I’ve been entirely neglectful of my blog for the past two weeks. I’ve cut back slightly on cooking, because my mother told me that I was making her fat. She’s a whole five feet tall (maybe less these days?), so when I make a ragu or a bourguignon stew(note the rhyme), it goes straight to the goiter she doesn’t yet have-no thanks to me.
She doesn’t know it, but telling me not to cook was sort of crushing, and I’ve definitely cut back as a result. I could continue to cook just for me, but part of the satisfaction of making something from nothing is that other people enjoy what you’ve created.
This is really a lesson in authenticity, something I also think a lot about–how do our thoughts align with the words we use so that we convey exactly what we mean and have the result we want. Could she not have asked me for a week of healthy meals? Could she not use portion control? Strangely, during all this time that she was turning into an umpa lumpa, I had gone on a diet and lost 5 lbs!
But now, friends, I am ballooning into a schnozberry. Instead of channeling my energy into my creative cooking process, I am turning back into a cookie monster and tipping the scale in the wrong direction. If you knew how many cookies I ate over the past two days, you would think I had the cookie version of pica.
I do hope to snap out of this cooking funk soon. More than the actual cooking, I really enjoy the sense of adventure I get from finding something new to make or discovering how two spices complement eachother in a way I didn’t realize. Perhaps I need a new cookbook? Perhaps I need a vacation for inspiration? Perhaps I need to move out of my parents house…? Yes. That’s it.
Portugal…high on my list of off-the-grid vacations
To get started with these cookies, first assemble all of your ingredients and get your mis en place in order. Here’s mine. . .
Oof. The angle here makes me feel like I’m on a rollercoaster!
Now making these cookies is fairly simple. The first thing to do is to brown that butter. But only half of it. If you brown all of it, I’m not quite sure what will happen, but i think that it might make mixing it together with the sugar and flour a bit funky. In any case, just follow my recipe;) First take half of the butter (8 tbsp), chop it into small pieces, and place into a sauce pan on medium heat. Now watch it melt!
The butter will bubble up a bit and start to…snap, crackle and pop. I’m not entirely sure what is happening behind the frothy scenes, but the result is that the butter separates into liquid and tasty dark brown solid pieces, which start to rest at the bottom of the pan while the butter is crackling. Once the butter stops popping, remove it from the stove, place it into a new container and set it aside to cool for about 30 minutes. If you’re thinking of speeding up the cooling process, stop right there. Placing butter back in the fridge or the freezer is just a bad idea.
Now let’s make some cookies! Beat the rest of the butter (room temperature) and all of the brown sugar on medium speed for about 7 minutes until it’s nice and creamy looking. Add the molasses and the vanilla, and beat until combined. Throughout this process, you’ll want to stop periodically to scrap down the sides before starting again. I’m not entirely sure why, but Gabby Hams, says it helps. I agree. The mixture will look something like this…
and once you add the cooled brown butter to it, it will end up like this..! So smooth and creamy. If you think you can resist sticking your little fingers in there for a taste, think again!
Add the eggs (one at a time) and beat until they are incorporated. Then add (sloooowly) the dry ingredients. I like to add dry ingredients a 1/4 cup or 1/3 cup at a time. I incorporate the ingredients fully before adding the next 1/4 cup.
Now add the oats. I added mine all at once and mixed them in the stand mixer quickly (maybe 5 seconds) until they looked incorporated. Then I removed the mixture from the stand mixer and added the chocolate chips and dried cherries and folded them in with a spatula. Think of it as a pre-piggy work out.
No smart-de-pants lectures on “bad foods”–Piggy, Queen of pigs
If you have one, use a cookie scooper to scoop out nicely rounded cookie scoops onto a silpat or parchment-lined cookie sheet. If you don’t have a scooper, I suggest rolling the dough into round balls between the palms of your hands.
You’ll likely need three cookie sheets to accomodate all of the cookies. Place the scoops a few inches apart. When you finish, cover the cookie dough with plastic wrap, and place them into the freezer for a few hours or in the refrigerator over night. Baking your cookies straight from the fridge/freezer, makes a big difference. Trust me, and you’re cookies will come out nice and fluffy and soft. Disregard my words of advice, and risk making your small children cry?
What’s also great about popping the dough into the freezer, is that you can take a few out at a time, bake them, and in a few minutes you can have fresh cookies on demand anytime you want them!
Bake the cookies at 350 F for 12-15 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool slightly before serving. The cookies will look a bit wet on top when you pull them out of the oven. I used to think this meant salmonella, but in fact…it means deeeelicious.
- 1 cup (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon molasses
- ½ cup granulated sugar (dominos)
- 2 large eggs
- 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (Toll-house!)
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup dried cherries