Thanks everyone for support on the Homies! I really appreciate it, it cheered me up on Monday. I feel like I should elaborate a little on why I was feeling a little down the other day – besides being winter and having horrible, horrible weather over here.
Last week I was expecting to receive an award. It’s a very important award given to the student with the best college academic record in the country (they award one for each major, each school year). Keep in mind that I graduated three years ago this June, so they’re veeeery late already for my corresponding class. Anyway. The Government said six months ago that they’d be making a decision by this past weekend at the latest, and last November they announced the preliminary winners, so everyone thought they were on track to make a decision (that’s also why I sort of expect to win it, because usually there aren’t many changes – or any at all – between preliminary and final decisions). Last Friday, they decided to push the decision date back another three months without giving any sort of reasonable explanation. To add insult to injury, every day on the news we have to hear about a new corruption scandal from yet another Government official or banker. Obviously, there’s time and money for stuff like that, but not for anything else.
You might be wondering why this matters… well, the fact is that I need funding for the Boston stay this year. And having that award on my resumé greatly increases my chances of getting funding; otherwise my chances are a lot slimmer. Each funding submission/scholarship application takes several hours, or even days, to complete. As I fill each one out and type “preliminary winner of the so-and-so award, pending final resolution” I’m reminded that it’s worthless without the final decision from the Ministry of Education.
I wasn’t sure whether to share this or not because don’t want to feel like I’m complaining. I’m just a little frustrated. Okay, maybe a lot. I will go to Boston though, even if I have to pay most of the expenses out my own pocket because it’ll be a huge experience and great for my resumé.
So, that’s why I decided to bake cookies today. I may or may not have eaten part of the dough before I baked them. Yeah, I made these today… talk about blogging in real time. They’re delicious (sort of a shortbread-type cookie but with a softer bite) and they come together really easily. You can make the dough and shape the log ahead of time (it holds in the fridge for a couple of days) or freeze it and then you have homemade slice and bake cookies at a moment’s notice. Also, I think the semi-salted butter totally makes them. If you don’t have access to semi-salted butter though, I suggest using half unsalted half salted.
Slice and Bake Chocolate Cookies
- 10 Tbsp (150g) butter, semi-salted (or half salted half unsalted)
- 1/2 cup (100g) brown sugar (Note: I made these using the grams measurement. I looked for a brown sugar gram to cup converter online and found that it’s equivalent to half a cup, but if you want to make sure they turn out okay, I would suggest using the weight measurement)
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 Tbsp water
- 2 1/4 cup (300g) all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (35g) unsweetened dutch process cocoa powder (I use Valhrona)
- 1 tsp instant coffee
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. In another small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla extract and water. Add the egg mixture to the creamed butter gradually and keep beating until incorporated. Do not worry if the mixture appears to separate, it’ll be okay once you start to add the flour. Add the remaining ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, coffee and baking powder) and beat until just incorporated. Dough will be very manageable, not sticky or too soft. Use your hands to sort of shape the dough into a log, then wrap in plastic and roll it onto the counter to give it a better shape. Refrigerate for an hour or up to two days (or freeze). Slice into 1/2 inch pieces and bake for around 20 minutes at 325ºF (160ºC), until center is set. (Note: fridge time will depend on whether the butter was room temperature when you prepared the dough or not. Mine was cold, straight from the fridge, and didn’t need much time. It also made the dough more manageable than if the butter had been softer.)