Thursday, September 18, 2008

Blobs Of Peace

There are moments when I am transported into the full realization of just how dumb, as a human, I truly am. One such moment is when I look over and catch one of my dogs drinking water from his bowl, his tail wagging FURIOUSLY. He is ECSTATIC over drinking water. And I stand there riveted, humbled, enchanted. I want to drink water and wag my tail, man! I want that kind of living-in-the-moment, that kind of inner peace. Honestly though, I'm just not that great at the inner peace stuff. So then I was wondering, during my day-to-day nonsense, where ARE my daily moments when I'm actually in the moment and/or cultivating some peace? It's a sad little list:

-The first sip of my morning latte. Aka, the a.m. mouthgasm. OH IT BURNS too, and in a good way. There is no better investment than a good espresso machine. It's the first step toward World Peace. They say it begins at home people. Well, I'm telling you - it begins with a latte.

-Here comes the usual freakdom: smelling my dogs' necks, ears, breath. JUST love it. My dogs just smell so damn adorable, it's ridiculous. I should bottle it and sell it. I'd totally make 2 dollars.

-Hiking. I hike 2-3 times a week and this usually helps me actually notice there is nature outside my door and not just cars, laptops, mail, phone calls, and jerks.

-Baking. Because I'm really quite a scattered baker, I absolutely must concentrate when I'm baking - so I'm often in-the-moment while baking, which can be kind of lovely. Unless it goes wrong, which it often does - and then I just feel like a total ass for concentrating so completely yet still failing miserably. Hmmm, so maybe it's not so peaceful? Where am I going with this? Do we even care?

-Reading. I like to read every night before bedtime. Love how it makes me feel cozy and peaceful and sleepy. Except when the ceiling fan above me is turned on high (too early, that is) and it dries my eyes out completely and I can't even read anymore! Then, buzzkill. Wide AWAKE! See, now why did I have to add that last part? This entire post is just going to shit before our eyes, isn't it?

Okay, see why peace is so tough to pursue? What a sucky list indeed. I used to do yoga quite regularly, meditate, and write a little positive grateful-something each night in a journal. I'm just feeling off track here, big surprise. It makes me curious: what do other people do to ensure some dang peace and serenity in their lives? I suppose the first step might be to not call it dang peace. Oh self, how did you think of that?

So with all this thinking about peace, I really could not resist making Dorie Greenspan's World Peace Cookies. I'd been wanting to try them for months and it seemed the perfect time had arrived.

World Peace Cookies

First of all, if you don't own Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home To Yours, I will pray to the Dalai Lama for your souls - past, present, and future. This is, by far, my favorite cookbook for baking - and actually, my favorite cookbook, period. I can't even begin to tell you what a great resource it is for everything baking, how beautiful it is, and how wonderfully it's written - just a fabulous book. These chocolaty cookies are delicious; kind of like a sandy, flat brownie with a bit of soft crunch and nubs of chocolate goo here and there. Now, if that can't foster world peace, what can?

1 1/4 AP flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/2 t. baking soda
11 T unsalted butter, room temp.
2/3 c. light brown sugar
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 t. fine sea salt
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. mini chocolate chips

Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda together. In a bowl, beat butter on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla and beat for 2 minutes. Turn off mixer. Add sifted dry ingredients, pulsing at low speed to avoid flying flour. Once flour has combined a bit, continue to mix at low speed for about 30 seconds, just until flour disappears into the dough; dough may be a bit crumbly. Toss in chocolate pieces and mix only to incorporate.

Turn dough out onto a work surface, gather it together and divide it in half. Shape each half into logs that are 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Wrap logs in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 3 hours.

Center a rack in the oven, preheat to 325F, and line 2 baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.

Slice logs into rounds that are 1/2 inch thick; if rounds crack a bit as you slice, no worries - just pinch the bits back onto each cookie. Arrange the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving 1-inch between them. Bake one sheet at a time for 12 minutes - they won't look done and won't be firm, which is perfect! Transfer baking sheet to cooling rack and let cookies rest until just warm - then serve, or allow to come to room temp. Makes about 36 cookies. ENJOY!


NV said...

WOW! Those would be sooooo good with the special tea I have planned for later ...

Clumbsy Cookie said...

I'm in peace after seeing those! I share the latte peace with you. I'm in peace when I look trhu my window and see the great beautiful sea ahead. I'm in peace when I visit your blog. I'm a peace bitch I think.

Adam said...

I always dig your stories, Ann. They are always thought provoking, but yet I always end up laughing a lot too. 2 dollars for puppy smell? You could totally ask for $3.50

Things that put me in peace:
-Reaching a new PR in the weightroom
-Playing bass really loud
-Going for a walk at night

flutter said...

mmmmmmm blobs

Anonymous said...

It's a very respectable peace list, nothing sad here. I really need to start reading at night again. What a great way to end the day.

I do have to say your blobs look nothing like blobs. They are perfectly shaped and of course they're stacked super neat. But don't worry, I know blobs and I can teach you. ;)

Sugar Jones said...

