Secret cookies.

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Thank you, Daddy, for your marvelous photography.

Today I needed chocolate surrounded by a cookie. Yes, “need” is relative, but because I know the joys and comforts of a warm chocolate chip cookie made with our family’s secret (soon to be not-so-secret) twist on the Toll House recipe, I needed the cookie.

Every time I make this cookie recipe, which I now know by heart, I think of being just taller than the countertop, over which I now tower. The sweet, floury smell of the dough brings me right back to my childhood, right back to baking with my mom.

Oh, that time when I started the mixer while she was on the phone… without having it in the dough. It sprayed all over the kitchen. Yes, that was part of the beginning of my baking career.

I remember her asking me, “Do you remember the secret recipe?”, and my reply would be “Real butter, extra vanilla.”

Real butter, extra vanilla. The mantra still goes through my head each time I add these.

Real butter. Extra vanilla. Mmmmm.

To this day, I don’t know what the recipe would be like with margarine or no vanilla. We’ve learned that a quarter cup extra of flour helps, too. I’m just unwilling to try the recipe as its written because the way we make these cookies…. oh, you really can’t eat just one.

We used the hand mixer because our Kitchenaid stand mixer was an unthought of luxury in the far-off future at that point.  So after mixing up everything but the chocolate chips, my mom would get as much of the dough off the beaters as she could with the rubber scraper, then hand them to me to lick (salmonella, schpalmonella). Something about cookie dough pre-chemical reaction is so tasty.

Or maybe I’m just conditioned to like it. Either way, that slightly salty, sweet dough is so good. I have to remind myself to wait for the real cookies.

These are some of the things that I want to pass on to another child. Maybe mine, maybe Brooke’s. Maybe someone else’s. I want to share the love of putting ingredients in a bowl and mixing them up and creating something that none of them could become on their own.

Okay, one more cookie.

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