time for reflecting on the past 365 days, thinking about what we want for the upcoming months and setting some goals. For me, that means writing, writing and more writing. I have some exciting projects coming up and can’t wait to share them with you. There is nothing like pouring my heart and soul into this blog and getting such kind, thoughtful feedback from you guys. Please know that I read each and every comment, email and post and really appreciate you taking the time out from your busy lives to read this blog. I only ask that if you like what you read, to please “share” it using the buttons at the end of each post – or just send the link to your friends.
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Ok, so now I must confess something a bit embarrassing. One of my many resolutions this fall is to start cooking more (this is not the embarrassing part). Last week, you guys sent me a bunch of awesome recipes which I am in the process of planning out. Half the battle is that I don’t have the necessary supplies for making the stuff (I don’t even have a crockpot – what’s wrong with me?). The other battle is this horrible cold that is now into day 12 (called my doctor to see if antibiotics are needed and the office is closed til Wednesday – ANNOYING). There always seem to be good excuses for ordering in. New York City makes it so damn easy.
I thought a nice, intermediary step before cooking a full meal would be to make some cookies. I turned to an amazing recipe for peanut butter chocolate chip cookies that looked absolutely spectacular. What I love about this woman’s blog is she posts pictures of everything, gives very easy to follow directions and the end result looks like something out of a magazine.
Having not cooked or baked anything in months (ok, it may have been longer than that, but no need to go there), I decided to buy all new ingredients. Who knows whether the sugar, flour and butter currently living in my kitchen was still edible – better not to risk it. So off I went with The Husband to the grocery store. We headed straight to the baking aisle and got the necessary elements. I felt like we were preparing for a science experiment. A 50-something year old woman was also in the baking aisle and asked The Husband if she could borrow his height to get some of the baking soda off the top shelf. I told her that I rented him out by the hour. We asked her what she was making. Honey cake, mandel bread and something else. Sounded like she was preparing for a Rosh Hashanah dinner feast. We asked if there was any more room at her table, but she said there was not. It’s always amazing to me how it feels perfectly acceptable to invite myself over to a stranger’s house for Rosh Hashanah dinner and equally surprising that this woman found it completely normal to be asked.
Anyhow, back in our apartment $43 in cookie ingredients later, I started to wonder why I didn’t just buy some chocolate chip cookies at the espresso bar around the corner from our building. It would have been a lot cheaper, quicker and guaranteed blissful eating. But there’s something deeply satisfying in laying out all the ingredients and bowls on the counter, pre-heating an oven and mixing things. The most amount of time was spent on opening up the flour, sugar, vanilla extract seal and cutting into the baking soda box. I realized half way through lining up the ingredients that I didn’t have an electric mixer.
But who needs an electric mixer when I’ve got two perfectly able arms? I measured out everything perfectly, proud that I finally had all the ingredients a recipe called for instead of substituting here and there. I took a picture of all the pretty boxes just waiting to be measured and mixed. Soon after opening the boxes, I realized that the mixing bowls I needed were on the top shelf of our kitchen cabinets. The Husband was in the bathroom and not responding to my repeated yelps for his height. Where is that guy when I need him? So I dug into the closet and pulled out a step stool, getting the bowls myself.
I turned up the A/C unit in the kitchen as the oven was kicking into high gear and I was already sweating. I was also terrified that a chocolate chip would fall onto the floor, accidentally killing our puppy, but this did not stop me from grinding and mixing those ingredients like the human super mixer that I was. The final batter seemed a bit dry and loose. Probably because I needed an electric mixer. Or maybe because something was missing. Who knows? I couldn’t get it all to stick together. The Husband finally emerged from the bathroom with an amused look on his face. Just as I was placing the sheet of cookie batter clumps into the oven, he says to me, “So what ingredient did you forget?”
I gave him a dirty look, which only made him laugh. I confidently told him that this would be my best batch of cookies ever. That he would eat his words. A minute later, I realized that I never added the brown sugar to the batter.
Do I take the cookies out, dump them into a bowl and mash them up with the brown sugar? Nah. Should I tell The Husband and allow him to gloat for the next 30 years that his wife is a horrible cook? Nah. Perhaps I should advertise these as the “reduced sugar” version of these cookies. Bingo.
When the cookies came out, they looked very much the way they did when they went into the oven. Clumps of dry looking cookie batter. They actually look a lot better in this picture than they did in real life.
Just about the time when The Husband grabbed one of them before allowing them to fully cool, I confessed.
“I forgot the brown sugar.”
This sent The Husband into hysterics. Smugly thinking himself a genius of extraordinary measure, he congratulated himself on knowing his wife better than anyone.
We tentatively tried the cookies. To our great shock and delight, despite looking like clumps of dirt with chocolate chips sticking out, they were some of the best tasting cookies I have ever consumed. The best part is that they really are the “reduced sugar” version. Completely by accident, but sometimes the best things in life are unplanned delights. So the next time you’re in the mood to bake – I highly recommend the recipe. You’ll probably want to add brown sugar to your version just to be safe, but it’s not mandatory.
P.S. The extra spoonfuls of sugar may really help your cough medicine go down. It helped for me.
Have a sweet New Year.