cookies

Coconut Macaroons.


This is a painting I love very much called Christina's World: 



When I saw it in person I gasped. 
That is how much I loved it. 

I found a postcard of it in an old journal I'd kept last year. 
It struck me as particularly relevant now. 
So much yearning. 

I read that the girl, Christina, had polio and the lower half of her body was paralyzed. 
And one day the painter, Wyeth, saw her crawling through the grass to get to the barn. 
And he painted what he saw: 
So much yearning. 

That's how I feel right now. 
Like I'm crawling into a future that I can't quite reach. 
My own barn. 

I'm trying so hard to begin the process of creating a life for myself. 
I don't know how to do this. 

My dad likes to tell me, one day at a time, one step at a time, one bite at a time. 
Slowly crawl to the barn. 

I'm surrounded by so many beautiful people right now. 
People like my friend Margaret, who dreams her own gutsy dreams, and has started to realize some of them. 
I want to be like that. I want to realize dreams.  

But right now I'm still figuring out what the dream is. 






I don't know. 


So I go swimming with Murphy, and I call my brother. 
I go dancing when I am sad sometimes. 
I write my name in chalk in the middle of the street, in the middle of the night. 
I try and reason these mistakes and misunderstandings, make them into digestible lists and lessons. 
And I try to be inspired and I try to enjoy this sun and these days and these people, for what they are. 
I stumble. 
I make coconut macaroons that melt in the mouth. 
And I eat every single fucking coconut macaroon because they are so so good and I am so so hungry. 

I don't know. 

So much yearning. 

I am Christina. 
But I am building the barn and trying to get to the barn all at once. 

At least, on the way, there are coconut macaroons. 

XOXO


Coconut Macaroons


via JoyofBaking.com

4 large egg whites at room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup cake flour (I used regular flour) 
3 cups shredded or flaked coconut

You can do what I did, which is completely forget to follow directions, hastily combine all ingredients, and just bake them until brown. I was happy. Please note that these are quite sweet, decrease sugar if you don't like desserts that are borderline saccharine. 


OR YOU CAN ACTUALLY FOLLOW DIRECTIONS: 


In a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the egg whites, sugar and salt. When this mixture is warm to the touch, and nice and creamy, remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract, flour and coconut. Cover and refrigerate for about two hours, until firm. 
Preheat oven to 325 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 
Place small mounds (heaping teaspoons) of the batter onto the parchment lined baking sheets, spaced several inches apart. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes and then place on a wire rack to cool. 
Makes about 2 dozen. 


Chocolate Chip Cookies & Valentines Day

February, man. 

It's a rough month. 

School is hard. The weather is fickle. Life is tricky. And there's Valentines Day. 


 
Lately, I've been asking the cosmos to just throw me a bone. 
This past week I fell over twice because my backpack was so heavy, which simultaneously made me want to laugh and cry. 
I chose to laugh, but really wished that someone would just give me a hug instead. 

Also, Valentines Day is this week. 


There are about 2 things in the world that I hate. 
I hate papayas.
And I hate Valentines Day, even though it means lots of marked down chocolate on february 15th. 
Which is definitely a win for the stress-eating singles of the world. 


Whatever. 

Tonight, I made these cookies. 
This is the third time I've published this recipe here, and ironically, the last time I posted it was exactly around this time last year. These cookies somehow answer all my comfort food cravings and February sweetness needs. 


I hope you have a lovely week, and I hope your backpacks are a little lighter, and I really hope you make these cookies, because February man, it's a rough month. 

XOXO
m




Perfection In Your Mouth Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips or 2 cups store-bought chips or chunks
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
Working with a stand mixer w/paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until well blended. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed mix in chocolate and nuts.
Spoon on tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.
Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 to 12 minutes. Until light brown on edges and golden in center.
Allow cookies to rest for one minute. Then using spatula transfer to cooling rack.

Baked Brownies

Something I have decided:


I need to chill the fuck out.


Really. Frankly. Honestly. Lately I have been so intense. About everything. Notably the future, which is scary and big. 


And this just 





WILL NOT STAND.


It is summer baby. 


