December 5th, 2012

Cookies and Patience


Hello out there!
I realize that I’ve been away for awhile, but I have a few moments to check in, say hey, and share an update or two.
I am posting today from the Washington DC area, where I have been since Thanksgiving.

We are on Baby Vigil.

This baby, my first grandbaby, could be born at any time.
His or her “due date” was December 1st. (I know, it’s an approximation. Only 4% of the babies are born on the due date.)
The nursery is ready. The parents are ready. My daughter is really ready.

It’s just a matter of time. A lesson in patience. This miraculous thing will happen in its own rhythm.


So, what to do while Waiting for Baby?
Time to exercise my grandmotherly skills.
Bake cookies.

It requires its own kind of timing and patience—although within a very tight framework.

I hadn’t made cookies for a while, and I was reminded of the art of the bake:
One minute can make the difference between a moist chewy cookie and one that shatters at the bite.
One minute–and a cookie could have a nice brown edge, or an overall brown burn.

Cookies are done when you think they aren’t quite done.
They continue to crispen on the sheetpan after they come out of the oven.

Timing and patience. Every oven is a little different. It requires the tricky but rewarding art of discernment.


Today, I baked two kinds of drop cookies, contemporary takes on classic goodies. We’ll bring them to the hospital to share with the birth team, if we don’t eat them all. While waiting.

Number one is a double chocolate pistachio cookie, its dough rich with dark cocoa, butter, brown sugar, and a generous chop of bittersweet chocolate. Creme de cassis–just a splash– adds an intriguing hint of berry. I think you’ll like its topping of pistachios, toasted and flecked with salt.

The second takes the traditional oatmeal cookie as its base. Here I use organic brown sugar whipped into butter. Along with the rolled oats, I fold in dried blueberries and chopped bittersweet chocolate.

Blueberries and dark chocolate make an uncommon, but delicious pairing in the cookie. These are especially for the expectant father, my son-in-law. Blueberries and dark chocolate are his favorites.

While you’re in the midst of the holiday hustle, take a little time for yourself. Treat yourself with kindness and patience.
Have a cup of coffee or tea and a cookie or two.
Or three.
I’ll be back, soon I hope, with news about this baby. Or another cookie recipe.


1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons creme de cassis (optional)
2 cups chopped bittersweet chocolate
1 cup chopped toasted pistachios

Cream softened butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs.
In a separate bowl, whisk cocoa, flour, baking soda, and salt together. Beat into egg mixture.
Fold in vanilla, creme de cassis, and chopped bittersweet chocolate.
Line baking sheets with parchment.
Gather the dough in tablespoon-sized lumps and drop onto the baking sheet, leaving about 1″ space between cookies.
Sprinkle the tops with pistachio pieces. Gently press pieces into the dough.
Bake cookies in the center of a preheated 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack before using a spatula to remove from baking sheet.

Makes 4 dozen cookies
Note: both cookie recipes can be cut in half with fine results, if you want to make smaller batches.


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups Demerara (or turbinado, or organic brown) sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats (not the “quick” kind)
2 cups dried blueberries
2 cups chopped semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate

Cream softened butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs.
In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt together.
Beat into egg mixture, a little at a time.
Beat in oats.
Fold in dried blueberries and chopped chocolate.

Drop by the tablespoon onto parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving 1″ space between cookies.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes.
Remove and cool on a rack.

Makes 4-5 dozen cookies


Posted in Chocolate, Desserts, Recipes

24 Responses to “Cookies and Patience”
  1. Kath Says:

    Oh I sympathise. Both of my babies were late. Come on baby, we are all waiting for you. x

  2. Michele | Cooking At Home Says:

    What a great way to distract yourself,baking and nibbling while you wait.

  3. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Thanks, Kath—also I meant to thank you for posting the link to your mincemeat recipe. Looks terrific–and I appreciate that it’s made vegetarian.

