about bliss

Sunday, September 07, 2008

twd: chocolate whopper malted drops

chocolate whopper malted drops, courtesy of my web cam

This week teachers, students, and professors returned to school as summer sun gave way to crisp fall breezes. I embarked on a full semester of teaching two writing classes, American Literature, and first year seminar. The amount of energy required to move from inertia to full activity never ceases to astound me. This week was exhausting and fun as I met my classes and reconnected with friends after summer vacation.

Thursday night I stopped by the grocery store to buy the necessary supplies for this week's TWD recipe, Chocolate Whopper Malted Drops (on page 85), selected by Rachel of Confessions of a Tangerine Tart. I quickly located Carnation malt powder next to the Ovaltine and Hot Chocolate, Whoppers in the candy section, and my favorite 60% Ghiradelli chocolate chips in my favorite aisle--baking! After baking the cookies and eating way too many Whoppers as I was chopping them, I decided that next time I would splurge for candy store malted milk balls, which seem to have an extra layer of higher-quality chocolate.

The dough came together easily with a mousse-like texture, and an utter deliciousness when scooped up and eaten raw! Several TWD bloggers suggested that the dough was too chocolatey, but I was fearless and even used my favorite "mahogany gold" Valrhona cocoa powder instead of my standard Ghiradelli cocoa. Although Dorie doesn't specify to chill the dough overnight, I did anyway.

Friday afternoon I set about baking the cookies while emailing my students about their first writing assignment. I set up a baking station and a computer station on my kitchen island and seamlessly moved between the two. The rhythm of forming balls of dough to fill a baking sheet, emailing while the cookies baked, and lifting their molten goodness on to the cooling rack soothed my agitated soul.

In addition to the fun of being back to school, our campus community was saddened with the news that one of our colleagues lost both of the babies she was carrying when she went into labor way too early. The memorial service was that afternoon. The warm smell of baking chocolate wrapped around me, holding me tight against the sober truth that, as my friend B. so eloquently stated, "mother nature can be a real bitch."

As the first batch of cookies cooked, I brewed strong coffee and heated milk on the stove for a cafe au lait--the perfect counterpoint to the caramelly, chocolatey wonder of the cookies and the heavy sadness in my heart.

My thoughts turned again to C and the sadness of the memorial to come. I thought about the complexity of issues regarding women and motherhood, thrust once again onto the collective consciousness with political events of the week.

There's never been a week when I both wanted and didn't want to be a mother so much.

I ate another cookie, loaded up the baking sheet, and returned to my laptop to help my students, and steer my mind into more practical and less complicated emotional waters.

On Saturday, I packed up the cookies and gave them to my friends A and J, who were hosting an open house to share their new, beautiful home with friends and colleagues. They--the cookies, though also the party and the home-- were a hit, and more than one person admitted that they ate more than 4 cookies. Another TWD success! Thank you, Dorie, for a recipe that brings comfort, joy, and chocolate to those in need when life is full of sadness and elation.


  1. What a wonderful, thoughtful post. You managed to find words to convey what, for me, was somehow unspeakable.

  2. Wonderful job!

    I love your blueberry picture!

  3. Welcome to TWD! What a wonderful post. Your cookies look delicious!