Cookies for the Wounded Democrat’s Soul (To Get The Chocolate Chip Off Your Shoulder)

What a difference a day makes.

I woke up this morning miserable, horrified, and really really sad. Alex Ross’s blog made me tear up a bit just now with this passage: “But if you happen to wake up one fine day feeling deeply troubled, if a sensation of animal fear stops you from doing much of anything, if you walk down the street sizing up who’s friend and who’s enemy, if on the train to Providence you find that the woman across the aisle is looking at you funny because tears are running down your cheeks, if you start to feel like an alien in your own country because of a pseudo-religious detestation of the minority to which you belong (Jesus Christ, silent on the subject of homosexuality, said rather clearly, Judge not that ye be not judged), then it gets a lot more difficult to natter on as you did before.”

I hear that loud and clear.

But as the day went on I began to feel a bit calmer. At least the deeply polarizing business of an election is over. At least Kerry did significantly well–America still has a profound liberal presence. And at least I live in New York city, so as the Federal gov’t begins to chip away at my civil rights and the civil rights of people I love I’ll be surrounded by people who are as outraged as I am.

Here are my images from yesterday:

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Isn’t it rather humorous where I had to vote?

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Explains a great deal about the results, no?

And of course my vote:

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That vote didn’t lead to a victory, but it did lead to cookies. Late last night, as the bleak truth seeped in, I did what any logical emotionally ailing Democrat gourmet would do: I made cookies.

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We spoke of Cookies for Kerry before the election; now it’s time to make cookies for ourselves. A cookie catharsis. Nothing heals the soul more than a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, and I share this recipe with you in the hopes that you will take this simple step to help move on. If you don’t have a free standing mixer, find your own recipe. As for this recipe it comes from Sherry Yard’s “Secrets of Baking” and it came out terrific, though it needed more salt.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 Tbs tightly packed light brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt (I WOULD UP THIS TO HALF A TSP AT LEAST)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg, at room temperature

7 oz bittersweet chocolate, cut into 1/2 inch chunks (I just used half a 12-oz bag of bittersweet Ghiardelli chocolate chips)

1) Sift together the flour and baking soda into a medium bowl and set aside.

2) Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until pale yellow, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle. Add the sugar, brown sugar, salt and vanilla. Cream on medium speed until it is smooth and lump free, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

3) Add the egg and beat on low speed for 15 seconds, or until fully incorporated. Do not overbeat. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.

4) On low speed, add the flour mixture. Beat until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the chocolate chunks (or chips) and mix until they are just incorporated. If using a hand mixer, use a wooden spoon to stir them in.

5) Preheat oven to 350. Adjust rack to lower third of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough by heaped teaspoons 2 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. (makes about 3 dozen 3-inch round cookies)

6) Bake one sheet at a time for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown around the edges, turning the sheet front to back halfway through the baking.

In the intro, Sherry says if you want your cookies flatter and not as puffy (which I did) halfway through take it out of the oven and “slap it twice on the counter” and put it back to finish. (I thought this worked great).

Remove the sheet from the oven and carefully slide the parchment directly onto a work surface. Wait at least 5 minutes before serving or 20 minutes before storing in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature.

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9 comments

  1. Cookies, yes. Perfect solution. I feel the love.

    I was listening to Bill Maher talk about all of this — he was saying that he preferred the Republicans back when they were about money, but somewhere along the line they decided to become the Jesus Party. And he said that the irony of this is that Jesus probalby wouldn’t have been a Republican — that he was anti-establishment, cavorted with the outcasts of society, the down-trodden, the different. And that brings me to the fact that all of this would make a great country music song — “Jesus Ain’t No Elephant.”

  2. Cookies sound fantastic right about now. I’m going to go home tonight and make a batch to soothe my troubled soul. Your point that at least the vote was close–that there are nearly as many democratic liberals as there are members of the Jesus Party–makes me feel a little better. I think a lot of us felt very alone yesterday.

  3. It occurs to me that my humor in above post (with the country music song title) could be perceived as the teeniest bit tacky even though I thought I was being extremely clever and witty — so if I offended anybody, I didn’t mean it!! I shall wear a hair-shirt for the rest of the day. Now, back to chocolate chip cookies.

    Twang, twang, munch, munch.

  4. Are you allowed to take photos of your ballot? It was so interesting to see it – was that a touch screen? It was really different from mine. And the sign directing people to the polls in multiple languages is one thing that is still good about our country.

  5. Just found your site via the Best of Atlanta list on Creative Loafing. How lucky am I?

    Thanks for the cookie recipe, and the movies …you (and your cohorts) are truly hilarious … you’ve put a smile on my face just in the nick of time….

    Consider yourself bookmarked…

  6. This recipe looked great when I read it the other day (and the post cheered me up)–finally had a chance to try it today and they were fabulous! Without doubt they’re the closest thing I’ve made myself to City Bakery’s, which is the pinnacle to which all other choc chip cookies aspire. If it’s ok with you, I’d like to tweak it to be even more like CB’s, then use the results for the next IMMB…

  7. headed to friends who own pizzeria round the corner to share wonderful soothing chocolate chip cookies for the wounded and disappointed democratic-sympathizing far-away-yet-somehow-near Italian souls THANKS

  8. I just found your site, and love your reviews. Sorry you’re feeling bad about the election. You may not care, but for the record:

    I’m a Republican, and just about everybody I know is a Republican, and none of us voted for Bush because of any hatred/intolerance for gay people or any other minority. We didn’t vote for him because of religious reasons either.

    Just wanted you to know. Cheer up, eat a cookie!