Saturday, December 15, 2007


2 sticks unsalted butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
pinch of salt

the KitchenAid whirs
while I warm the bowl
cold stainless steel
with my hands
gradually softening the
beating butter
cresting into peaks
between the wires of the
rotating whisk, how the sugar
sparkles like glacial snow and ice as it hits the butter
then vanishes dissolves and creams
now the egg’s yellow eye and clear it’s a little
soupy in here, and the aroma of vanilla
that hit of alcohol just under the nose
then a splash into batter
(none for me, all for you!)
no cookie is complete without this extract
that I absolutely never ever measure!
then level off the first cup of flour
dumped in with a explosion of powder
rising into a dusty cloud
it always happens
that way, beat it in, scrape it down
the sticky sides with my old rubber spatula, then the
second cup of King Arthur, poof
there it goes right over the toaster this time
(sometimes it hits the stove and my apron,
like soft artillery fire)
the pinch of salt is just that
silly little measurement precisely non-quantified, I toss it in, and combine
until this batter looks right,
but darned if I can explain it,
now hide the dough in the fridge
(no one must taste it!)
till it’s stiff and chilled
then cut out shapes
arrange in formation on aluminum sheets
my little army
set oven to 350 and bake…


One Response to “”

  1. janetleigh said

    I felt like I was Someone in the Kitchen with Dinah
    (you’re probably too young to know this old song), witnessing a familiar ritual. You depict baking with aplomb and skill. The only thing wrong with it is my not getting to eat any of your goodies..:) tee hee

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