5.19.2011

waiting . . . ever so impatiently

My sister is about to have a baby.


Any day now - any hour now - I should be getting The Call.

Not the call that the baby is here, come and visit. That's the call that most people wait for, and get.

But I'm waiting for the call telling me the baby is coming now and I'd better get myself to her house pronto. I'm waiting to be called into action.

My sister is having a home birth, and I am lucky to be part of her birthing team. This is fairly normal stuff in my family. As a child, I attended the home births of both my sisters, decades ago. Kalen and Wylie were both born at home, in this house that has become so precious to me largely because of that fact. And I was there when my sister had her first child, my lovely, incredible niece. This should feel old hat to me.

It doesn't. I am prickly with anticipation, jumping each time the phone rings, feeling let down each time it is not The Call. I go to bed slightly more anxious every night, my cell phone on the nightstand next to me, obsessively checking one last time that it's on and charged and will not fail to rouse me with the middle-of-the-night jangle I am convinced is coming tonight. Every conversation I have with Josh, regardless of the topic, contains some variant of, "Well, if she has the baby today . . ." I can't stop thinking about this new person, this perfect unique child whose entrance into this world I will experience. My family, growing.

And I am not even the one having the baby.

 

All this waiting and eager anticipation has its benefits. I'm keeping the house quite clean, assuming that I'll be leaving at any moment and not wanting to saddle Josh with lots of chores. And I've been stocking up on baked goods to bring to the birth - one of the midwives is gluten-free, so I'm taking responsibility for ensuring she's got snacks to keep her energy up. Multi-grain rolls and cereal muffins are ready to go, and I think I'll be bringing some of the extra dough for these double chocolate chip cookies. Because couldn't everyone use some rich, intense chocolate goodness during those first dreamy post-birth hours?

I made a big batch of this cookie dough today, partly to have something to direct my nervous energy towards, and also because I thought having cookie dough to bake off might be a fun activity for Josh and the boys to do while I'm gone. (Assuming that this baby comes in the next day or so, anyway, while there's still some dough left!) Like I said, I'm stocking up on baked goods.

I've been all about intense, dark chocolate lately, and these cookies are no exception. With so much Dutched cocoa powder in them they're almost black, they have the depth of chocolate flavor I've been craving without a tooth-aching sweetness. Over-sized semi-sweet chocolate chips are a nice contrast to the dark chocolate crumb, and a scattering of kosher salt lends a suggestion of sophistication and refinement. They are equal parts crispy and chewy, and utterly addictive.

They are, hands down, my new - and quite possibly forever - favorite cookie.

Thanks, Baby - you're already bringing good things to my life. I can't wait to thank you in person, while I nuzzle your sweet cheeks and cup your tiny, precious feet in my hand. The sooner the better.

{Update: I got The Call! Well, actually, it was The Text. Technology these days. Anyway, I'm off!}


Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
yields 2 to 5 dozen, depending on size

390 grams Tara's gluten-free all-purpose flour mix
90 grams Dutch-process cocoa powder (I highly recommend substituting 20 grams with black cocoa powder, if you have access to it)
2 tsp xanthan gum (optional, but definitely advisable if you use a gf flour mix that is less than 65% whole grain)
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
284 grams unsalted butter, room temperature
284 grams light brown sugar
227 grams granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla
340 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips
kosher salt, for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line two baking pans with silpats or parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum (optional), baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk thoroughly. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and two sugars. Mix on medium speed until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing on medium and scraping down the bowl between additions. Mix in the vanilla.

Add the flour mixture in 3-4 additions, mixing on low speed until just combined, and scraping down the bowl as needed.

Add the chocolate chips, and mix on low just until they are evenly distributed. (At this point, the dough may be refrigerated for up to two days, baking off when needed. Alternately, you can freeze the dough, scooped into balls, for up to three months. Thaw overnight before baking.)

Scoop the cookie dough onto your prepared baking pans. Depending on the size cookie you decide to make, you should be able to fit anywhere from five to 12 cookies on each pan. Lightly press down on the balls with the palm of your hand to flatten them, and sprinkle the surface with kosher salt.

Bake for 12-20 minutes (shorter time for smaller cookies, longer for larger ones), or until the edges of the cookies are firm, but the centers are still soft and indent when you gently touch them. (With cookies this dark, the color is not an indicator of doneness.) Cool on the pan just until the cookies have firmed up enough to safely transport them to a wire rack, about 3 minutes. Finish cooling on the rack.

Cookies are phenomenal warm, but will still taste incredible at room temperature. They keep, wrapped airtight at room temperature, for up to three days.

5 comments:

  1. These cookies are super yummy! You can't go wrong with dark chocolate with a dash of salt on top.

    Thank you so much for sharing with me! I have to admit that I didn't share the cookie you sent home with me. Luckily for Levi, Josh baked some more off when he was at your house yesterday.

    You are both so thoughtful. I feel so blessed to have such good friends who care for my little boy and so easily share your lovingly made goodies!

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  2. Sammy - Aw, thanks! I'm glad you liked the cookie. And I think all the time about how lucky we are to have your family in our lives. For the kids to have a home away from home right around the corner, where they feel comfortable and loved, is an amazing way to grow up. And for me to have a close friend who I can connect with on so many levels is very, very precious to me. Thank you.

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  3. Wow, those look really really yummy.

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  4. Joy - Thank you! I froze some of the dough, and every day it's a fight of willpower to resist pulling it out and baking it off. They are so, so good.

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  5. These worked really well. I rolled the tops in almond flour before baking and they look real nice!

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