Posts Tagged ‘chocolate chip cookies’

Dorothea’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

 It’s a regular Wednesday evening in 2101. In room B, two of my roommates are preoccupied with the video game Among Us, and are screaming accusations into their phones, “Why would you think it was me!? Weren’t you just saying Marcos was looking suss?” 

Meanwhile, Dorothea and I sit at our Ikea table observing the ingredients I bought earlier in the day. We are excited to experiment with the cake flour and Ghirardelli chocolate chips when making our rendition of America’s most iconic sweet: the chocolate chip cookie. 

This dessert was invented in 1938 by Ruth Wakefield at the Toll House Inn in Massachusetts. Wakefield originally called them Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies. During World War 2 soldiers from Massachusetts shared the treat, which gave it national and international renown. This resulted in Nestle purchasing the recipe and printing it on the back of every bag of chocolate chips. 

Dorothea is from New Jersey and is studying acting at NYU Tisch. We first met on move-in day, when she bounded into the apartment enthusiastically shouting, “HELLO QUEENS!!”  She then proceeded to embrace everyone. 

As my fellow early bird in the apartment, we spend most mornings chatting while studying and drinking coffee. She is always willing to listen and support people and will do so with great enthusiasm. Dorothea is what Anne Shirley would describe as a kindred spirit.  

“What recipe are we using today?” 

Dorothea pulls out a cute recipe book she bought from Moleskin. The soft leather cover is decorated with baked goods and cooking appliances. Inside the book, she has ingredients and measurements written down for “Yummy Chocolate Chip Cookies.” The informality of the book reminds me of my mother’s collection of family recipes. 

I think the benefit of personalizing your recipes is it solidifies your identity. Last week when I made lu rou fan with Alison, and I talked about how cooking gives you the power to recreate home. Only you know what home tastes like, and you have the greatest capability of satisfying your taste buds. Documenting personal recipes allows you to develop this identity as a cook and consumer.  

Dorothea’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Dorothea’s recipe book

Dorothea starts the process by melting 2½ sticks of butter in the microwave, while I mix ¾ cup brown sugar and 1 cup of white sugar in a big bowl. As we carry on with our tasks, I ask why she started baking. She tells me of her childhood fascination with her sister’s easy-bake oven, and of how when the toy broke her mother told her to start using the real oven. This led to a middle-school obsession with making cupcakes until she became fascinated with the chocolate chip cookie.  

“Chocolate chip cookies were a big craze in the Tasti and food blogger world, and I was really attracted to that. The opportunity to play around and experiment was exciting to me.”

Besides being a fun experiment, Dorothea tells me that chocolate chip cookies are very nostalgic. They remind her of coming home from school and discovering that her mom had made cookies. This was a surprise that was always well received. 

Dorothea mixes in the vanilla, salt, baking powder, and flour. She tells me how she rarely measures ingredients when baking.

“I never follow a recipe totally. I don’t know why…I think it’s my ego! Even if it is the smallest thing, like adding more salt. I usually go off the skeletal structure and then I take the derivative.”

This response reminds me of Alison’s cooking methods, and her advice to trust your gut. However, while Alison’s deviations from the recipes are carefully measured and thought out, Dorothea’s acts with more impulsiveness. The mixture comes out more liquid-like than Toll House’s classic recipe. Dorothea tells me that less flour and more butter makes the cookie softer and chewier, which we both agree make for the most delicious chocolate chip cookie. 

Cookie dough mixture

We let the dough sit in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, which Dorothea tells me gives it a chance to thicken. While waiting we sit in our living room, and I ask her why she likes to bake.  

“Cooking, baking, and theater are when I am happiest. I always think of acting like this–  playing with different acting choices is like playing with different ingredients.”

Cookies on baking sheet

After putting the cookies in the oven, I take time to reflect on the things I have learned: 

  1. Collect. Saving recipes allows you to form an identity as a cook and consumer. 
  2. Experiment. Experimentation gives you a chance to personalize your cooking.  
  3. Fun! This is less of a tip and more of an appreciation point for Dorothea’s passion for baking. 

The apartment is filled with comforting smells of sugar and vanilla. When the cookies come out, they are doughy in the middle and crispy around the edges. We do a taste test, and I decided that the Ghirardelli chocolate chips were worth the extra cash. The chocolate is rich and sweet, with a slight bitterness. 

When the kitchen is cleaned and the cookies are put away, I think about how Dorothea’s passion for baking is similar to my own. Although baking cookies isn’t a seemingly important endeavor, I think the opportunity to play is positive and fulfilling. It reminds me that while I am trying to find my way in the world, it is good to remember small pleasures.

End result


World Trade Press. “United States: Chocolate Chip Cookies.” AtoZ World Food, 2 November 2020.

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By: Erin Zubarik

Hello! My name is Erin Zubarik and I am a junior at New York University majoring in Global Liberal Studies and minoring in Chinese and Italian. Over the last few years I have been lucky enough to study abroad in Florence and Beijing, where I enhanced my language skills and became acquainted with lovely people. This fall I am primarily holed up in my apartment taking online classes, and playing with my hamster Pork Chop. I am very excited to share my cooking and relationships series this fall on Campus Clipper! 

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