My lemon tree hasn't shown any signs of bearing fruit yet. I could worry, but I think instead I'll have faith that somewhere beneath those glossy green leaves, it's biding its time. There will be citrus: bright and cheerful. There will be Meyer lemon cake, and ribbons of tart lemon curd folded into whipped cream and frozen until cold and creamy. There will be lemon vodka cocktails. I'm letting myself be patient. I'm learning to sit with the in-between times, to let go of all or nothing all the time.
I'm listening to "mixed signals" by Ruth B. I'm reading this beautifully difficult post over and over again. When I feel off-kilter, I am going to repeat this quietly to myself: "Stop trying to fix yourself and start trying to take care of yourself…and maybe find that taking care lovingly attends to a lot of the problems you were trying to fix in the first place." I am going to keep choosing to take care of myself the way I'd want someone I love to take care of themself.
Today was warm and sunny, a surprising departure from the damp chill of the past week. I stood on the street corner, face upturned to the sky, feeling uplifted. I didn't cook anything today (unless popping a bottle of Primaterra prosecco counts in which case, PAT ON THE BACK TO ME). I did, however, make a batch of brown butter chocolate chip cookie dough.
I didn't bake the cookies, but instead I scooped the dough out (using my favorite cookie scoop, get one! I love it!) onto a parchment-lined sheet and froze the dough balls until firm (it takes a few hours). Then I transferred the cookie dough balls into a large Ziplock bag, and stashed them in the freezer.
I'm getting sleepy, and I'm increasingly eager to be home with my sisters who are already all together, kissing each other and laughing and eating biscotti at the oversized table in our kitchen. The sooner I go to bed, the sooner it'll be Wednesday, then Thursday. "Can't Help Falling in Love" comes on my Pandora station, and I walk to my bookshelf to pull my new book down. Earlier this week, I wandered into Barnes & Noble and allowed myself to pick out two items (this is a fun treat). After careful consideration, I chose Alison Roman's new cookbook "Dining In" and the first installment of a children's fantasy series called "The Mysterious Benedict Society". I select the latter to start in bed.
It's just me tonight in the apartment, and it feels quiet and lonely. The book will transport me to somewhere new, a world altogether unlike this one, and I know I'll fight my drowsy, heavy eyelids to try and read another page before I fall asleep.
You're probably busy this week making Thanksgiving dinner, or helping with dinner, or prepping a batch of rolls or a pie to take to whatever cozy, packed household where you’re spending the holiday. But if you have 10 spare minutes, make this cookie dough. Freeze it, and eat it unbaked straight from the freezer. It's delicious and crammed with chocolate and just the thing to end the day on a sweet note. Or, bring a bag of the frozen dough balls to whomever is hosting Thanksgiving dinner in your family, and stash it in their freezer as a thank you. They'll be endlessly grateful!
The Best Cookie Dough to Freeze
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
scant 3/4 cup (200 grams) dark brown sugar, loosely packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons molasses
scant 1/2 cup (99 grams) granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
2 1/4 (269 grams) cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped bittersweet 70% chocolate
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
In a small saucepan (ideally with a light-colored interior), melt 1 stick (1/2 cup) of butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted and is foaming, swirl it around pretty constantly. Continue to cook and swirl. The foaming will subside and the butter will start to brown, getting flecks throughout it. Cook for about 2 minutes until it smells fragrant and nutty and has lots of brown flecks.
Pour the browned butter into a bowl and set it aside to cool.
In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream the rest of the butter with the brown sugar until very light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add the vanilla and molasses and mix. Pour in the granulated sugar and the cooled brown butter and beat until very light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl, at least 3 minutes.
Add the egg and egg yolk and mix well.
Add the flour, salt, and baking soda and beat on low speed until everything comes together, but don't overmix. Using a spatula, fold in the chocolate and nuts.
Scoop spoonfuls of dough (use a large cookie scoop or ice cream scoop) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. prinkle the tops of the dough generously with flaky sea salt.
Freeze until firm, then transfer to a plastic bag and freeze. Snack on them whenever you're hungry!
**If you want to bake them (who are you?!), just bake for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden brown on the edges.