I've always had this idea that life takes you where it wants you to go. Not that you can be passive -- you get opportunities and you work like crazy to pick them up, and you get knocked down and you have to discover your own way out -- but you find yourself along a certain road and, whether you know it or not, it is a good one in the end. I found myself walking down that road, but as I walk (run, huff, crawl) along, I keep looking over at the green grass on both sides and wondering... should I have taken the other path? Should I have made that left at Albuquerque (as Bugs Bunny would say)? I love so many things that are not my job -- I love painting, baking, writing, traveling, taking photographs, and maybe all of them together. Why am I not doing those things for a living?
The other day, one of my neighbors brought me an article cut out of a newspaper, about a woman who used to be a lawyer and then quit and went to culinary school and opened her own baking business. It stayed in my mind for quite a long time, sitting, simmering. What an attractive idea, full of adventure and new challenges... It was still in my mind when I took a whole Sunday to bake 20 boxes of 3 different kinds of cookies and 10 boxes of biscotti. On Monday, I had a whole new appreciation for my job. Do I still love baking? Oh yes, absolutely (and it all turned out deliciously, and the office was full of people smiling at me and waving vigorously from afar). But now I understand its place in my life much better than I used to, and I understand why the path along which I am walking is the right one for me... for now!
from Anita Chu's "Field Guide to Cookies"
6 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 Tbs cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
confectioners sugar for rolling
Melt chocolate and butter over a double boiler. Remove from heat and set aside.
In the meantime, whip the eggs with the sugar until thick and pale. Add the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate and mix.
Sift flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder into a bowl and add this to the chocolate mixture. Mix until combined.
Place this bowl in the refrigerator for about 2 hours until the dough hardens enough to scoop out.
Preheat oven to 325F. Scoop one inch balls. Roll these in powdered sugar and place them on sheetpans lined with parchment paper. Flatten the tops of the cookies a bit with your fingers and bake until set for about 12 minutes.
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