ND ROOTS January 31, 2022
You have heard it before. “It’s not if it happens, it’ when.” That’s right, I got a virus, and I am still downloading the effects of stuffy sinuses. We all know the most significant part of having a mid-winter cold is how good it feels to feel good again. And, taste. Oh, how good food smells and tastes after a week of being ill.
Naturally, after having some chicken tomato rice soup on Sunday, I had this incredible urge to make cookies. After all, I had been sleeping for nearly as long as Rip Van Winkle, mainly on the couch. With the nice weekend weather, I took a walk Sunday afternoon during halftime of the first football playoff game. Both games preceding the Super Bowl were exciting if you like that sort of thing.
Sometime at the start of game two, I headed for the kitchen, forced some butter to room temperature and dug out my mother’s chocolate chip cookie recipe. Unlike the Toll-House recipe, this cookie was crisper and had pretty cracks running through it if adequately baked. It was never my favorite as a child, but we had little choice.
My children weren’t very fond of them either. They called them kitchen sink cookies because I usually added whatever we had in the house by way of chocolate chips, nuts, raisins, coconut and oatmeal. This recipe is a proper “dunker” cookie.
It had been a while since I baked for our household. My usual fare is bread for the farmers market and, recently, breakfast pastries for a church retreat. I’m grateful I have a way to spread my oven-lovin’ around the community, so we don’t have to eat all the baked goods I make in a month.
Oh, these cookies were fabulous. I hit the nail on the head with the correct amount of flour, the perfect scoop of dough on the cookie sheet and the proper amount of time in the oven. Instead of raisins, I used craisins but no coconut. I loaded that dough with dark chocolate chocolate chips and plenty of chopped walnuts (even if I had to take a loan from my local bank to purchase them). I hope my mom was watching from heaven with a smile on her face.
Rather than wait, we had to try one hot out of the oven. The chocolate was still soft and gooey. It was okay. The second cookie was cooler and absolutely divine. I know it’s difficult to wait until bread and cookies cool off before indulging, but I have found over the years the flavors develop if you allow them to cool first. That, and you won’t burn your fingers grabbing them off the cookie sheet. Just an FYI, bread needs to cool thoroughly to bake entirely and is so much easier to slice if you give it a few hours on the rack. If you cut it right away, you are sacrificing the rest of the loaf for that one heel, dripping with butter. Yep, I do it all the time, mostly because I can.
I know the next question you ask is, “can I have the recipe?” Yes. I think my mother would be greatly disappointed if I didn’t share, so here it is. ENJOY.
Sue B. Balcom
Writing, or maybe talking, comes naturally to me and under the guidance of a great newspaper editor I have acquired skills that led me to author four books.