And where have I been? In the kitchen. Baking, of course. Not out in my gardens planting tulips. But I tell myself it's okay. With the lovely weather I can have the windows wide open, I don't have to feed the woodstove (hurray for that!) and I don't have to dodge rain and wind loading pies into my van. I can still enjoy the great weather from inside my kitchen.
I've also accepted the fact that this in not my year to garden or to throw pots- it is my year to bake.
With the wonderful weather the apple pickers are out in force at the farm stands. People come from the cities to wander the orchards with their baskets in hand playing country girl (0r boy) for an afternoon. On their way out they take a fresh homebaked pie from my kitchen (made right I may say, from fresh fruit and real butter!) or apple pastries or even just a cookie.
Here is a divine recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Baking Book for a cookie that is a big hit at the farm stands as well as at Expertec Automotive. It is fudgy, almost like a brownie, with crisp edges and moist centers. If you can resist eating all the dough straight out of the bowl you are a better man then I.
1 cup softened butter
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
Add and beat, scraping the bowl:
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
Add and incorporate completely, scraping the bowl as necessary:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
Bake at 350 degrees for 14-15 minutes.
Make four dozen cookies.