We’d get sick on too many cookies, but ever so much sicker on no cookies at all.

Sinclair Lewis

I always say I am not a cookie baker. What I mean is that my cookie repertoire is not extensive. But what I lack in variety, I have more than made up for in sheer output.There are several love languages, (so I learned in my recent foray into self-help) and mine happens to be baked goods.

I probably have a limited palette where homemade cookies are concerned: I like peanut butter, frosted lemon, Mexican wedding teacakes, the occasional ginger, and of course, the queen of cookies: chocolate chip. Well, queen might be too regal a term. CCC are the workhorse of cookies. They aren’t fluted, frosted, or shaped like elves, but they get the job done.

I don’t feel tempted to duck behind a hedge with a snickerdoodle; where cookies are concerned, I am monogamous. The last couple years I have made hundreds of what my youngest refers to as “Yummy and Temptings,” (she called them that when she was about 25 inches tall, and it stuck). I can make these in my sleep (and as with unbaked cheesecake, I often do).

These aren’t Mrs. Fields’ cookies, (remember those?) but please understand, I have nothing against Mrs. Fields. Those cookies, at least the ones I bought at the mall growing up, were delicious. Chewy cookies are just not my specialty, requiring as they do, greater sugar and precision. I like a dough I can bang together in the Cuisinart with my phone cradled in my shoulder and one hand repotting a plant. From the moment I get a twinkle in my eye regarding an after school snack, to the moment said snack emerges warm from the oven, no more than 30 minutes should elapse.

The chocolate is important here; I like it DARK. I use 72% cacao bars and chop them in the food processor. Chocolate chips are a convenient shape, but the bars are more cost effective. I recently made cookies that took CCCs to another place entirely. I chopped pumpkin seed dark chocolate bark (NOTE:  I did NOT say pumpkin spice, I never say pumpkin spice, and not just because it’s the name of my daughter’s deceased goldfish [may he rest]) and it made these nutty little shavings. I won’t go on and on about them because it makes me sound like a cookie snob (I absolutely AM a cookie snob, my mother was a cookie snob, her mother was a cookie snob…).

A tip: lining cookie sheets with parchment paper and employing a dough scoop revolutionized the business of cookies. These two innovations took me from a person who made cookies on occasion in a desultory fashion, to a one woman cookie baking machine. The uniformity of the cookies produced when you use a scoop is satisfying in the way of all OCD activities.

Just let me say this: I believe that if someone walks into your house and is met with a plate of warm cookies, or even cold cookies, it says: I am glad you are home from school, work, the store, or wherever you blew in from, and these are for you (and if your love language is yard work, then let’s make a deal).

Yummy and Tempting Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cube butter, cold and cubed (I substitute in some coconut oil because I
I love the flavor)
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup white sugar
1 egg, room temperature is desirable
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 to 1.3/4 cups flour (whole wheat pastry is my preference, sometimes mixed with almond flour or Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour)
2 Tablespoon ground flax meal*
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips or a scant 3 ounces chopped chocolate (truly, it’s up to you, but I don’t like to be overwhelmed by chocolate in my cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugars for a couple minutes, then add the egg and extracts. Mix. Combine dry ingredients in separate bowl, whisk together, then add to wet ingredients. Mix until just combined. Add chocolate and mix briefly.

Chill for ten minutes or more (I find all cookie dough easier to work with once it’s cold). Scoop out onto cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.


*I could say the flax meal is optional but don’t turn down the opportunity to claim that your cookies are yummy, tempting AND healthy. You can’t put a price on smugness.



6 thoughts on “Chookies

  1. Mary Kate, this one is particularly fun. I loved reading it and thinking about it. Even though I don’t
    like ccc, I will make these cookies. How could I not?

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