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:


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


Explains a great deal about the results, no?

And of course my vote:


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.


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.


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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