By now it should not come as a surprise that I love to wax lyrical over my food. So, when Yasmin came up with the idea of sharing epicurean quotes in non-food focused literature, I was more than thrilled to unravel hidden treasures in the book I was reading, secretly wishing that a food quote would clumsily fall into my lap as I flipped through the pages.
The morning went by. The white lace curtains by the bedside danced with every tickle of the passing breeze. My journey into the world of symbiotic prose awakened by the shrill giggles of gossiping domestic helpers at the carpark, I realised that I had been subconsciously looking for something that may not even be there. I felt almost guilty that my thoughts had strayed from the dream Murakami had painted before me. I went down immediately, and sat the afternoon away by the oven working the guilt off.
I don’t believe guilt had ever manifested itself more sweetly than this.
I pictured a quaint tea party of sorts in the late afternoon by the favourite corner in my room. In my party, there will be none of the buttery scone pieces waiting alongside the jar of homemade lemon spread, nor will there be the fluffiest tart blueberry crumb cake slices served on expensive white china. Instead, the table will be laden with a tray of freshly-baked chewy cookies larger than the size of your palm, each one oozing with large chunks of semi-sweet chocolate (no no, chocolate chips are much too tiny for my party).
As I took the first bite, I went back to my book, and there it was, my long-awaited guest, making itself comfortable by the extra plate I’ve set aside.
‘You know, eating’s much more important than most people think. There comes a time in your life when you’ve just got to have something super-delicious. And when you’re standing at that crossroads your whole life can change, depending on which one you go into — the good restaurant or the awful one. It’s like — do you fall on this side of the fence, or the other side.’
– Haruki Murakami, ‘Crabs’ in Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
And with that single bite (plus this morning’s sms from the sister saying that the cookies were a hit, and they’re gone), I knew that I made the right decision with these super-delicious cookies.
Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies
(adapted from here)
1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot water
2 cups coarsely-chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips, if you prefer)
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Cream the butter and sugars together. Add in eggs one at a time with the vanilla extract.
- Dissolve the baking soda in hot water, and add to the batter.
- Stir in flour and cream of tartar, and chocolate chunks.
- Drop large spoonfuls onto baking sheet, and bake for about 10-15mins, until the cookies are golden brown.
Recipe Tip #1: Don’t scoop your flour out of the bottle, instead spoon the flour into the cup, and level the top off with a knife.
Recipe Tip #2: If you don’t want them to be puffy and cake-like, just make smaller balls and flatten them slightly in the middle before going into the oven.