The hard stuff

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So you might already know this, but the day after my last post I was keenly reminded: Life is HARD. One day you’re cruising along, feeling good because you’ve been working out regularly and a fun family vacation is coming up and you’re having fun baking and blogging and then BAM!  Your dog gets attacked right in front of your eyes and plans change and life gets messy, complicated and sad.   Fast forward to today.  I picked myself up, dusted myself off and started all over again.  I didn’t want to work out, but I did.  I didn’t want to grocery shop, but I did.  I didn’t want to bake, but I sure did.  And you know what happened?  I found a little glimpse of my happy place in the fusion of sugar, butter, flour and other familiar and delicious things.

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Today Thomas Keller would have been disappointed by my messy kitchen.  I didn’t “work clean”.  But it was therapeutic baking, not pretty baking.  And I wasn’t going to blog it (another item on the list of “I don’t wanna”), but I drug out the big gun camera and took pics, messiness and all.  And boy was it worth it. Do you see this cookie dough?  It’s a special kind of magic.  I will not disclose the amount of it I ate before I formed it into large orbs and baked it….

DSC_3598Let’s just talk for a minute about one ingredient I bet you only drag out once a year for the perfunctory ginger bread cookies at Christmas (if you’re into that sort of thing): Molasses.  It’s sort of an unsightly thing; blackish brown, thick liquid that smells, for the lack of a better vocabulary word, weird.  But BIB uses it quite often and I’m becoming a bigger fan every time I use it.

DSC_3599These cookies are uh-maze-ing.  They are perfectly, and I mean ideally, tenderly crispy on the outside, soft and just a teensy bit gooey on the inside.  They aren’t salty, too bland, too sweet or too dry.   They are dreamy and chocolate-y and will most certainly be my new go-to chocolate chip cookie.  And that molasses?  It just adds a little depth, a little oomph.

DSC_3600These cookies are called “Chocolate Chunk and Chip Cookies”, but I did not have any good chocolate to chop up for the “chunk” portion, so I substituted all chips.  I also couldn’t bring myself to measure out 150 grams of cookie dough for one cookie, so I made them half that size and even then they are easily twice as big as my boring old chocolate chip cookies.  But let’s be real people, you wouldn’t just eat one of these anyway, so who cares if they are twice the size?

So to recap: we have here a messy, therapeutic baking session resulting in ridiculously fantastic cookies.  Did I mention it was messy?  I’m an authentic person, readers, and I feel it only right to tell you there was no staging for this photo, no tidying up.  This is the real deal.  Shameful.

DSC_3602One last baking tidbit I’d like to leave you all with.  These little mats.  They are magic.  I will forever and always use them instead of parchment or cooking spray or any other form of keeping my baked treasures from sticking to their vessels.  I HIGHLY recommend you give them a try!

DSC_3603And so I baked and overcame and refocused and ate cookies.  And life is still hard, but this crazy show of my life must go on and so I will too.

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2 thoughts on “The hard stuff

  1. Baking is always good medicine for the soul. Messy baking can be even better. It shows how hard you worked to make something wonderful and yummy for the family.

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