Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Breakup

Dear Sugar,

It's been a while now since we broke up, but I can't stop thinking about you. Don't misunderstand, it's not that I want to get back together; I know you're no good for me.

I remember all the reasons I gave when we broke up:

~ You don't make me feel good about myself

~ You were so controlling

~ Sometimes being with you just made me sick to my stomach

~ And, I know this sounds immature, but, you were always more popular than me. When we went anywhere together, you were the one people were interested in. I need to have friends that care more about me than you.

But even though I know we're through and I'm better off without you, the problem is that I can't stop thinking about you and all the good times we shared. Baking together in the kitchen, cozying up together at the end of a meal, and those delicious stolen moments together late at night. I'm constantly reminded of you by all the friends we have in common. And when I'm lonely or bored, I still reach for you, like a phantom limb.

What we've shared was special and magical, but it can't go on. I learned a lot from our time together, and I grew a lot, too (several pant sizes), but I have to put an end to this. I'm seeing others now. I try to fill the void with my new companions, Stevia, date puree, and sometimes I still see my honey. They don't make magic happen like you did, but it's for the best. I've moved on. I won't look back.

Well, maybe just a little. Now and then.

Missing your sweet kisses,

Cookie Baker Lynn

Post Break-Up Cookies
(aka Hazelnut & Milk Chocolate Chunk Cookies)
-adapted from Flour

Just the right balance of tender, chewy, crunchy, and sweet, these are the perfect way to get over a break up. You make the dough one day, and the next day, if there's any dough left, bake up the cookies. Two comfort foods in one.

3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp (1-1/2 sticks plus 1 Tbsp/ 185 gm) unsalted butter, at room temp
2/3 cup (140 gm) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (150 gm) packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1-1/2 cups (210 gm) blanched whole hazelnuts, roasted
2-1/2 cups (370 gm) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp kosher salt
12 oz (340 gm) milk chocolate, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy. Stop the mixer a few times and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.

2- Add the eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until thoroughly combined. Scrape down the bowl again.

3- In a food processor, pulse 1/2 cup (70 gm) of the hazelnuts until ground to a fine powder. Roughly chop the remaining 1 cup (140 gm) hazelnuts. In a medium bowl, stir together the ground and chopped hazelnuts, the flour, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chunks. On low speed, slowly blend the flour mixture into the butter-sugar mixture. Mix just until the flour is totally incorporated.

4- For best results, scrape the dough into an airtight container and let it rest in the refrigerator overnight (or at least 3 to 4 hours) before baking.

5- When you are ready to bake, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 deg.F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

6- Using a medium cookie scoop (about 2 Tbsp) make dough balls and drop them onto the prepared cookie sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand.

7- Bake for 9 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown on the edges and pale and slightly soft in the center. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 to 10 minutes, then transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Store the cookies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. The unbaked dough can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

(As always, the quality of your cookie won't surpass the quality of your ingredients. Make sure your hazelnuts are not stale or rancid and use good quality chocolate. I loved the Guittard I used in these.)


Kaye Syrah said...

Having just given up sugar as well I can relate. Thanks for the giggle!

MommaMindy said...

Yea, breaking up is hard to do. I just keep going back and getting burned....

True confessions, eating candy from Trader Joes while I read your post and feel guilty.

Elizabeth said...

It's good to give a long relationship a second chance.

I love the look of those cookies!

bellini said...

I'm still laughing, patients in the office think I ahave gone insane. Now before you judge I had a few moments so hopped onto my blog (shhhh yes while at work).

kickpleat said...

I've never given serious thought to giving up sugar, but I'm curious about it. Would love to see some great no-sugar cookie recipes! But these look pretty fantastic, regardless.

hobby baker said...

Oh, LOVE your letter. I firmly believe that sugar is the single most addictive non narcotic substance on the planet. I love it and it makes me feel absolutely lousy! I do love hazelnuts though... Maybe if I made some of those cookies and froze all but two, I could control myself? :D

Katrina said...

Great post, Lynn! All the more power to you over those that hold you captive. ;)

grace said...

SO controlling! sugar is equal parts evil and delicious, and that's the sad truth. great post, and great cookies--hazelnuts need more attention!

Barbara said...

It all has to do with moderation Lynn! I've been on the Quick Weight Loss diet for months...when I bake sweets, I just taste and give the rest away to neighbors. It's tough, but ya gotta do it!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Lynn, you're so funny! I feel exactly the same about sugar. And these cookies... Well, I wish I could have a couple of them right now. :)

John Green said...

Best cookies ever, thanks for sharing your receipe

LyB said...

Oh, Lynn, I understand soooo well... I've cut back on sugar and, at the same time unfortunately, baking, and I miss it so much. The few times I have baked lately, I cut back the sugar in recipes, try to make them "healthier" but it isn't the same. I miss the unabashed use of eggs, butter and sugar of the "old days"... It is for the best, but those cookies, they are tempting!!!