Around Christmas time every year, I find myself wondering about the purpose of spending time with one's extended family, those people you're (supposedly) related to but only see about twice per year. It's not the conversation, which oscillates between three speeds: subtle racism, old stories everyone's heard a hundred times, and overt racism. It's not to watch grandpa get drunk either, although this has a certain entertainment value attached to it.
There's something simultaneously disquieting and comforting about all family gatherings. On the one hand, the dynamics never change. People get fatter. Every once in awhile there's a divorce. But for the most part, nothing changes. Your uncle is still a big mouth. Grandma still makes the mashed potatoes even though she's pushing 80. This is the comforting part, the immutability of people's true natures, the real personalities they only show around family. The uncomfortable idea that always worms its way into my brain when I should be enjoying hors d'oeuvres however, is that no one ever thinks to ask why these people, people who are ostensibly strangers–I see my dentist twice a year–are the folks you're supposed to feel comfortable around. Sure, many of them watched you grow up, but those relationships tend to wane as you approach adulthood.
When it comes to chocolate chip cookies, people have an almost unanimous preference for fresh, gooey saucers of sugar and chocolate. I have fond memories of shoveling down small mountains of these cookies as a child. That said, I've always preferred them on their second day, set aside in a tin can, chewy with the very first signs of going stale. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's because they're cakier or drier than fresh cookies. Or maybe it's because they remind me of the night before, baking the cookies, the excitement of watching the timer on the oven tick down. They can never be those fresh cookies again, and they're objectively not as good. They're settling into new, staler versions of themselves. But every bite, takes me back to the night before. Or two nights before. Or three. It's possible that nostalgia was clouding my mind, that these cookies didn't taste great because they weren't that good coming out of the oven. But, I've always found this chain of logic unsatisfactory. If the cookies weren't any good to begin with, there'd be no reason to cherish the memory of making them. It could be that humans are blessed/cursed with an inability to accurately remember, but I don't think so. The golden moments of cookie making are only visible through the rearview.
Recipe adapted from All Recipes
1 1/2 sticks of butter, softened
2 ounces of cannabutter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Mix the butter, cannabutter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Then, beat in the eggs and stir in the vanilla.
Next, dissolve the baking soda in hot water and add it to the batter with the salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts.
Place cookies on an ungreased pan and cook for 10-12 minutes.