Coffee, Hiking, and Reading are on my list. Baking isn't. As much as I want to taste your cookies, I think I'll just go eat the new Kashi Oatmeal Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Cheers to the burning mouthgasm, sister!

Real Live Lesbian said...

Sitting on the porch with a latte watching the dogs sniff the hell outta some critter that walked through the yard a month ago.

It's the little things.

Oh and my "Annfast." That's what I'm calling it. ;)

dharmamama said...

Nubs of chocolate goo... nubs of chocolate goo... I have everything I need to make these! Glory.

For years, I've been cultivating inner peace - it started with, of all things, an acid trip many years ago... getting that glimpse of "all one" made me hungry for more of the same - without the hallucinogens. For me, today, it all comes down to breathing. Three deep breaths in the midst of anything brings me right to center, which IS peaceful. I won't tell you how I found that center, it would take up your whole blog for weeks - but it's there!

I know you know that.

Oh, and to maintain it? I had to give up coffee. I'm sorry. But I did. And I've given it up over 25 times. Then I go back. Then I lose center. Then I give it up. Then I read mouthgasm and go back...

grace said...

i agree with your list almost 100%. replace dog smell with my fella's cologne, and i'm there. :)
your cookies appear to be perfect, and I imagine that sinking your teeth into one would definitely give you a sense of peace. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm quite eclectic with my peace gathering habits. I like to write poetry/lyrics, and then I like to sit on the toilet, lock the door so that I can get some god damn alone time for fuck's sake, and then I like to open a book and read.

Too much info? Yes.
Do I care? Not really.

YD, sometimes with ♥June and ♥Angel Samantha said...

Usually in the morning after I brush my teeth and do what I need to do in the bathroom, I like to spend 5-10 minutes sitting on the couch just patting the dogs(they would be sitting next to me, one on each side). That moment is very peaceful to me.

Laura said...

I love those cookies. I think you have plenty of peaceful moments--maybe it is the toddlers, maybe it is me, but I am not sure I have more than 2 moments max per day in the moment. And one of them is reading before bed for me too in which case oh yeah, no sleep for me.

Thank god for football season, when I get 3 hours plus in the moment every Saturday. :)

hungryandfrozen said...

Aw, hope you find that moment of sanctuary sometime soon - preferably a sanctuary with repeatability! Sure a health spa would be pleasant but who can go to one of them weekly? (unless you're Posh Spice. But I digress.)

I like to drink tea...which calms me like THAT...or miso soup. And yoga is great. I don't know what it is about putting your ears behind your knees but it really makes me feel good.

Anonymous said...

Those cookies sound so yummy but I don't think the scale would like me very much if I made them !

As for peace it's definately my evening bubble bath. It's divine.

Anonymous said...

Well, after a few moments of reading your post.... I'm smiling and seriously reconsidering my attack on the neighbors. Why attack the neighbors? Because, because, because... I don't have an espresso machine. Ding dang, I love kitchen gadgets. Tell me... oh please... does it whir? I love gadgets that whir.


MamaGeek @ Works For Us said...

Ann, I'm guessing you could even make your dog's water look AWESOME!

And I heartcha for you hearting your dog. Me too! Me too!

John D. said...

NOT a sad little list at all. Rather enlightened, I would say. It's the every moment things that enrich our lives if we learn to truly pay attention to them. I KNOW this (I know it through and through) and yet, it's still so easy for me to disregard this vital information about living a contented life. How very unenlightened of me when I do that. I believe that you re doing very well, my sweet friend. : )

And you know, I have cats and it gives me the greatest pleasure to watch the drink too (I think to myself, "drink, babies, drink." I've heard other people say his as well. Must be something about the most primal maternal/paternal loving instincts projected toward our animals. : ))

Gigi said...

these are all time favorite cookies! swear! great post ann.

Amy of Sing For Your Supper said...

I love these cookies - they were the very first recipe I made when I got Dorie's book! SO good!! Yours look fantastic!


Anonymous said...

Seriously, I am SO with you on the dog thing. Puppies = peace. That should be a bumper sticker or something.

scrappysue said...

can't wait to try these!

Anonymous said...

Giveaways at my blog!!!!


Anonymous said...


lovely cookies. they're putting me at peace and yet turning me on at the same time. i hven't actually got a dorie greenspan cookbook. everyone raves abt it and i've tried a couple of recipes on the internet. they're good - but i haven't seen the book anywhere!!! x

Anonymous said...


Dharmamama said...

I have this recipe saved as "chocolate goo nubs". LOL Pulled it up today and thought of you.

April said...

"Because I'm really quite a scattered baker, I absolutely must concentrate when I'm baking - so I'm often in-the-moment while baking, which can be kind of lovely. Unless it goes wrong, which it often does - and then I just feel like a total ass for concentrating so completely yet still failing miserably."

You know that feeling, when you're shocked to hear words that belong to YOU coming out of someone else's mouth? I'm feeling that in SPADES right now. It feels really nice, actually, to know that someone else is crazy enough to go through that thought process as well! xD