This post is by my dear friend Liz – a brilliant photographer, adventurous cook and newly converted football fan..
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This is the Renaissance Chocolate Chip Cookie.
It is named after a tiny, now-defunct coffee shop where I worked as a teenager, during my brief sojourn in a small southern town. Its creator was a trained and talented chef (though he really didn’t like to work for a living), who imparted the recipe to me after deciding that I would likely use the powers of this deceptively simple cookie for mischief rather than good.
Though my friends, my hometown, and my experiences have all changed several times throughout the course of the decade that followed, one of the few things that have come with me everywhere is the greasy sheet of paper containing this recipe. Mind you, the cookie has changed too. It has undergone rebirth after rebirth, evolving into something new but familiar with each ingredient variance.
I can remember the time I first used liquor instead of vanilla extract (all I had in my first NYC apartment). Or the time I turned them a hue more than slightly past golden brown, being too busy talking to a young man to check on them (much to his amusement and my own chagrin). There was the time I ground the oats into flour by hand (during one of the near-daily power outages I experienced while living in the Dominican Republic). And of course, the joy of watching them wolfed down by cookie-loving friends and family. There are moments and memories tied up in this recipe far too numerous to mention.
Now I’m baking up a batch to take to a friend’s house, this time using agave sweetener in place of brown sugar. With every alteration, every baking sheet I pull from the oven teaches me how something can change with time, circumstance, even mood.
And the Renaissance Cookie is born again.
all images by liz
note: Thanks Liz! And thanks to all of this weeks guest posters. I will be back next week to tell you about my craven adventures while on holiday! cm