Last week I was in the kitchen a lot.
A relative of mine was in the hospital and I took it harder than expected. I've grown up with everyone being relatively healthy. At 21 years old I still have four healthy grandparents and minimum health problems with everyone else. Theoretically, I knew there would be a time when someone got sick, but these last 21 years told me, "Not yet." I still had time.
My relative did leave the hospital and is now recovering at home. I get more time. But the incident reminded me of just how quickly and abruptly time can be taken away. We don't live forever-we can't-and it made me recognize that I have to cherish every moment that I have with the ones I love.
Baking got me through last week. I find something calming in the routine tedium of measuring flour, sugar, baking powder. I like the manual labor of combining all of the ingredients with a well-used wooden spoon. It takes my mind off of everything else.
I baked these cookies for my relative and her husband, and they were a hit. While she couldn't eat them in the hospital, she did call me after she was discharged and said they were wonderful.
On a lighter note, I made them only about two hours before leaving for the hospital without realizing the dough had to be chilled. After a chorus of swear words, I plopped the dough in the freezer for a bit and then just added a few minutes to the oven time. Crisis averted.
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
9 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Combine the flour and baking soda in a medium bowl. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter. Mix in the cocoa and let cool.
Once the butter-cocoa mixture is cooled, add the sugar, eggs, vanilla, and combine with either a whisk or electric mixer. Beat in the flour mixture.
Chill dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour. Or put in the freezer and say several prayers.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Take out the chilled dough and pull off walnut-sized pieces, forming into balls. Roll the balls around in sugar and then place on cookie sheet. Make sure there is 2 inches between all the cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cookies are firm to touch. The top should look crinkled. Cool completely on wire wracks.
Source: The Best Bake Sale Cookbook