11.09.2010

Have a cookie

Some people debate the end of the world. Others worry about the state of our economy.

I, on the other hand? I think I'll have another cookie.


At least for now. Tomorow begs for seriousness. As for tonight: hold on to your hats, folks and frolickers, and consider the last time you ate a really good cookie. What was it?

When the living wears you thin, sometimes there's nothing else to do but sigh, listen to Michael Franti's "Sound of Sunshine" (or what have you) and hope for the best. This sometimes works. You could always try holding a costume party ala Elton John. That could get interesting. Or you could bake a batch of these gems, crispy yet tender, some sort of chip-cookie mutation gone oddly... right.

I'm not much of a cookie person, really. Actually, I should rephrase that. I wasn't much of a cookie person. But these cookies? They're the sexiest of the sexy cookies. While I still can't put back an entire batch by my lonesome, I do have officemates. Fortunately for me, people are generally quite receptive to homemade cookies, and -- you can quote me on this -- no such cookie will go to waste on my watch. That's a promise I can uphold, and I take my promises very, very seriously indeed. Especially concerning items of the chocolate variety. 

Most of the time, I live on pretty simple fare. An egg here, some rice noodles here. Cooking for more than one, in my experience, is both a tiresome responsibility and a luxury, a fuse lit equally with obligation and joy. But cooking for one leaves enough to be desired as you find yourself plowing through another night's worth of leftovers or in the dark at 8pm, contemplating whether air-popped popcorn counts as dinner if you drizzle olive oil on it and eat a bowl of lettuce on the side. Suffice to say, I appreciate that I'm now able to dabble on the sweet side whenever I fancy, to turn over a cookie here or a tart there and place them oh-so-innocently on the kitchen counter of my office. It's a way to experiment without feeling bogged down, to try something new without committing to an entire batch. It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

I first made these cookies on a cool night in Florida. Yes -- Northern Florida does cool off significantly, contrary to popular opinion. My good friend Kim was on her way over for dinner. The menu sounded reasonable enough: chicken with lemon and roasted garlic, quinoa salad with a tahini dressing, vegetables, wine. For dessert, I opted to make something other than my standard 3-ingredient peanut butter cookies and stumbled on these. I wasn't sure what to think initially. Everyone in the blogosphere raved about them, these alleged chocolate puddle cookies, but they looked pretty generic to me.

After the first batch had cooled, I popped one in my mouth. Let's just say I have been eating my thoughts (and the damn cookies) ever since. It was an epic fail of a dinner that evening; my chicken, a cheap thing from Winn-Dixie, disappointed. I refer to it as the strangest bird I've ever cooked, because it sat in the oven for almost two hours and yet was still undercooked. Odd. (And no, there was nothing wrong with the oven.)

The quinoa salad was a flop, and so baked potatoes were served (always good).

The vegetables, well. There's not much to say about them.

But that night, we watched Olympic figure skating, drank some wine, ate some cheese, and devoured these cookies. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say the cookies saved the day. After all, Kim is still my friend -- this is saying a lot considering I tried to poison the girl with bad poultry. She's a good sport. She also has fantastic taste in cheese (and food), and it's been my experience that these types of people are both rare and good to keep around. Especially in the event they insist on leaving Brie at your place.

I didn't have walnuts or cocoa nibs on hand during that initial batch, and I have to say, these things change a cookie. They turn a pretty damn good cookie into a pretty damn great cookie, as a matter of fact. My favourite variation of this recipe is Molly Wizenberg's, unsurprisingly, mostly because it incorporates cocoa nibs (always good) and secondly because the yield is on the smaller side as far as cookies go. Which you may or may not like, depending on whether you find yourself back in the kitchen baking up another batch within days because someone has gone and eaten them all. This is known to happen; don't say you weren't warned.

So if you find yourself alone in your kitchen on a Monday night, feeling a little down without reason, anxious to hold future dinner parties, anxious for the future, anxious for the end of the world, have a cookie.

And make it a pretty damn great one: a cookie you can sink your teeth into, that you can chew on, that coats your mouth with cocoa, that leaves you happier with every bite.

Check out Molly's recipe here.

2 comments:

Samantha Angela said...

I need to be able to make a big batch, since half of the dough goes eaten before it gets baked anyway.
I've seen a few variations of the puddle cookies but never got around to baking them. Maybe I could try them for my 12 Weeks of Christmas Cookies.

S. said...

Oh my goodness, so good! They're taste really intensely of chocolate. Brought some to work and the girls loved them/hated me.

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