baking history {life}

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My earliest memories of Nestlé's iconic Toll House Cookies come from the first house I remember living in, standing on a stool at the kitchen sink and "helping" my mom bake. My help included the dishes, soap and lots of splashing, but I was there, mixing it up. I have such acute memories of those times, the windows over the sink and how tall I felt standing on that stool. The softness of my mom's chef's-style apron and her head bent over the bowl as she beat the flour into the batter. I do know that one time while I was "helping," I went to take one last bite of cookie dough off of the wooden spoon that was sitting in the bowl only to find that the spoon had dish soap on it.


We didn't have these cookies all the time, but they were a regular enough staple in our house. Fool-proof baking for sure, simple enough and yet stunningly flavored so that we were wreathed in smiles whenever my mom got the urge to make them. As an older kid, I would come home from school and have a sudden realization, "Mom made cookies Sunday!" It was the best possible feeling, to remember that there were cookies in the blue jar with the chipped lid to give me a boost after a long day at school. And that jar, I think my mom still has it. Intrinsically intertwined with the cookies themselves was this old blue jar. The lid was chipped, but it too spoke of home and sweet comfort to me.

In recent years, I've been making these cookies for my own family. They're nothing fancy. I've said again and again that I'm not a baker, but you can't get these wrong, really. And there's something terribly satisfying about making the same recipe that my mom used to make. The same crinkle of the plastic wrapper that the chocolate chips come in, the same rich scent of vanilla extract. The same sweet surprise in remembering that there are cookies, still, when you walk in the door. The only thing missing is a jar, and I think I'm going to get on that right away.

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