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Two Writing Teachers
In high school I worked at Mrs. Fields Cookies. I could only drop the cookie dough on to the cookie sheets when someone older than 18 mixed the dough (out of secret recipe bags). I excelled at shaping the nicest chocolate chip cookies that weighed nearly a ton.
I married my husband in 1990 and my cookie baking skills were intact. We learned that he was the head chef and I was in charge of baking. My repertoire included chocolate crinkles, banana bread, sugar cookies, pumpkin pies and chocolate mousse. Our kitchen times were fun and relaxing.
The girls were born in 1996 and 1998. Not much time for baking then, but a plate of chocolate chip cookies could still be found in the container on the counter every now and then.
When the girls turned 4 and 2, I gave them aprons and kitchen tools on Christmas Eve. Our yearly tradition of baking for the neighbors began.
Two years after my Granny Pat passed away, we were missing the taste of her chrusciki (fried dough). I figured out how to make this fluffy, golden fried dough just like she did. That's the year my chocolate cookies started coming out flat, greasy and half-baked.
What happened? We don't know! My oldest can actually remember when the cookies went "bad." Sure, they tasted great, but their consistency was less than desirable.
I tried different recipes. I tried adding more flour. I changed the settings on our convection oven.
Last night I decided to try again. I took my time. I followed each measurement and step precisely. I completely creamed the butter and sugar - longer than I ever have. When the cookies came out, they weren't half baked. They weren't too flat. They could be fluffier, but I have to start somewhere!
Success - even a little - is sweet!