Cookie Swap Update! (Or, How Cookie Baking and Novel Writing are the Same Damn Thing)

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First, a big thank you to everyone who chimed in to help me figure out what cookies to bake! Someone sent me to Betty Crocker's website, which led me to chocolate crinkle cookies, which led me to read five different recipes for this cookie. (I love the research stage, because nothing has yet gone wrong!)

I was convinced that this was the recipe for me when one of the versions I read began this way: "make sure there is an adult nearby in case you need help." Yes, dear readers, I chose a recipe simple enough for children.


Chocolate, butter, vanilla, eggs, sugar, flour, salt, baking powder. No problem, right? Except it turns out that baking cookies starts out the same way as writing a novel: at first, you've got a big brown blob of goo on your hands.

A twinge of panic sets in as you plow through this unimpressive heap of words/ingredients, quite certain that when you're done, the other cookies at the cookie swap are going to point and laugh. You ask yourself a lot of critical questions at this stage. ("The mixture should fall from the mixer in thick ribbons." Are those the thick ribbons? Should my ribbons be thicker? Where is that helpful adult that was mentioned?)

But with baking as well as novel writing, it's only by finishing the process that you will know whether you've succeeded. Failure is possible. One can actually render chocolate inedible. (And some novels should be hurled from the top of a building. Wait, that's dangerous. I meant burned in a wood stove.) But usually you end up with something palatable / editable, even if it's not exactly what you pictured.

Yeah. My chocolate crinkle cookies didn't flatten like the ones in the perfectly styled magazine picture. And to my perfectionist eyes, they're not crinkly enough, and the toasted coconut falls off. But they taste absofreakinglutely great. And I'm taking three dozen of them, lumps and all, to the cookie swap tonight.