Friends. Not just a rollicking tv series, but also an integral ingredient in one’s life.
There are those who’ve seen you through the tumultuous years of high school and college. These people have seen you through bad hairdos, small(er) waistlines, and back-seat tequila shots in the university parking lot. Hang on to these ones – you’ll want someone who knows you were once a bottle swilling free-wheeler when you are shoulder deep in bills and work reports, debating the purchase of a new vacuum cleaner.
There are the new ones who you’ve connected with in recent times, bonding immediately over common passions and beliefs. People who may have come from far afield of you, whose paths you may not have had the pleasure of crossing but for a shrewd twist of fate and a shared love for gustatory indulgence, getting lost amidst books, Finnish forest creatures, or cheesy movie lines. Hang on to these ones – they will keep your passions fresh and your horizons ever-expanding.
Then there are friends who are actually relatives. They are connected to you in ways that nobody else is. They knew you back when the outside world was still unaware of your awesomeness…and they loved you anyway (well, most of them at least!). They are where you came from. And there is a special bond that shared experiences like chicken pox can forge that no man can truly tear asunder. Hang on to these ones – they’re lifers.
Then, if you are lucky, you have a soul mate friend. The quintessential ‘best friend’. The person with whom you share your deepest secrets. The one with whom you share your deepest joys. They will stick by you come hell or high water, and fight like a tiger in your defense. You finish each others’ sentences. You make each other grow. I don’t have to tell you to hang on to this one – with tooth and nail if necessary.
And then there’s chocolate. Both a friend and a very integral ingredient in my life.
Double Chocolate Cookies
(very slightly amended from Donna Hay’s Simple Essentials: Chocolate, page 22)
- 100 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 130 grams brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 150 grams all purpose flour, sifted
- 30 grams cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 125 grams (4 oz) dark chocolate, melted (I use a makeshift double boiler)
- 280 grams dark chocolate chips
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- Beat butter and sugar in a mixer until light and creamy, about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the egg and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated.
- Stir the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and melted chocolate into the egg/butter/sugar mixture. Add to this the chocolate chips and walnuts, stirring by hand until just combined.
- Roll tablespoons of the mixture into balls, place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, allowing room for the cookies to spread, and flatten slightly.
- Place in a pre-heated 320F oven and bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
Fresh out of the oven these cookies are warm nuggets of deep, dark chocolate goodness, with pockets of melted chocolate chips all throughout. The walnuts are not in the original recipe but I wanted something to both contrast, and complement, all that chocolate. My cookies did not turn out anywhere near as pretty, nor as flat, as Donna’s. I am still trying to figure out what caused that lack of spread so comments and suggestions as welcome!
True friends and chocolate. Gems worth more than anything a jeweler could ever measure!