One of the best moments so far probably occurred when he was just a week old. We had an appointment with his pediatrician in the late afternoon. But at around 1pm, I got an email from my editor wanting to share the artist's rough draft of my book cover. We'd talked a bit about design and I had sent links to book covers that I liked, but this was the first time I would be able to see the shape it was taking. I was simultaneously so excited and so nervous to see it that my first response was to close the lid of my laptop; I guess I couldn't handle looking at what would be the pictorial representation of this thing I've been working on for the past year. Naturally, I called Matt and Teddy over for support; we opened the document together, and Matt and I had the exact same reaction: we loved it. (And I can't wait to show you guys and promise to do so as soon as I get the green light!)
But before we could revel in too much celebrating, we had to get cleaned up, get Teddy in the carseat, pack a diaper bag, and head to the doctor's where they would weigh him and we would find out if all this breastfeeding I've been doing has been working / he's been gaining weight, which from what I've gathered, seems to be the main goal with newborns. And so, in the doctor's room when we found out that he was 4 ounces more than his birthweight (which is very good for a week-old baby), I almost burst into tears. It was easily one of the best days of my life. I can't really explain it except to say that my desire for this baby to thrive and be cared for is incredibly, weirdly strong, and to know that we are doing it, that he's growing and healthy is simply an amazing feeling.
Oh, but maybe you came here hoping to hear about cookies? OK, yes, we made cookies!
Have you guys had a chance to look at The Mast Brothers' cookbook? If so, you know that it's a gorgeous publication. The photographs are dark, moody, and extremely tempting. I think, however, and perhaps in an effort to fit the tone of the sparse photos, the directions to some of the recipes are a bit too minimalistic.
To get these cookies to bake properly took some trial and error. For one, I recommend baking them on parchment paper as the first batch stuck to the pan. And two, to be on the safe side, I recommend baking only 4 to 5 per baking sheet. As you'll see, the batter is kind of the consistency of thick hot fudge. At first, I actually thought it needed more flour since the recipe only calls for 1/2 cup, but I kept the faith and it doesn't. They're seemingly just a different kind of cookie: thin and semi-crispy. When you bake them, the dough spreads out like crazy. Of course, I didn't know this on my first batch when I tried to make 8 or 9 cookies per sheet and wound up with one giant, rectangular-shaped cookie. (Not cool.)
That said, these cookies are delicious. They basically taste like slightly crispy brownies. Matt's a huge fan. Worried that I was giving away too many to friends who stopped by to meet Teddy, he wrapped up and hid a stack of them somewhere in the house. (I'm not kidding! There's a secret stash in the house... somewhere.) They're also kind of the perfect shape and texture to make ice-cream sandwiches with, something Matt has also done two times that I'm aware of.
For those of you familiar with the book, what do you think of their recipe for chocolate bread? I really want to make it, but Matt and my mom, who is here from Pittsburgh this week helping us out with Teddy (thanks, Mom!), aren't showing much interest.
OK, back to parenting! xox
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies slightly adapted from Mast Brothers Chocolate: A Family Cookbook
makes 24 cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
4 1/2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces dark chocolate chips
8 ounces melted dark chocolate
Preheat oven to 350F.
Using an electric mixer, combine butter with sugar and maple syrup. Add eggs one at a time, making sure they are fully incorporated each time. Add flour, baking powder, salt, chocolate chips, and melted chocolate and mix to form dough.
Spoon the cookie dough on a parchment-lined baking sheet using heaping tablespoons and leaving plenty of space between each one. (As I mention above, I would only bake 4 to 5 per baking sheet.)
Bake for 13-15 minutes.