The internet is ablaze with ideas for holiday cookie boxes, which require careful packing and shipping. Though this makes for a beautiful snail mail surprise, it does diminish the appeal of the assembly. However, with a vintage crate or a pretty tray, you can take a similar idea and enjoy the sweet bounty in person.
As much as this whole grain peach pie was a gift for Annie, it was also a gift for me. It felt so good to be able to bake for someone else again, to share, even if sharing looks differently these days. It felt reviving to truly play with food again, not for work, not for money but for the delight of someone else.
If there's one silver lining to social distancing, it's a very stripped-back, honest look at time and fulfillment. How often do I turn to Netflix aimlessly? How often do I pick up my phone to fill a void of companionship? How could I fill my life with more joyful creation... and more cookies!
I made these mini cakes to reclaim my birthday cake tradition but also as a way to choose life and joy instead of fear. It seems appropriate that now, as I'm sharing the recipe, the world is in the grips of fear. We're in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and when I start to feel overwhelmed, stressed, scared or all of the above, I remind myself to return to gratitude.
Adapted somewhat by pantry necessity and by a grainy curiosity from Cherry Bombe: The Cookbook. The original recipe comes from Avery Ruzicka, the baker behind Manresa Bread in California, and the result is a recipe with careful and precise instructions that yields the most fragrant, gooey cookies. I'm not one for superlatives in blogging & baking, but these are the best chocolate chip cookies I've ever made!