Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The waiting is the hardest part

It’s cold and dreary here today.  We were promised rain, but it doesn’t look like the sky is going to deliver on the weatherman’s pledge.  Three days ago I woke up to snow on my outside deck.  I wish it would drizzle; at least that would be something reminiscent of spring.  At the moment it’s just gray and yucky.  The conditions outside are painting the atmosphere indoors.

I’m trying to appreciate the difference between waiting and being patient for things.  To wait is defined as “to stay in place in expectation of,” and Neil Gaiman wrote that “[waiting is] a sin; … a sin against both the time that was still to come and the moments one was currently disregarding.”  Patience, on the other hand, does not mean you are disregarding the moment you are in, or that you are merely staying in place until something happens.  Being patient means that you are taking the moment in stride, experiencing it calmly and without complaint.  I wait too much.  I’m waiting until I have more time, more space, more money; notions that are in no way guaranteed.  And I do feel that it is a transgression against my family and myself.  I wait too much; I must learn to be patient.

But I will be ready for some warmth and sun.  Cold, grey days make me want to bake.  I’m trying to get healthy and fit and this weather is really working against me.  Today, for example, I made some cookies - coffee and cream cookies.  They’re that great combination of crisp and chewy, with cocoa and chocolate and nuts, and the coffee flavor makes them a special treat for grown-ups.

It did start raining after all.

Coffee and Cream Cookies adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

 2 T instant coffee crystals
3 T light cream or half-and-half
1 cup butter
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a small bowl, dissolve the instant coffee in one tablespoon of the cream.  Stir until well mixed.  Put aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium high, beat butter for 30 seconds.  Add the sugars, baking soda, and salt, and beat until well combined.

Beat in egg, vanilla, and coffee mixture until dough is uniform in color.  Add flour a little at a time.  Beat as much as you can with the mixer, mixing the rest with a wooden spoon.  Dough will be very stiff.

Divide dough in half.  In one half, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of cream, cocoa, and chopped nuts (I used hazelnuts).  Stir until well combined.  Add chocolate chips to the other half of the dough.

Drop 1 teaspoon of each dough side by side on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Press the two halves together.  Bake for 8-9 minutes.  Cool on the cookie sheet for 1 minute, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yields about 48 cookies.

1 comment:

  1. Anytime i find myself "staying in place in expectation of of something" I start to sing Tom Petty. It starts with "the Waiting is the Hardest Part" but then leads me into more songs by him and other artists. While I agree with Mr. Petty's notion I also know that the waiting doesn't seem as bad when you have a good song in your head.

    Thanks for the post Janna. Keep up the good work.