You are not supposed to worry about things like:


-who you are going to be when you are thirty
-some people have children by the age of thirty
-my god someday i will be thirty


I am getting so ahead of myself. 


Deep breaths all around. 


I tell myself to just appreciate the sky. 


Only lately, I do this and then I am wondering about infinity and thinking about how small and insignificant I am and that is also scary as fuck because I am going to be dead eventually and then the particles that make up my soul are just going to be space, 




which actually isn't even that scary, it's just cool. But that is also more thinking than I need to be doing right now.


Also, I need to take more naps. 



The point is. 


I should just eat some brownies and calm down. 


The chocolate helps with anxiety. 


It's science.





Or whatever. 


I have always had really mixed feelings about brownies. Mainly because I feel like they are the ultimate copout dessert. Everyone can make brownies. And everyone does make brownies. Brownies are not original, thoughtful, or even particularly interesting. They're just- brownies. 
On the other hand, a beautiful brownie is just... heavenly. 


These are heavenly brownies. 



With five eggs, a cup of butter and 12 ounces of dark chocolate chips, eaten with a bowl of vanilla ice cream, how could they not be heavenly? 


This is real talk. 


Anyways, I eat these and get progressively fatter, but also progressively happier. And that is a very good thing. 


My mother was telling me how many small happinesses can rest in simple routines and habits. And that I should work to order and routine and habit things in my head and life as a way to get rid of the anxiousness I feel about the future. Because lately, everything I have done has been disordered and out of habit and routine. 
Perhaps she is right. 


But for the time being, I really just want to eat more brownies. 


xoxo


Baked Brownies
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito


These are really really really outrageously good. I mean it. SO GOOD. Best Brownies EVAH. Trust me. 


1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 72% cacoa) coarsely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 by 13 inch glass or light colored metal baking pan. 
In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt and cocoa powder together. 
Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a sauce pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water and add the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, the remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be room temperature. 
Add 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey. 
Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate mixture. Using a spatula (NOT a whisk), fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just a bit of the flour mixture is visible. 
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with a few moist crumbs sticking to it. Let the brownies cool completely, then cut them into squares and serve. 
Yeah baby. 

Perfection In Your Mouth Chocolate Chip Cookies




The thing is, every day I feel so endlessly overstimulated by so many people and professors and reading and walks and phone calls and avoidance of homework that I just... Feel empty. A little obliterated actually. I wake up raring to go and collapse into bed at the end of the day, sleep like the dead and then do everything all over again the next day. Don't get me wrong, these days are great. Truly wonderful. I love love love them. 

Also, right now I feel like I should be in a band called SO MANY FEELINGS. 
Because that's how I've been feeling lately: there are just TOO MANY FEELINGS. 


Anyways, to fill this pit of exhaustion and Too Much Feelingness I've been eating a lot of chocolate chip cookies. It's not stress eating because I am always genuinely hungry. That's another thing. I'm never full. 
Anyways, basically the point of all this is to say, I am completely and utterly besotted with these cookies. My roommate is too. We eat eat eat them. We are at the point where we don't even try to rationalize eating them. We just eat them. I had a cookie with breakfast today. It's all part of balanced meal. I try and start my day right. Because these chocolate chip cookies are perfect. And when I say perfect I mean, PERFECT. They are crisp, they are soft, they are sweet, they are salty, they are chocolatey, they are wholesome, they are home.  


Basically, the point of all THIS is to say that these cookies honestly have curative powers or something. Because I always feel better after eating one. Or three. 

xoxo

Perfection In Your Mouth Chocolate Chip Cookies
from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan


P.S. I already wrote about these forever ago, but I've fallen in love with them all over again and I just wanted to remind you how good they are. 



2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped into chips or 2 cups store-bought chips or chunks
1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Whisk together flour, salt and baking soda.
Working with a stand mixer w/paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed for about 1 minute until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until well blended. Beat in vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg goes in. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 portions, mixing only until each addition is incorporated. On low speed mix in chocolate and nuts.
Spoon on tablespoons of dough onto baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches between spoonfuls.
Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 to 12 minutes. Until light brown on edges and golden in center.
Allow cookies to rest for one minute. Then using spatula transfer to cooling rack.