Submitted by OWB member Lisa Marotta
In my kitchen there is a soulful difference between cooking and baking. When I am cooking the gathering of ingredients is mindless. My inspiration is a recipe from one of my many “Twenty Minutes or Less” cookbooks. As a cook my focus is on nutrition (generally) and quenching the hangrys.
But when I bake it is all about the love.
I put on my apron and conjure warm, sugary memories of the sweetest person I will ever meet- Grammy. She could bake anything, but cookies were my favorite part of spending time with her in the kitchen. Oatmeal Scotchies, Pecan Sandies, Fruit Drops, Sugar and Chocolate Chip cookies were the standards. Grammy’s cookies were extra delicious. Her secret ingredient? Whenever I “helped” Grammy in the kitchen she would make a big production of stirring the ingredients together-“Don’t forget to stir in the love!” she advised me with a serious face and a twinkle in her eye.
I have not forgotten.
It turns out I am not alone in my nostalgia about baking. Last summer I invited friends to send recipes and special memories about baking. Here is a recap of heartwarming stories and yummy cookie recipes just in time for your holiday cookie swaps:
Grammy inspired Impossible Chocolate-Scotchie Chip Cookies
A daughter’s tribute to her Snickerdoodle Mama
Cowboy hat tip to OSU fan’s Orange Crisps
Practically healthy Soft Oatmeal Cookies
Frida’s fancy Biscochitos
My boyfriend’s favorite Sugar Cookies
Martha’s (made on the stove!) Krispie Date Cookies
Additional Holiday happiness: Grammy created every cookie batch from memory except for one. Fans of the TV show Friends will appreciate that Grammy (like Phoebe’s Grandma) always relied on the Nestle Tollhouse morsel bag for making fabulous Chocolate Chip Cookies because “nothing can top that!”
2 ¼ Cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon butter
¾ cup Sugar
¾ cup Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups morsels (Plot twist:I use Ghirardelli morsels)
Set Oven: 375° F
In a small bowl: Mix flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl: Beat together the butter, white and brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy. Add eggs (one at a time) beating well after each addition.
Be patient while you gradually add the dry ingredients from your small bowl.
Stir in morsels (try not to eat all of the dough at this point).
“Don’t forget to stir in the love!” Drop by rounded teaspoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
Bake 9 to 11 minutes until they “look right” to you. I notice that they require
less time for each successive cookie sheet so watch them closely at the 9 minute mark- there is nothing sadder than 12 burnt cookies!
Happy baking and memory making from my kitchen to yours!
Dr. Lisa Marotta is a psychologist and writer. With 20 years of clinical experience she expresses her commitment to build healthy families through her private practice in Edmond, Oklahoma and blog. Dr. Marotta is active in her critique group The Inklings, and is a member of SCBWI and OWFI.