I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog that I like to document my life. I think it all started when I got a puffy plastic diary covered in dancing teddy bears, replete with a very sophisticated plastic padlock and key for my sixth birthday. My first entry? A love poem I wrote about a boy who sat beside me in the storytime circle. It went:
A boy in class is the boy I love
His name is Alex Dove
He’s what I call love
Since then, I’ve had a ton of journals, most of which are filled with just a few angst-y entries (I loved buying new journals, convinced that I would really devote myself if only I had the right notebook). I’m always an avid writer for the first few weeks, and then my entries quickly diminish into nothingness.
Fastforward to just the other day, when I learned about a little thing called the “Five Year Diary.” It gives you only enough space to write 2-3 sentences a day, forcing you to write succinctly and encouraging you to not be overwhelmed with the task at hand. Well, suffice it to say, I liked the idea, but didn’t like the price tag. So I’ve started my own “Five Year Journal” in a regular, old journal that I’ve promised myself I’ll only fill with short entries.
My first entry in this newly-minted journal? “Long, busy day. Bitterly cold. Lady on the Metro tried to shove me into a packed car. Made Milk Chocolate Cookies and ate five while standing at the kitchen counter. Feeling better now.”
Milk Chocolate Cookies
Courtesy of Martha Stewart’s Cookies, 2008
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
8 ounces good-quality milk chocolate (4 ounces coarsely chopped and 4 ounces cut into ¼-inch chunks) OR 4 ounces good-quality milk chocolate bar and 4 ounces good-quality milk chocolate chips
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Melt 4 ounces of coarsely chopped chocolate with the butter in a small heatproof bowl set over a simmering pan of water; let cool slightly.
2. Put chocolate mixture, sugar, eggs and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until combined. In small amounts, add the flour mixture and blend until combined. Fold in the milk chocolate chunks/chips.
3. Using a 1 ½ inch ice cream scoop, drop cookies onto a baking sheet approximately 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until the cookies are flat and start to break apart, approximately 15 minutes.* Let cool on parchment on a wire rack. Cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.
*I don’t have a 1 ½ inch ice cream scoop, so I simply used a tablespoon to drop blobs of dough on my cookie sheets. The baking time for these smaller cookies was about 10 minutes.