"Those cookies remind me of Grandpa's hands. Like if he had amputated fingers. Why aren't you eating?"
For Father's Day we had a cookout, and it was lovely. I have lived in the rainy, valley-gut of Oregon for my entire life and the weather was perfect -- brief breaks of sun, a thick cloud cover and cool air that carried the smoke away from the open windows. Summer is here, and all three of us, my two sisters and I, are home this summer.
We've kind of hunkered down, as something turns and lowers inside of us, letting us know that it is good to anchor close to home for these three months, to spend time together and laugh, stay up late and eat dinner and lunch out, to branch off in twos and discuss the other, to come together as three and make up again and start the whole thing over again. When September lazes in, living arrangements will change, school will start up, questions that have been put on pause will have to be answered, who knows? But this summer, right now, we are fine just being sisters, together, bitching and laughing and hugging and holding court, watching "Rob and Big" marathons and wandering around dressed for no one, "borrowing" clothing and comparing makeup stashes, making mean comments about each others sunglasses.
The day someone has something negative to say about my vintage Ray-Ban royal blue plastic aviators is the day we have a problem.
The older of my two younger sisters is 21, and is the most fun to watch when she returns. She walks in and her shoulders drop, her chin lifts and she begins to squeak around, looking for food. If people are eating, she edges "bites" off of their plates, drops her mouth and chomps to the quick of your nails, devouring half the sandwich you are holding. She couldn't make it in time (finals and work) for the start of our Father's Day celebration and called, demanding to know the status of the food, wanting to know how much was left of what, and what she had missed. The youngest sister answered, already bored by then, unable and unwilling to recount what we had eaten and what we had saved. There was a tiff.
"No, seriously, she was like...'Well...there were a lot of people here,'. And I was like 'Great. Shut up. You've totally managed to make me love you even more, with that display of kindness.' Champion behavior. Just straight Champ behavior."
Of course there was food left, and when my bird of a sister slunk into the dark house, warm with laughter and amber bottles, she made herself a plate first, before any hugs, before any pointed looks and spilled laughter. But there was plenty of that, too.
These cookies have nothing to do with the above. I made them for something else, and while I thought I was following my standard recipe, it was eleven-thirty at night and I forgot a significant amount of flour. Luckily, they mutated into something just as nice. Like people who try to get you to eat fish from the Willamette, "They're just as good! Extra gills mean extra flavor." If you love a wrinkly, thin and toffee-flavored cookie, you will love this.
T(hin)W(rinkly)C(chewy) Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
2 cups packed light-brown sugar
6 tablespoons granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 cups of AP flour, dip and sweep method
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
2 1/2 cups of mixed chocolate chips or chunks (I used Guittard's semisweet and milk chocolate)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream the butter, brown sugar and white sugar together until fluffy and creamy, around 1-2 minutes. Crack in the eggs one by one, blending until you've got a light-brown, whipped mass. Add the vanilla and almond extracts. Maybe add some hair.
Sift in the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and mix until combined. Fold in the chocolate, and then using a cookie scoop or a tablespoon measure, scoop out rounded balls and place on an ungreased (you could use parchment) light-colored half-sheet pan. I did two rows of three, and that gave them ample room to spread.
Bake for ten minutes, check, and what you should have are wrinkly, golden-brown edges and a little cluster of melty chips in the center. If you don't have that, bake a little longer and check after two more minutes -- if you like a crisp cookie, do the same. But if you don't, and if you were under the impression that you had in fact followed a recipe that had never yielded these results, feel free to pull the pan from the oven and stare at it. Stare at it, wonder why you're not wearing pants, and why you never cared to pay attention in eighth grade French Class, leaving you a singular lingual failure.
After that, carefully use a spatula to shrug the cookies off of the pan, and move to a cooling rack. If you've used parchment, this will be fully easy -- you could even slide the parchment off of the pan and later, peel the cookies off with ease. If you didn't, again. You've failed your family.
Which is the sweetest taste.