    Hi Michele–I have to beware of over-nibbling!

  4. ernestine lawson Says:

    Thinking of all that is about to happen
    with a smile…
    4 babies
    and none late.
    In fact my youngest
    was 3 weeks early.
    Was a blessing…

  5. Barbara Says:

    Hi-this Great Aunt to be is impatiently waiting as well… these cookies look amazing & a nice distraction -keeping busy until the magic happens! Your Tennessee relatives are just as anxious & await your calls!

  6. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Ernestine, how nice that your babies were on the early side! We are all late ones…

    Great Aunt Barb–don’t worry! we will let you all know ASAP.

  7. Magda Says:

    Nancy, I hope your grandbaby comes soon into this world. I can’t imagine how excited you must be!
    Making cookies is a good way to distract yourself and yours looks absolutely delicious!
    All the best!

  8. rhonda Says:

    Those cookies look great, and i love how the art of the bake is just like the art of the birth. Timing and patience! I’m sure Madeline is ready for the oven timer to go off!!!! ;-) Congratulations to you all!

  9. Joyti Says:

    What a lovely Christmas gift – a grandbaby. Early Congratulations!

    The cookies look delicious. So pretty, with the bright green of the pistachios against the dark chocolaty background.

  10. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Thank you Magda, Rhonda, and Joyti!

    Joyti, especially nice to hear from you–I hope all is well with your studies. I still visit your beautiful blog for baking inspiration.

  11. Wendy Says:

    That stork is taking his sweet time—it’s great you have those lovely sweets to pass the time. I’m thinking of all—

  12. Maggie Says:

    Hey Nance! I’m thinking about you and Madeline and trust that all is in it’s rightful place, and time! Sending love and blessings, and wishing I had one of those chocolate/pistachio cookies!

  13. Beth Says:

    I can’t think of anything lovelier to wait for than a new grandchild! Looking forward to hearing your news.

  14. Angie@Angie's Recipes Says:

    o yes, pistachios! I love them and perfect combined with chocolate in cookies.

  15. Barbara Says:

    Nancy, I hope your baby vigil is over by now. I know the feeling, mine were all a couple weeks late.
    Your cookies are a delicious way to take your mind off the wait!

  16. Karen (Back Road Journal) Says:

    Wishing all the best for your entire family…I know everyone has to be excited. Your cookies sound terrific and will be be greatly appreciated.

  17. Teresa Blackburn Says:

    ….and we wait……
    What great practice you are having to time to indulge in to prepare yourself for “grandmotherhood”…baking cookies and waiting.
    How lucky for you and Mad & Tony to get to spend this very special time together…a time you will never, ever forget. These are the things happiness are made of…..still waiting….Love to all

  18. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    Any day now! Perhaps today? I hope so. What a blessing this will be and how lucky this child will be to be surrounded by so much love and good food.

  19. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    I bet the little one has arrived. Hope you are busy admiring tiny fingers and toes.

  20. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    oh yeah! Congrats on the grandbaby! Can’t wait to see pictures and lots of them. I had connor this time last year and I love having a christmas baby! if you keep making cookies like these that grandbaby is never going to want to leave your sight!

  21. Juliana Says:

    I can only imagine how you must feel in this waiting…and yay…cookies, both look awesome Nancy.
    Have a great week and hope the baby comes soon :)

  22. elli Says:

    Hope your waiting is over .. or soon to be. I have only 1 g’baby ~ 14 yrs now. Your cookies look beautiful, may you all share soon <3

  23. FOODESSA Says:

    I really hope that patience has paid off in spades. Now, I’ll have to be patient to print out these cookie recipes and get them baked up soon ;o)

    Nancy, here’s wishing you and your loved ones the very best.

    Ciao for now,

  24. Candy Grove Says:

    i love trying new recipes.. and storing them in my air tight Tupperware Containers for long periods of time even in the freezer to enjoy later!!

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