I tried something new on Monday night, for the first time in a while. We’ve been super focused on all things outdoors lately and I haven’t done much in the kitchen…even cooking. We’ve also had a lot of friends who are dealing with a lot of tough and sad stuff. On Monday night, I was feeling the way one feels when friends are hurting and there isn’t a way to help. So I baked.
If you had told me, even 6 months ago, that I would turn to baking as a form of therapy, I would have burst out laughing. But there I was, looking up a recipe I could try given the meager supplies in the house (shopping has been low on the “to do” list as well). I went to my go to favorite, Sally’s Baking Addiction and found her Soft and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars, with melted butter…lots and lots of melted butter.
I had some Trader Joe’s brown sugar hanging around that I hadn’t been able to use because it got hard and crunchy quite quickly after opening. I thought this could be a good time to use it because it would melt in the butter.
Another attractive aspect is that you can easily do all of the mixing by hand. You can also easily miss the extra egg yolk in the recipe (or, at least I easily almost missed it). I subbed in one cup of wheat flour for white.
It mixes up into a ball and, as Sally indicated might happen, it’s a little hard to get the chocolate chips to mix in because the butter makes it all pretty slick. I did add the extra chips on top for pretty, and a little sea salt.
It baked up golden brown and smelled amazing. They are delicious, definitely buttery, nice chewy texture.
I could taste the sea salt, and I thought it was a nice complementary flavor. Hubby didn’t notice the salt at all. I shared some of these with friends and got the thumbs up from them. I will definitely be making these again.
I also mixed up a batch of bread dough that night. I used “bolted wheat” flour that my parents found at a farmers market. It’s a much softer flour, for lack of a better descriptor. I added a cup of spent wheat and barley grains from a day when my hubby made beer with a friend.
I found that when it was time to form the dough into a ball the next morning, it was some seriously wet dough, REALLY REALLY wet. It took a lot of extra flour to get it anywhere near looking like a ball of bread. To my surprise, it baked up beautifully, has a less dense texture and tastes great. I haven’t been too adventurous with the bread recipe because it has come out perfect every time I’ve made it, but I’m glad I stretched the comfort zone.
I often share the baked goods with friends, and when I share them with friends who are hurting, maybe it helps in some tiny way. I found that it helped me on Monday night.