Thursday, March 25, 2010

Baking with beau!

Hello food lovers--

Last night, I did something I hadn't done in a long time--bake! I rarely bake for a couple reasons. One is that I started cooking because it was required. In college, I needed to feed myself and cooking was the cheapest way. Baking, though, isn't really required. I don't need cookies or cakes or pies. Another reason why I rarely bake is that you can't usually "wing it" or not follow a recipe or directions, which is what I tend to do when I cook. Many of my cooking skills have been learned through experimenting, not something you can really do with baking.

But some time ago, Jeremy suggested that we bake chocolate chip cookies together. Now, something you all need to know is that Jeremy was born without a sweet-tooth. In fact, he's basically a salt-tooth. Not only does he prefer the savory to sweet, he will shun any dessert offered and instead go through a gallon of soy sauce. Seriously, here is a photo of our respective desserts on Valentine's Day:

But Jeremy can go for a good chocolate chip cookie now and then, so I was happy that we could make and enjoy one dessert-type food together. Plus, I kinda love doing anything with Jer Bear, even if chocolate or cookies aren't involved. :)

Anyway, back to the baking. I tried to find the most basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, since I'm bad at following too many directions. I ended up using this recipe from (minus the nuts):

Instead of white sugar, I used only brown sugar. And when I realized that the recipe made about 4 dozen cookies, I decided to halve it. (Jeremy and I don't quite need 48 cookies.) I also didn't have a measuring cup or measuring spoons. I know this is blasphemy when it comes to baking (another reason why I hardly bake), but I decided to just be as standard as I could by using the same small mug to measure cups and two different size spoons to measure teaspoons and tablespoons.

I started off by softening the butter in the microwave and then creaming it with the brown sugar. (I actually had to look up what "creaming" is exactly.) I was proud of myself that I managed to do it the old fashioned way with a wooden spoon.

No electric mixers here!

Then I beat in the egg and vanilla extract. I separately mixed the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Then Jeremy used his manpower to stir these dry ingredients into the mixture, plus the chocolate chips. After that, we rolled the dough into balls and put them in well butter-greased pans.

Here's one pan. We had three pans, for a total of 18 cookies. The recipe calls for baking it at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. However, our cookies ended up needing about 12-14 minutes. I found that the cookies baked more quickly in our medal pan (rather than the sheet pan shown here), and those need no more than 10 minutes.

Here are all of the cookies cooling on a plate (no cooling rack needed either!).

We didn't have milk on hand, but the cookies were still delicious with a cup of lemon rose tea. I thought they were so good and I was a little bit proud of us. ;) They were great to have after a spicy Indian dinner, and they were rich enough that I only needed two. Mr. Salt Tooth ended up eating six cookies! I thought that was quite the sign of success.

Now, I have to get all mushy and dedicate this post to Jeremy. Even though he doesn't have a sweet tooth, he is one of the sweetest people I know. When we began dating, "sweet" was the word that summed him up. I know this is a public forum, but I will admit that we have had some hard times lately and have had to deal with pressures and difficult decisions. Sometimes I haven't been the sweetest person myself. However, every day I look forward to making dinner with Jeremy. It's always the highlight of my night, even when I'm tired and don't feel like cooking or cleaning. One thing I love about Jeremy is that we've grown to be each other's sous-chef. He's never left me to do the cooking and cleaning just because I'm a female. He's always been a willing participant (even when he's tired too). Although he's mentioned before that I taught him how to cook, the truth is that we've both taught each other through experimenting together. (He officially makes the best potatoes!) I love our routine of having dinner together throughout the week (we're sort of homebodies I might add), but I also love doing any little new thing with Jeremy too. Baking chocolate chip cookies was something new, and now it's a sweet memory I can cherish (yes, I'm going to keep punning on "sweet"). I know that when he goes to law school and I to graduate school, we won't necessarily have our dinners together. But I know we'll find a way to start new traditions and there will be different things I look forward to doing, besides simply making dinner. But for now, I can take comfort in the fact that I'll at least be able to mail him a care package of chocolate chip goodness. (I know you'll need the sugar rush in law school, my love!)

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