Since my cookie-baking spree over Christmas, I've had, or am planning on having, a number of what I like to call "platonic cookie dates." It seems to me that, while cooking dinner is easy to make into a one-person show (especially in my minuscule and under-equipped kitchen), baking cookies is seen as a more inclusive endeavor. It's reminiscent of the kitchens of childhood, I think; I'm sure I made other things with my mom (I believe one day we made our own doughnuts, which is kind of awesome), but mostly I remember cookies. Rice Krispy treats, lemon bars, peanut butter cookies (which I actually disliked but enjoyed smooshing the criss-cross fork pattern into) were all featured at one time or another. We weren't fancy, but we cooked the shit out of those cookies, and I loved it: mixing, plopping dough, frosting, licking the beaters... I loved learning to measure. Dorky!
I have a platonic cookie date tonight with my friend Sarah, and I've been perusing cookie recipes all morning. Consequently, I am now intensely craving cookies. What will we make tonight? Chocolate Sugar Cookies? Banana Oatmeal Chip Cookies? Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies? My mouth is watering so hard, I'm glad I'm not drooling yet. And better even than the option of making any of these tonight is that there are so many other cookie recipes in the world. I am a fairly recent convert to online recipes; until a few months ago I made almost all of my food from two cookbooks, both based on restaurants (Moosewood and the Chicago Diner). I'm also an even newer convert (as of, like, this morning) to cooking blogs, thanks to Rose-Anne's lovely list of links. (I'm a bit in love with Smitten Kitchen in particular.) Now I just want to bake cookies all day long, to taste all of the potential sweet salty buttery goodness that I can.
Although pie is also good, of course. For Valentine's Day, instead of going out and being fancy and googly-eyed and normal, Shana and I stayed home, ate cheap falafel, and then made an absolutely delicious lemon meringue pie together. Something about lemon meringue seemed so intimidating to me (I think it's the layers, or the meringue in general--I am so mystified by stiff egg peaks), but it turned out to be not so bad. Shana made her first pie crust, we zested and squeezed lemons, took turns holding my borrowed immersion mixer (omg I want one!), and ended up with a perfectly lovely pie. We're thinking of making it a tradition, this periodic preparation of pies and other baked goods. It made me terribly happy, to work together to produce this amazing and yummy thing. I love cooking with other people.