In our society, everyday conversations and expressions no longer carry the emotions, weight, and sincerity they once did. For example, when was the last time, when someone asked you, “How are you,” that you actually told them about how you took the shuttle home because you forgot that you drove to school that day, and thus had to walk the two miles back to get your car, in the process of which it began to pour, and because the narrow sidewalks were so close to the street, each passing-by car created a mini tsunami to wash you away with? (Wait, has this never happened to you before?) Now, when was the last time, when asked, “How are you,” you unthinkingly replied, “Oh, just fine. How are you?” Yeah. I thought so.
Thus, whether someone shares a happy event with me, or unloads a day’s, week’s, or even lifetime’s worth of troubles upon me, as I listen and offer my congratulations or sympathy accordingly, I can’t stop wondering whether or not the conventional phrases of “That’s great!” or “I’m so sorry to hear that” could truly convey the depth of my sincerity to that person. My mother has always told me that actions speak more strongly than words, which is why I use baking to support and fill in those gaps in-between. I love whipping up a cake to celebrate someone’s birthday, or, in this case, a batch of cookies to help a friend through a tough time. I can think of no better way to show that I care than with hugs, listening, and words, all accompanied with buttery, warm, and comforting cookies.
So this weekend, when a really close friend shared her medical school application and personal stresses with me, I gladly became her emotional “trashcan,” as she put it, for the night. Afterwards, as I headed home, I began formulating the type of cookies I was going to whip up for her once I got up the next morning: something with dark brown sugar for richness and warmth, and chocolate for comfort. After a little brainstorming and searching, I found a recipe from which I created these chewy, chocolate chip dark brown sugar cookies.
Using melted butter eliminates the need to wait for the butter to reach room temperature. Simply microwave it for 20 seconds and stir. If not completely melted, zap for another 5 seconds. Be sure not to blast it to the point that the butter separates!
It took a lot of self restraint to stop myself from diving into this irresistible sight with spoon in hand.
A sprinkling of dark brown sugar on top creates a wonderful, crunchy exterior to the cookie after baking.
One of my absolute favorite things about baking? The aroma of butter, sugar, and chocolate that wafts from the oven, permeating the entire apartment. That my friends, is the smell of home.
Not only did these cookies take only about half an hour to make, the combination of the molasses-ey brown sugar with the gooey, melted chocolate chips that studded the cookies makes a wonderfully decadent, comfort cookie. It’s impossible to stop at just one. Not ten minutes after I dropped off these cookies, my friend shot me this text: “Thanks for the cookies! I already ate 3.”
Chewy Chocolate Chip Dark Brown Sugar Cookies – a spin off of Chewy Brown Sugar Cookies from SeriousEats
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar + an additional 1/4 cup for sprinkling
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, mix melted butter, olive oil, and 1 cup of packed dark brown sugar until combined. Stir in egg and vanilla until combined.
3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until well combined. Then gently mix into the wet ingredients with a spatula or wooden spoon until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Drop cookie dough (1 heaping tablespoon each) onto cookie sheets and top with a sprinkle of dark brown sugar. Bake until the edges are just golden, about 9-11 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for about 5 minutes, or until cool enough to handle, before transferring to cooling racks to finish cooling completely (or to be consumed).
-Feel free to substitute light brown sugar in place of the dark brown sugar, or try a combination of the two.
-Have fun with the mix-ins! Dark chocolate chips, various nuts, and/or chopped candies.