Thursday, December 27, 2018

chocolate molasses cookies + my best books of 2018 + a quick year in review.

I could do a year-end review in addition to giving you a stellar cookie recipe and my list of favorite books of 2018 but I'm not sure I remember all that much of this year.  I think whirl-wind doesn't even begin to describe 2018.  But in a year filled with never ending (terrible) news-cycles some happy moments stick out.   Paris with my sister (and eating the most unreal pistachio snail in the Parisian sun).  Tyler throwing me a surprise Birthday picnic with some of my favorite people.  Drinking wine and listening to music outdoors in New Orleans (and then stumbling across a High School marching band performing in the streets).  Endless beach trips with Tyler and Jackson (my favorite being the one where we ate pizza on a blanket and watched the sun set).   Throwing more dinner parties, brunches, and Sunday afternoon chessesteak parties.   An epic Southwest road-trip with my favorite road trip partner.   Eating oysters outdoors (and indoors) in Portland, Maine.  The first strawberry I ate after the winter that felt like the longest winter of all time.   A really super wonderful 4 days with friends in Massachusetts.   Picnics in Brooklyn.  Watching friends get engaged.   Eating my body weight in cherries.  Registering voters in the pouring rain with one of best friends (and eating pizza after).  Sitting by myself on a stoop Labor Day weekend people watching and eating a slice of NYC pizza before meeting Tyler for dinner (there was a lot of good pizza this year). Buying myself really amazing gold earrings for my Birthday.  Finally feeling somewhat more comfortable with who I am and the life choices I've made.  

I'm off work for the next couple of days and will be cooking (a lot!) in preparation for the multi-course NYE dinner party we are hosting.  But in between I will be reading and eating molasses cookies.    I read a lot of great books this year and if you are looking for something to read over the holidays, I'm here with suggestions!  Additionally, these cookies are great.  REALLY GREAT.  They are an adults cookie with the combination of ginger and cocoa powder and the texture is awesome.  They also come together in like 10 minutes which makes them ideal if you are looking for a cookie to bring to a last minute soiree (or a cookie to eat with tea while you spend 5 hours watching the Great British Bake-Off).      

5 Best Books of 2018 

1 - The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai - I can't remember the last time I loved a book the way I loved this one.  I had to wait 4 months to get it from the library but it was totally worth it.  Alternating chapters set-in 1980's Chicago during the AID's epidemic and present-day Paris.   It's a story about love, loss, and friendship and it's so beautiful.

2 - Bad Blood by John Carreyrou - The full inside story of Elizabeth Holmes and her founding of Thernos the multi-billion dollar biotech start-up.  It's a really fascinating look at how so many people drink the kool-aid when it comes to the latest it company in Silcon Valley.  Also she sounds like a serial killer.  

3 - The Leavers by Lisa Ko - The story of an immigrant mother who is forced to put her child up for adoption.   It's written from a number of different characters perspectives.  It's beautifully written, moving, and it feels especially poignant this day in age.   

4 - American Prison by Shane Bauer - A journalist who goes becomes a prison guard in an effort to get an inside look at how the prison system works.  Sheds light on how a system few people know much about works on the inside.   

5 - Normal People by Sally Roony - Not yet out in the US (I ordered it from a UK book publisher). Takes place over a 10 year period, and it looks at how unexplainable forces always seem to draw these two people together.   

Chocolate-Molasses Cookies
Recipe from the NYTimes 

I was out of butter and used coconut oil for these and I feel like this was a really great choice.  

½  cup/115 grams unsalted butter (1 stick) or coconut oil
1  tablespoon freshly grated ginger (optional)
1 ½  cups/190 grams all-purpose flour
½  cup/45 grams cocoa powder
2  teaspoons baking soda
1  teaspoon ground cinnamon
1  teaspoon ground ginger
1  teaspoon kosher salt
⅓  cup/65 grams granulated sugar
½  cup/120 milliliters molasses
1  large egg
 Sanding, Demerara or granulated sugar, for decoration 

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Melt butter  or coconut  oil in a small pot over medium heat and add ginger, if using. Remove from heat and let sit a few minutes while you prepare everything else.

In a large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ground ginger and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, molasses, egg and ginger butter. Using a spatula, slowly mix into dry ingredients, mixing until no dry spots remain.

Using your hands, roll small balls of dough about the size of a quarter (dough will be soft — if it is too soft for you to handle, pop into the fridge for a few minutes to firm up). Roll the balls in the sanding sugar and place on the prepared baking sheets about 1-inch apart.

Bake until just puffed and baked through, 6 to 8 minutes. Let cool completely before eating.

No comments:

Post a Comment