I was again trapped in my apartment for 2 weeks, when I caught a cold in October. It’d been brewing for a few weeks before it finally hit, and I could tell, but Stupid Headstrong Me did nothing about it. I went out and made myself busy every Saturday and Sunday for two weeks, and I woke up one morning in the middle of it. But Stupid Headstrong Me couldn’t let it slow me down, so I went out for the day, then went to work for 6 days straight, and finally realized I needed some rest. Well, realized I had no choice but to rest.
All work and no rest makes Nick a sick, sick boy.
I needed the rest, but I hated it. I can’t sit still for an hour, let alone three and a half days. Every day, I thought “I’m a little better. I can go outside for a little bit.” And every day, I melted more deeply into my couch. The cold mostly passed, but I still coughed up my lungs for a week afterwards, and that was the most frustrating part. I finally had the energy to do things, but I couldn’t quite enjoy them. I’ve been getting slowly better since then, and should be in tip top shape (what does that mean? will I feel like a top? can you tip me over?) within a few days.
When the internal medicine doctor guy saw me walk into his clinic the second time in a week, only to ask him for sleeping pills because the coughing was making it impossible to sleep, he figured something was awry. He ran a bunch of tests and even took an X-ray of my chest.
And he said I’d caught pneumonia. Or rather he wrote the words “asthma” (which I don’t have) and “pneumonia” in English and Japanese on a piece of paper, said something vague about my lung, and sent me home with five different drugs, and one inhaler. I did the research, but I’m still not quite sure what happened. For all intents and purposes, let’s say I had a minor case of pneumonia, but could still run, jump, and fall out of trees.
I would have felt better if my friends hadn’t kept recoiling in fear when I mentioned it.
But I digress: the Holidays are coming up. That time of year when I…I mean, they…play Christmas music for two months, instead of the appropriate three weeks, and everything is gingerbread or peppermint. In the spirit of the holidays, I promised myself I would work through some cookie recipes to prepare to impress at home, because it is really difficult to impress my family (sarcasm.)
Here’s the first of the season: easier chocolate chip cookies, that you can make in a toaster oven.
easier chocolate chip cookies
based on recipe by Averie Cooks
makes one dozen medium cookies
This recipe is especially useful if for some reason you can’t or don’t want to leave butter out to soften (eg., your apartment is too cold or you’re in a rush.) It takes a little more effort than the traditional recipe, but less precision and is far more forgiving. The original recipe uses coconut oil instead of butter, both favorites of mine. I included amounts for both, and you can substitute easily. They’ll turn out differently using other oils, because both butter and coconut oil are solids are room temperature, while things like canola or olive oil are not.
3/4 c melted coconut oil or butter (170 grams)
3/4 c brown sugar
1/4 c granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp almond extract (play with other flavors, like orange or vanilla)
1 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1 12-oz bag of semisweet chocolate chips
If using a convection oven, preheat to 350 F/ 180 C.
Combine butter, sugars, egg, and extract in a large bowl and beat using an electric mixer, for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
In a separate medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
Gradually beat dry mixture into the wet mixture. If it becomes too stiff for the electric mixer, use your hands and knead the flour in. The dough won’t be sticky.
Finally, fold or knead the chocolate chips in.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment, and shape the dough into 12 – 15 medium discs. You can bake immediately, or chill for a few hours, but shape all the cookies before chilling.
If using a convection oven, bake the cookies for 11 minutes, until they just start to brown around the edges, then remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. If using a toaster oven, toast the cookies at 740 W for 11 minutes.
Chocolate chip cookies burn quickly, so err on the side of under-baked, rather than over-baked.