Cookies were my baking starting point. The creaming of butter and sugar, addition of eggs and vanilla, and gentle fold through of sifted flour and raising agents became second nature long before any of the more complicated treats that grace this blog. A container of cookies on the shelf was a constant in our house. My favourite through high school was a twist on a chocolate chip cookie – Mum had been sent the recipe in an email where they were nicknamed ‘Neiman-Marcus cookies’, but I doubt the attached story regarding being ripped off for the recipe was true. In any case, they were a weekly Sunday endeavor for a while – whole oats blitzed in the food processor for extra texture, and both grated dark chocolate and chunks mixed in, lending a speckled appearance. It was a massive batch of dough – I’d get forty or so cookies from it. They were tucked into my school lunch so frequently, tidily wrapped in cling wrap, my friends began nicknaming them the ‘Claudia Cookie’ – I brought more in to share after that.
It petered out at some point, probably coinciding with my growing desire to try out new combinations – cakes and brownies, puddings and elaborate tarts for dessert. And when I left for university, my brothers ended up with store-bought cookies more often than not – though to be fair, Mum makes a wicked ginger crunch when time allows, the boys have gotten fairly adept at the old chocolate self-saucing pudding, and Dad even tackles a fruit crumble occasionally. We are a family with a sweet tooth, that’s for sure.