Cookie Weather

Conal made it home from his extra night in Texas yesterday. He was rested and happy after a good sleep in a hotel room paid for by the airline, on the first really comfortable bed he’d been in for two weeks. We had a pleasant, leisurely drive home from the Sacramento airport, chatting happily the whole way, stopping at the video store, post office, and the grocery store when we got to San Andreas. The day was sunny and warm, and we enjoyed each others’ company and the mild weather. Conal was delighted to be home. The thermometer on our south-facing front porch read in the low 90’s in the afternoon. We had a lovely evening, though jet-lag hit Conal like a load of bricks at about 6:30PM, poor guy. I fed him salad and spaghetti squash with homemade sauce. We cuddled up and watched an episode of “House,” one of our favorite TV shows. Conal made it through the first episode, but faded toward the end of the second. It wasn’t quite 9PM when we crawled into bed.

During the night, perhaps around 2AM, we were awakened by the sound of dripping. It rained! And rained. And kept on raining for hours. It was the first real rain here for several months. Snuggling together, we relished the occaisional misting that settled on us from the open window over our bed. We rejoiced in the rich earthy smell and the coolness of the air.

This morning, we woke to a sky of mixed clouds and rain-washed blue. The day had a decidedly “fall” tang and texture. Cool and lightly breezy, the air tasted cripsly clean and leaves wafted lazily about. The rains also revived the creek (hooray!), and it is now burbling happily away down in the valley bottom. Fall fell, apparently, and rather suddenly.

I went to my painting class around 10AM (more on that later), and did some shopping chores afterward. Conal called as I was driving back home.

“Holly,” he said, and I could hear his eyes crinkling in a mischevious smile, “I really want… um. Cookies. It’s kind of a cool day out and, well, you know. Warm, yummy cookies.”

I cracked up laughing. I sure don’t remember him ever requesting cookies before. “Cookie weather?” I said. “Yeah!” he agreed. “Well,” I said, “then it’s a good thing I bought two packages of chocolate chips at the store just now.” Browsing in the grocery store I had come upon some organic chocolate chips containing a grain-based sweetener rather than sugar. I had picked up a couple of packages intending to experiment. Conal and I must have sensed the cookie weather simultaneously.

When I got home I looked for a recipe that avoided both sugar and refined flour, and struck out completely. Surveying the ingredients of many different recipes, including sugar-free and low-carb, I cobbled together the following:

Holly’s Experiemental Chocolate Chippers
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup honey*
1/4 cup molasses*
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill low-carb bake mix
1 1/4 cup Carbquik
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 packages sugar-free chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In large bowl, beat together butter and honey till light and fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and beat well.
  4. Stir in molasses and vanilla.
  5. In separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
  6. Add dry ingredients to butter/honey mixture and mix well.
  7. Fold in chips.
  8. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 12 minutes.
  9. Wait two minutes, then move to wire racks to cool.

This made about two and a half dozen good sized cookies. *I think I need to cut the molasses in half and increase the honey to 3/4 cup, but I only had a half a cup of honey on hand. I’ll try that next time and let you know how it goes. The chewy texture was excellent, and the sugar-free chips were pretty tasty. They’ll not be mistaken for Tollhouse by any means, but not bad a’tall for a first shot. I rather like the dark color and flavor from the molasses. At any rate, they hit the spot. Conal appreciatively ate two cookies with a cup of cold soy milk and was quite content.

Sigh. My beloved is home again, the house smells warmly delicious, and fall is swirling gently outside our cozy nest in the woods. I have a hard time imagning how life can get any sweeter than this cookie weather moment.

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