I increasingly find myself baking cookies these days. I think because working six days means I have lost my lazy Sundays of baking, and my weeknights are taken up with either frantic knitting to finish projects (I've become newly obsessed, and last week stayed up until 2am and got up at 8am just to finish something in time to wear for work! - more on this in another post...) or crashing out on the sofa trying to keep my eyes open and my cat happy with some cuddles.
As time has become precious, I want quick fixes. I still want to bake and cook, but am aware that the window for doing so is a lot smaller, especially with all the other things that also get missed and need doing in my snatches of time.
Cookies are perfect, you can whip most recipes up in one bowl, and either cook then and there, or rest the dough in the fridge overnight and pop them in the oven the following day.
This is one of the reasons I chose today's cookie. It meant I could whack it all together last night at ten, and get home to ready mixed deliciousness to be formed into balls and baked. Perfect. There is nothing quite like the smell of cookies baking after work, with the late afternoon sun gently dipping across the garden, and a breeze coming in through the open patio doors. It would be completely idyllic if it wasn't for the stack of washing up on the side, the drying clothes on the rack (and still piles of dirty ones loitering in the bedroom) and the mountains of fur that are beginning to taunt me as I'd rather be baking than hoovering!
Cookies are also a great little gift, a nice homemade thing to say thank you. This weekend I shall be sharing them with a lovely girl I work with at my new job. She makes brilliant cups of tea, humours my love of sport, helps with my knitting disasters and is the perfect company on a rainy Sunday afternoon when work is quiet and we are knitting and nattering. She rocks.
Some shall be going to someone else too, who's husband very kindly presented me with a Ottolenghi cookie a few weeks ago, as he didn't want me to miss out. How lovely is that?! I shall pass on a batch for her and the family as a thank you (She's also the wonderful woman who got me the job, there will be a lot of cookies (and the curd I promised) going her way!)
I borrowed the recipe from Nicole, who adapted it from the ever-great David Lebovitz.
I made a few changes, mostly due to necessity than will. I couldn't bare to part with my entire chocolate stash, so only used a scant two cups (200g) and I used only one cup of nuts, pecans, as I didn't have any more. I also sprinkled them ever so lightly with salt to balance the flavour. I won't pass on my version as Nicole and David have already done such a good job and deserve the credit. I have to admit too that I still found these a little disappointing, and I wonder if my changes are the fault (which is the most likely reason frankly). Don't get me wrong, they are a very good cookie (*nods and munches from the background*), but I still feel like I am searching for my "perfect" chocolate chip cookie. Perhaps I should just give in and buy the book so I can give the original a go? And really, I don't mind having to bake a few more cookies in the quest for the perfect one. We're troupers in this flat, we'll do out best to try as many cookies as it takes!