This past week has been incredibly difficult for us. We had to make the agonizing decision to euthanize our dog, an adorable and beloved pit bull we adopted from Animal Control at the start of the pandemic. He bonded with us immediately and provided us with endless cuddles and entertainment, but as he grew more comfortable with us, his need to protect us and his home also grew and he began to display fear aggression towards anyone whom he perceived as threatening what was probably the only safe and happy place he’d ever known. After his third bite (of the trainer we hired to help us curb that behavior) and a night spent at Animal Control, and after many tearful consultations, we decided that the kindest path forward for George was to euthanize him. We are at peace with it being the right decision, and we were able to give him treats and love aplenty until his last breath, but that does not make it any less wrenching.
Enter Lorrina, one of my dearest friends. The doorbell rang (in itself a startling development because we have not heard the doorbell or greeted anyone at the front door in months) and it was her son, Wilson, who delivered a package of cookies to us. Lorrina printed one of the many photos of George I had sent her over the last few months and made it into a card to let us know she was thinking of us during this difficult time. Hannah and I took one look at it and burst into tears. We just miss him so much and we wish there could have been a way to make it work to keep him in our lives.
I should mention that Lorrina is an excellent cook. Going over to her house for a meal is always a treat, and I know I will be treated to food that was prepared by someone who cares just as much as I do about the ingredients and the presentation. And these cookies are in keeping with Lorrina’s high standards. These are no ordinary chocolate chip cookies. The little extras make such a difference and elevated these to really special (as in go out right now and get the ingredients and make them!) chocolate chip cookies.
And I suspect they were extra tasty because of the love and concern Lorrina baked in there as well. Food is definitely one of Lorrina’s love languages, as it is mine, and sending over something you have made from scratch to convey that someone is in your thoughts is a great thing to do and – I can attest – to receive. So whip some of these up as a gift for someone who needs a boost in your life or for those folks (including you!) living under your roof. These crazy times call for baked treats – no other reason needed!
Chocolate Chip Cookies with Espresso and Cinnamon
(from Bon Appetit)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 ½ cups (packed) golden brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temp
1 large egg
4 tsp instant espresso powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 6-oz package semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
1 6-oz package milk chocolate chips (about 1 cup)
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 large baking sheets with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar, butter, egg, espresso powder, and vanilla in large bowl until well blended. Beat in dry ingredients. Stir in all chocolate chips and walnuts. Drop dough to rounded tablespoonfuls onto prepared sheets, spacing 2″ apart (do not flatten dough). Bake cookies until brown on top but still slightly soft to touch, about 14 minutes. Cool on sheets. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Store airtight at room temperature.)