Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Sometimes Cookies Must Be Baked!

I can be a fairly compulsive person. In the lab, when an experiment doesn't work, I can spend hours obsessing over it, trying to figure out what went wrong and what I will do differently the next time. This tendency of mine probably serves me well; I don't tend to repeat my mistakes and compulsion can be necessary in order to convert failure into success. Luckily, in the kitchen my failure rate is much lower, but I still develop compulsions. For the past umpteen weeks, I have been obsessed with the idea of baking cookies. Strangely enough, though, I didn't have time to bake anything naughty until Monday night. On that night, the cookie-baking urge was too strong and I had to indulge it. So what did I do? Why, I pulled my butter out of the freezer, sprayed my cookie sheet with nonstick spray, and got to work!

I made Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies, a recipe I found long ago in one of Mollie Katzen's beautiful cookbooks. It's either in The Enchanted Broccoli Forest or Still Life With Menu; I forget which book. This particular cookie is a crispy chocolate cookie flavored with cocoa powder and mint extract and studded with semisweet chocolate chips. It's a basic drop cookie: cream butter with sugars, add egg and extracts, mix dry ingredients together, and then combine wet and dry ingredients and chocolate chips to make the dough. The dough itself smells AMAZING: minty and chocolatey, and the taste is very rich from all the butter and sugar (see what I mean about naughty baking?). I usually only taste a tiny spoonful of dough when I bake these cookies because it is so rich.

One sheet of baked cookies later, my baking urge was satisfied. I often refrigerate or freeze cookie dough so that I can enjoy fresh-baked cookies on a later date. Since I live alone, my cookies tend to last awhile. When I lived with my parents, fresh-baked cookies were virtually inhaled by the family, especially by my three brothers, so there was no point in not baking the entire batch at one time. Now, one sheet of cookies will last me the better part of a week, which is such a blessing at the end of the day when I just want to curl up with a mug of tea (decaf orange-flavored green tea these days), some cookies, and a good book. Now THAT'S the good life!


JD said...

You should see how desserts get demolished over my wife's parent's place. We eat dessert, then people pick at it, then they eat it for breakfast the next day! Desserts probably only have a shelf life of about 24 hours in that place!

Rosiecat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rosiecat said...

JD, my favorite fellow blogger,

Talk about a sweet tooth! Hilarious! I have never really understood the concept of eating dessert for breakfast, probably because I am fiercely loyal to my breakfast cereal (Barbara's Bakery Shredded Oats, in case you were curious). I smear a tablespoon or two of peanut butter on it and sprinkle cinnamon on top--pretty strange, huh? But it's delicious, and I would feel deprived if forced to eat something else for breakfast.

But back to the issue at hand: dessert in the morning. Do you suppose that in a household where desserts disappear in the blink of an eye, the ONLY way to enjoy a second helping is to eat it as soon as you have more room for it, i.e., the next morning? As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do!

So what's your take on the dessert-as-breakfast phenomenon?