Did you ever watch Mythbusters? That particular show focused on two fellows who tested different myths from movies to urban legends to actual myths. They would research and experiment, usually building or rigging some object to perform the task. One of the hallmarks of the show was taking the myth to the extreme so that, usually, they got to blow something up. For the last episode, they took their crash test dummy out to a rocket sled in the middle of a desert. They welded him to the rocket sled and shot him at a wall.
And he vaporized. Seriously. They couldn’t even find the parts in the wreckage.
That is how my father hit his mid-life crisis.
I was twenty-one. My junior year of college had just ended, I was remaining in Denver for the summer for the first time, and my parents called to let me know they were moving across the country from Arkansas to West Virginia.
What the what?!
Apparently, my father had decided to make a career change and go back to school. As always, my mother supported his choice (our family is pretty much like that as long as we can figure out a way to keep ourselves housed and fed along the way). Since he chose a school in the Washington, DC area, they packed up and my mother transferred into the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.
At least they told me where they moved.
After making the change, my father realized his choice to go back to school wasn’t his path. I listened on the other end of the phone line as he worked his way through his journey. While he has finally settled in building custom furniture, one of the paths he pursued was selling cookies.
He has a brilliant chocolate chip cookie recipe. Using information gleaned from all of the bakers he knows, he constructed this cookie which stayed moist but had a nice crunch and maintained a great body. After pulling off this cookie triumph at home, he tweaked the ingredients just enough to make them truly unique.
For a while, he could be found at grocery stores on the weekends, a middle-aged gentleman standing behind a table with a sample tray covered in cookie parts. People loved the cookies, and sometimes they even grabbed a bag.
Unfortunately, that business never really off its feet. I agreed to help at one point, but was too caught up in my own twenty-two-year-old drama to add much value. He gave the cookies up and went on to the next venture.
These days, I’m exploding on my own mid-life wall. After turning forty-six, I moved across the country and started a new career as a writer. Instead of getting in my car and going to a job, I’m walking through the house and sitting down in my office. I write, edit, and market my work all day long. I’m also branching out into business consulting and bookkeeping as I do my own part to keep the bills paid and the pets fed.
Luckily, as I hit this point in my life, perimenopause snuck up on me. While my body gears up for menopause, there’s nothing like a chocolate chip cookie to ease the pain of hot flashes and mood swings. If not for me, at least for my sweetie.
I’m lucky he shared his cookie recipe. Over the years, I’ve made it my own, and I still think it yields an amazing chocolate chip cookie.
Doubling this recipe works great. My amounts are based on the fact that I’m baking for two.
Mid-Life Crisis Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
And set aside.
In the bowl of the mixer, combine:
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
¼ teaspoon vanilla
½ cup butter
Mix until thoroughly creamed together and add the flour mixture. Mix to combine. Then add:
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup milk chocolate chips
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Mix in with a wooden spoon.
Spacing the cookies at least one inch apart, drop by tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. When golden, remove from the oven and let sit on the sheet for one minute. Transfer to racks to cool.
Makes around 18 cookies. Held in an airtight container, these cookies will last for up to a week.
I’m betting mine will be gone by the end of the day tomorrow.
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