Sunday, September 08, 2013

Sara's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Some food memories are built over time - meals eaten every year for Christmas, or special treats every summer, and so on. But other memories are just single snapshots from one precise moment, which for one reason or another made a permanent impression.

I have one such very precise memory of making chocolate chip cookies with my aunt Sara in her kitchen. Making cookies was already a special thing to do when I was a kid, and it was even more special to be doing it together at my aunt's house. I really remember that it was something we were doing together, like she was really giving me her full attention. This makes sense, because Sara really values connecting with people.

We got to the part of the recipe where we were about to add vanilla, and I think it called for 1 teaspoon of vanilla - and this is the part I remember so specifically: Sara suggested we add more than that. She said something like "I really like vanilla." I know this sounds crazy, but that really blew my my little childhood mind. Even as a little kid, I was a "follow the rules" kinda girl - and I am still that way (for better and for worse). I didn't know you could just add extra vanilla because you felt like it! It's still relatively uncommon for me to mess around with a recipe I am using. I mostly cook from cookbooks, and it's only in the last couple of years that I have gotten a bit more brave and creative about modifying recipes.

my go-to choco-chip cookie recipe is "Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies" 
from Vive La Vegan, with extra vanilla, of course

But Sara is not like that at all! She is spontaneous and playful and loves to mix things up! She's lived a life full of amazing and decidedly unconventional choices. Right down to putting extra vanilla in her chocolate chip cookies. Here's the kind of amazing thing: I make cookies pretty often, and I almost always add a little extra vanilla extract, and every single time I think of my aunt Sara and the permission she gave me, in that moment, to think outside the box and make my cookies the way I like them.

24 comments:

  1. celyn2:51 PM

    This is beautiful!

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  2. Love it! What a sweet memory!

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    1. I know... cookies + love = a great memory!

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  3. Ha! I love it. Reminds me of an opposite one... Josh's mom tells a great story about him going to his grandma's to make cookies and reporting on his return: "she just put what the recipe said in them!"

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    1. ha ha, yes, the exact opposite! :)

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  4. Love, love, love. My favorite MoFo post so far. Possibly my favorite post ever, actually.

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  5. Yay for Aunt Sara! I always felt a little guilty adding an extra teaspoon of vanilla — but not anymore!

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  6. Aunt Sara knows what's what ;-)

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  7. I love this story Amey! Aunt Sara sounds rad!

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  8. Fantastic story :) And great pictures too.

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  9. Yeah! Sara knows what's good! I almost always add extra vanilla to recipes. Sometimes I even double it! Sara and I are vanilla daredevils! :D

    The Homestyle Chocolate Chip Cookies from Vive La Vegan are the best for sure!

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  10. Aww, that is a great story! Aunt Sara definitely sounds cool. And the cookies look like super perfect. Whenever I make cookies they never come out that uniform looking.

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  11. What a delightful story! That's my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe also and my favorite cookie overall. It's so moist and delicious. I'll have to try your extra vanilla trick next time!

    David & I were at a craft fair this weekend, and there was a lady selling little purses, cloth napkins, and bags with really adorable fabric. David had a great idea that you should upload one or two of your doodles to Spoonflower and make some fabric of your own. Heidi Kenney does it with her designs, and it's so cute. How adorable would Yummers, Snoopy & Stevie Wonder cloth napkins be? Something to think about!

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  12. Awww, look at little follow the rules Amy's face when Aunt Sara wants to add more vanilla. Love it! There is something to be said to being a rule follower and then getting the courage to bend them.
    Such a great post :)I haven't tried these cookies but maybe they will be a go to for me too.

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  13. What a super adorable story! And I totally think extra vanilla is a rule to live by. :)

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  14. Anonymous12:06 PM

    I love this post. Every kid should have a fun, unconventional person in their life like your aunt :)

    jen e.

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  15. I love your aunt's attitude. I would have done the same thing:)

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  16. what a nice story :) I think I'm like you, I really need to follow a recipe. But my boyfriend loves being adventurous with his food and he always tries to get me to step out of the recipe box!

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  17. This is one of my favorite stories of your's so far. Maybe it's because I'm an extra vanilla kinda girl too.

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  18. I love this! I grew up being very "follow the recipe" too (my mom is that way), but I've acquired a lot of spontanaiety via my husband and another friend who doesn't follow the rules, and it's opened up a WHOLE new world!

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  19. hee, i am always terrified to deviate from a recipe, but i learned from my gram that it's always okay to double the vanilla. <3

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