I first blogged about these cookies just over 5 years ago, when I made them for my cousin’s Bar Mitzvah. If you’d like to check out the original post, you’ll see some gems like this picture on the right:
Five years later, I’m re-posting this recipe along with a video – part of a series I’m doing on home-baked gifts and holiday baking. They’re crisp cookies loaded with poppy seeds, topped with a touch of salt and coarse sugar, and sandwiched together with dark chocolate. It’s a wonderful treat to make for the holidays or for a gift. Not only do they freeze beautifully and travel well, but they are also delicious, unique, and a bit sophisticated.
Writing to you from Madison, WI; my proud, determined, wonderful city, which has never gotten this much national attention. This isn’t exactly a political blog – it runs on butter and sugar more so than political savvy or intellectual curiosity – but I feel that I have to mention the good fight being fought just down the street from this coffee shop.
I’m a bit of a lost soul right now, searching for a path to start down after graduating last December. At least, in the midst of my fruitless job search, I’ve been able to dedicate some time to protesting alongside public workers, students, and tens of thousands of other concerned citizens for the past two weeks. Fight on, Wisco!
So, if you’re curious about my exciting post-grad life….well, I protest, I apply for an endless stream of jobs, I experiment with cheap, good meals, I plan baking projects, I hang out with my friends while they study and try not to distract them….if only I had a little income (and a little more purpose to my day), life would be pretty great.
In addition to having time to make posters and camp out at the State Capitol building, I’m of course embracing my free time to nurture my food blog obsession and bake things for my friends. For instance, I’ve set off on a quest to find my chocolate chip cookie recipe. I mean the recipe that I go to every time, for my own ideal chocolate chip cookies. Everyone has their own guidelines; my dad likes them crunchy to the point of almost burnt; my best friend in middle school would barely bake them, risky salmonella poisoning for her perfectly soft, doughy cookies. I like cookies that are soft in the middle (without being doughy), with a little bit of chewiness, and crispy edges.
I’ve only been to New York once. It was for about 3 days with my 8th grade class. We stayed at a hotel in New Jersey, ran around like mad to see the sites, and the thing I remember most is visiting the city’s first Synagogue, where the entire class fell asleep trying to listen to the tour guide’s passionless recounting of the place’s history.
So I can’t say that I know New York. What I do know is that New York City delis are doing something seriously right with this cookie. And it should not be deprived to those of us far from the East Coast.
My cousin Daniel’s Bar Mitzvah was last weekend, and the usual Gecht family over-the-top preparations were in full swing for weeks (and probably months). It was a whole weekend of celebration: Friday night dinner, Saturday lunch at the Synagogue, Saturday night dinner/party. Oh yeah, and somewhere in between the eating and the partying my little cousin became a Bar Mitzvah!
In case you’re wondering what it looks like when 120 thirteen-year-olds get together with an enthusiastic DJ, here’s a little peek:
Madness. 13-year-old dancing seems to consist mostly of standing in a clump and jumping up and down. My older cousins and I got in there too…. that’s right, we broke it down.
As you can imagine, lots of planning and time went into this weekend-long celebration, and I was really happy to be able to contribute. My mom, my other aunt, and I all did some baking for the party Saturday night. Although I can’t take too much credit for my thoughtful offer to help, because we all know I jump at any excuse to bake something.
So I made cookies….lots of cookies!
It was a full family effort, and it was awesome to see all our treats displayed on the dessert table.
And this was before the tiramisu cheesecake came out!
So, I’m a college student – I study important things and allow myself to believe that my classmates and I will be the ones to change the world. But sometimes, when I get home from the grocery store, tie on my apron, and stare into my cabinet with four different kinds of flour, I feel a little bit like a housewife.
I usually embrace it. Putting on my apron and pretending that my only worry is how my cake will turn out is pretty fun. And I know my roommate doesn’t mind the slightly 1950s-esque image of me pulling fresh cookies out of the oven as she gets home from class. (I guess a good housewife would cook more wholesomely– I use a little too much butter and sugar.)
Today, though, I’m all done with classes, so I have been cooking and cleaning all day and it’s freaking me out a little. Plus I’ve been in the kitchen all afternoon making mandel bread – so…. yes, I’m becoming a Jewish housewife. I guess I just have to come to terms with that. I did stop myself from putting my apron on today because it just would have been too much.