I spent a lot of my first year in Atlanta feeling extremely stressed. I didn’t deal with it particularly well, but a couple of management mechanisms did kick in during the second semester, one of which was baking. Specifically, late night baking. Whenever procrastination aligned with “my brains are scrambled, oh my goodness I have a paper due in four hours” and both of those were in the latitude of I-might-just-fall-asleep-on-my-keyboard (not AT my keyboard, but literally ON my keyboard…poor Macbook), I would leaf through the few cookbooks I have, and experiment with a new recipe.
Most-referenced cookbook award goes to The Joy of Cooking, which I picked up a reverence to very early in life from my mother. I only have a second-hand paperback copy that I purchased at a library book sale, but I aspire to one day own the hard cover version in my mother’s cabinet (or at least one just like it). Second in line was The Latin American Cookbook, which had a couple of interesting sweet potato recipes. Recipes baked (or experienced, if you will) at 11pm or later: scones, biscuits (butter and butter-less), lemon sugar cookies, pumpkin bread, banana quick bread, mini-cupcakes, sweet potato crisps (the English translation more or less), and as of last night, triple chocolate cake mix cookies. There’s something soothing about putting out the ingredients, measuring and mixing, setting the timer, and getting a set result. I’m not saying that all of the baked goods have been perfect, but it’s a formulaic process, and you can reasonably depend on a certain product if you follow the directions to the T. Life and schoolwork often don’t work that way. So as a coping mechanism, as a procrastination method, and as a proven way to produce sweets and dirty dishes, late night baking takes the cake (pun intended).
Without further ado, last night’s cookie recipe (as scavenged from an anonymous recipe website which I’ve forgotten the URL of):
Triple Chocolate Cake Cookies
1 box Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix (other flavors would do just as well)
½ cup softened butter or margarine
¼ cup brown sugar (I used white, however)
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips in largish bowl. After batter is well stirred, add in chocolate chips. Roll dough into ¾ inch balls and place on cookie sheet. You may dip balls in confectioner’s sugar before placing on cookie sheet if preferred. Place cookie sheet in oven for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and cool before serving. Voila! Chocolaty-cookie goodness. Makes approximately 30-36 cookies. Yum!