Everyone has their painkiller. Some people like to drown their sorrow in liquor. Others like to wallow in self-pity. Then, there are a few who actually enjoy pain and revel in it. I, personally, like to work myself to death and hope it numbs out any other feeling.
I’ve been a bit frustrated and confused the last day or so, and as you may well know, I’m not very good at handling emotions. I have the emotional IQ of a two-year old. So rather than experience human emotion, I consume myself with work. But what kind of work? Well, let’s say that within 17 hours, I have cranked out 2 batches of cookies; swept/mopped/hand-scrubbed/towel-dried my kitchen floor that hasn’t seen a sponge or tasted Pinesol in God knows how long; vacuumed the carpet; Windexed every single glass surface in the apartment; printed/cut/collaged a bunch of pictures for my wall; revised and edited some 25 pages of my paper; rearranged my cabinets – all this and I’m still going despite it nearing 4am. I am deadly efficient when I am frustrated. How? Well, I recently discovered McD’s iced coffees – amazing if you ask me. The $1.89 deal for a 16 oz. Hazelnut is keeping me on my toes, and I am still planning on attacking both bathrooms once I finish this entry. Call me crazy, but working beats a hangover or depression or unwanted bruises. Instead, I get a citrus smelling kitchen, no lab work for a few days, and a nice cookie to munch on while I watch Michael Phelps take a dive. It’s perfect, wouldn’t you say? Well, almost…
This is my go-to recipe for cookies that wow and impress time and time again. I call it an ‘adult’ chocolate chip cookie, as the bold coffee couples so well with the studded white chocolate chips – a study in contrast I might say. The cookie itself is sweet with a subtle bitterness from the coffee, but the white chocolate chips offset that, giving it an overall pleasant sweetness. I like these soft and chewy, but they can definitely be baked for a bit longer for a crisper, coffee/milk dunking sort of cookie if that is more your cup of tea. Actually, because of the women’s quadruple sculling, a few sheets did come out on the crisper side. Oops. All my changes are shown in [brackets] below.
Cooling on the rack after baking.
1 cup chopped pecans (lightly toasted, optional) [substituted walnuts, both work well]
1-1/2 tbs instant coffee granules
1 tbs hot water
1 cup unsalted butter, [softened]
2/3 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup white sugar
2-1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1-1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt [omitted]
1 cup mini chocolate chips [3/4 cup white chocolate chips]
Preheat oven to 350*F.
Stir together coffee and hot water in small bowl. Set aside.
Cream butter and both sugars until fluffy. Add the egg, vanilla and coffee mixture. Combine well. In a separate bowl, measure & combine flour, baking soda and salt. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop by the spoonful (I used 3/4 of a tablespoon), leaving about an inch in between each dough ball. Bake until golden brown for about 9 minutes if you want soft, fall apart in your mouth cookies or 12 minutes for dunking cookies.
Bake or Break’s Favorite Chocolate Chip Cookies
I always love to try different Chocolate Chip Cookie recipes. This one looked good as it had oatmeal and nuts – fabulous texture. However, upon making these, I realized that these were too delicate. As in, they fell apart before making it to my mouth. They also expand quite a bit, and so after the first baking sheet in the oven, I realized that I needed very large drops of dough to produce a decent thickness of cookie. I hope that made sense. Even so, the flavors were fabulous. Just keep in mind that your dough drops need to be large.
Stirring in nuts to the dough mixture.
Dropping the dough by the ball-full.
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 & 1/2 cups uncooked regular oats [I used old-fashioned]
1 & 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
4 ounces milk chocolate candy bar, coarsely chopped [omitted]
1 cup chopped pecans [substituted walnuts]
Preheat oven to 375°. Cream butter and gradually add sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Gradually mix into butter mixture and combine well.
With a food processor, finely (or coarsely if you want more texture) ground oats. Stir into butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips ad nuts. Drop generous tablespoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake until golden brown or about 10 minutes. Allow to cool on sheet before removing to rack to cool completely.
So like I said, deadly efficient and productive when I am frustrated. I bury myself in work to avoid having to deal with feelings and complicated emotions. Yes, I am avoiding the subject at hand, but I just need to buy some time – and I can’t think of a more fruitful way of buying time to think and reflect and introspect a bit. Unfortunately, the flesh is weak and I will shut down at some point – and the feelings will surge forth like a breaking dam. Can I still avoid dealing with those emotions?
God-willing, I will still be on my caffeine rush and the next few days will be occupied with a recipe on Vietnamese Banh Xeo, or a savory turmeric flavored crepe filled with meat and veggies. I don’t think there will be a Family Dinner this week as Andrea has left for Portland (it breaks my heart a little) and I am too preoccupied. Thank you all for reading and checking out the site, I had something like 2000 visitors in the last couple of days. If you don’t hear from me any time soon, just know that I am still burying myself beneath a mountain of work and still learning to cope with newly felt emotions. Until soon and happy cooking!