Controlling the Cookie Monster

by Lisa Rosen on October 1, 2010

Not much cooking going on around here lately.  We’re fully back into the swing of the school year, which means someone is off in a direction every evening.  Lee and I are both preoccupied with marathon training (while I enjoy a good 20-miler as much as the next guy, I don’t really feel the urge to stand on my feet cooking afterward).  And I’m deep in the throes of starting my second novel.

I wrote the first one by the seat of my pants–I sat down at my computer one day, and started writing, beginning with page one.  It took, um, forever, mainly because I was sort of making it up/figuring it out as I went along.  This time, I’m trying to be more organized.  I’m–gasp–writing an outline.  This is counterintuitive for me, but I think it will ultimately a) make the writing go faster, and b) result in a much stronger novel.  So I’m forcing myself to drill down through all the layers of the outline, and sort out the plot details at the front end, instead of getting to page 150 and scratching my head and wondering what’s going to happen next.

All of which is just a long-winded way of saying I can’t be bothered to cook.  All my bandwidth is occupied at the moment; there’s no excess available for figuring out what’s for dinner.

There is, however, one important exception:  I always have room (in my head and my stomach) for chocolate chip cookies.  I am, as I pointed out, marathon training, and I know from experience that I require the promise of a little bit of something sweet to get me out the door for a long run.*

So here’s what I do.  Once a week or so, in the evening, when my brain is tired and finished for the day anyway, I mix up a batch of chocolate cookie dough.  Lately I’ve been obsessed with David Lebovitz’s recipe that uses salted butter.  It’s here.

The recipe calls for an overnight rest in the refrigerator (which I’ve come to believe is essential for a really good chocolate chip cookie), so I stick it in the fridge and go to bed.  The photo above is actually a half-batch, which is what I often make, to avoid a surfeit of cookies all at once.

The next day, I scoop out the dough into balls, and then I have a choice:  I can bake them all right now.  I can bake one, or 3, or however many I think the offspring are going to eat today.  Then I can put the rest in a ziploc bag in the freezer.  Or I can freeze them all.

Or, I can just leave the dough in the fridge, unscooped, and pick at it over several days.  I happen to think raw cookie dough is better than baked anyway. (Yes, I eat raw cookie dough.  With real eggs.  I also know where my eggs came from, and I have a strong immune system.  It’s a risk I’m willing to take.  I would not, however, eat raw eggs from a factory farm, or eat raw cookie dough that I didn’t made myself.)

*Oddly, I don’t actually want sweets after a long run, but for some reason, promising myself, before hand, that I can have whatever I want after is enough motivation to get me going.  Then when I get home, all I really want is cheese.  Random, I know.

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