Today my uncle passed away. He lived in Oregon, and I didn’t know him as well as I should have, but there it is, right in your face, the death of someone you loved, unexpected and uninvited. I mourn for the loss of his life, and of his future. I mourn for his children, and his friends, who will no longer see his smile. I mourn for my father, who must deal with the loss of his brother, the first of his siblings to leave this world. I mourn for my grandmother, who must bury her own child. Though I am far away, I can feel the pain and loss that has settled on our family, and I am a little scared that death has visited our door.
He was young. Younger than my father. Younger than I would picture a person dying. The whole experience leaves me with one thought: life is short. Life is too short not to live it. Not to be happy, and take walks in the park, and call your mothers, and spread your smile around your neighborhood.
For me, cooking is therapy. I can chop and stir and bake, and I can think about life and how precious it is. So today, I made cookies.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 large egg
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 375.
Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and cream of tartar, stirring with a whisk.
Combine 1 cup of sugar and butter in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the corn syrup, vanilla, and egg; beat well. Gradually add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture, beating just until combined. Cover and chill for 10 minutes.
Combine 3 tablespoons sugar and cinnamon, stirring with a whisk.
With moist hands, shape dough into 42 (1-inch) balls. Roll balls in sugar mixture. Place balls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Flatten balls with the bottom of a glass. Bake at 375 for 5 minutes (cookies will be slightly soft). Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes. Remove cookies from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
Makes 42 cookies.
Source: Cooking Light magazine.