Sunday, December 19, 2010

Hitting the Wall: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

I need a nap.

On Thursday, I-bug got a stomach virus at school.  Apparently every child and teacher in the school has had it, and it was his turn.  I got the phone call about 15 minutes before a meeting I'd scheduled at work, and the other person was already in transit, coming from an hour away, so I felt I needed to stay for the meeting.  His teacher assured me that she'd be able to keep him until regular dismissal time.  When I got there, he was lying on the floor, covered in his little blue fuzzy blanket, and I found out he'd been sick every half hour.  My mom-guilt kicked in, big time.  How could I be such a horrible parent, to not rush to pick up my sick child immediately?  Stupid hour commute.  I spent the rest of the day trying to make him feel better; poor little monkey was writhing in pain, begging me to do something, and all I could do was feed him sips of water from a teaspoon and rub his belly.  We both spent the night on couches in the living room. sleeping fitfully and waking every few hours.  He didn't get sick again, until today, when he tossed his cookies at lunch.  Suffice to say that he has not been a happy camper.

Of course, my body is now too misshapen to be conducive to sleeping in my own bed, so I'm spending most of the night on the couch, anyway, heading to our room for the last hour because I feel guilty for abandoning my husband.  Not that sleeping on the couch allows for much actual sleeping, of course.  I think I'm running on about eight hours over the past two nights.

We interviewed a postpartum doula today, who said something about always asking clients if they've gotten to sleep.  Half-jokingly, I said, "the answer to that question is already 'no'."  At least she would ask.  Not that my mother has volunteered to come cook and do light housekeeping and help with baby care in those first few weeks (the other day when she was here she told me she didn't put laundry in the dryer because she didn't know what went into the dryer and what didn't), but if she did, I can't imagine her asking me if I need a nap.

How can I be hitting the wall already, when I haven't even given birth yet?

I've been trying to mitigate the effects of sleeplessness (mostly unsuccessfully, of course) with sugar and chocolate, in various forms.  (Doubtless, I will have gained at least 5 pounds this week at my next weigh-in.)  The leftover cookies that didn't make it to the neighbors or get eaten by my undergrads beckon loudly from the kitchen, and I hasten there when I'm called.  These little morsels are particularly tasty, and barely survived a day after the open house for my students.  Eaten within a day or two after baking, they're like soft pillows of chocolate (you won't want to keep them too much longer than that anyway).  Eaten warm, they're simply amazing.

Perhaps they'll get you through the holiday, too.


Chocolate Crinkles

4 T unsalted butter
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. peppermint extract (optional, if you like peppermint-flavored crinkles, or other flavoring if you like)

Topping:
1 c. confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, or a double boiler, melt the chocolate and butter together. Stir well, remove from heat and set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the eggs and sugar until thick, pale, and fluffy. (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.) At this point beat in the vanilla extract and then stir in the melted chocolate mixture.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture, stirring just until incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm enough to shape into balls (3-4 hours or overnight).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the confectioners sugar in a shallow bowl. With lightly greased hands (this is really important; I sprayed oil on my hands periodically and it worked quite well), roll a small amount of chilled dough to form a 1 inch ball. Place the ball of dough into the confectioners sugar and roll the ball in the sugar until it is completely coated and no chocolate shows through. Gently lift the sugar-covered ball, tapping off excess sugar, and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue forming cookies, spacing about 2 inches apart on baking sheets. (If you find the dough getting too soft for rolling into balls, return to the refrigerator and let chill until firm.)

Bake cookies for 8 to 10 minutes or just until the edges are slightly firm but the centers are still soft. (For moist chewy cookies do not over bake. Over baking these cookies will cause them to be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

These cookies are best eaten the day they are baked.

Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
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10 comments:

rebecca said...

Sorry to hear the sickness has hit your home...boo! Hope little guy gets to feeling better soon and that you don't catch it! Hoping life calms down a bit for you soon! I love chocolate crinkle cookies, they are amazing!!!

inBetween said...

Sorry to hear your little monkey is sick! I hope he recovers quickly and you stay well.

Thanks for mentioning the sleeping thing. I sleep terribly now and know it'll get worse as I get bigger. I keep thinking that while I won't get to sleep once the baby comes I might be able to finally get comfortable...

a Field of dreams said...

I just want to reach through the computer screen and eat those cookies!
I hope your little monkey gets well soon. I know all too well of the dreaded Sickness these past few weeks.

tasivfer said...

I think I NEED to have these! I've been trying to put myself into a chocolate coma in lieu of sleep, so these look like th just the thing.

I had to laugh when you mentioned getting back to bed for the last hour because you felt guilty - I've been doing the same. Lately I have to go to the loo at 3 am. But my husband's snoring means I can't get back to sleep, so I usually just sleep the rest of the night in the spare room and go back upstairs before my husband wakes up. Lottie likes it; I let her sleep on the spare bed with me. Her snoring isn't as loud as my husband's. ;-)

manymanymoons said...

I am going to be all over these cookies. I made three dozen chocolate white chocolate chip cookies this past weekend and 5 pounds later here I am. I may just have to try this recipe tonight. These look perfect for dunking too!

Jenn said...

I hope your monkey is feeling better and that he stays that way, too. And I also hope you manage to find some more sleep, although I think that is much easier said than done.

Those cookies look fantastic. Yum!

JeCaThRe said...

You keep talking about gaining weight, and yet you lost weight at your last appointment. Give yourself some slack. You are growing an entire other human being.

The same goes for the exhaustion. You are growing an entire other human being, while parenting, while working full time with a long commute. It is completely reasonable that you are tired.

You are growing an entire other human being. Eat nutritious, varied meals, have treats that appeal to you, demand enough rest so that you can work and parent effectively, and stop worrying so much. You're awesome.

(I'm still willing to come up for a couple of days, after the post-partum doula, probably. I'll make you nap and I'll put stuff in the dryer.)

Randi said...

Here from ICLW :) Sorry to hear your little one is ill... When children get sick its like the whole family gets sick (literally and metaphorically). I hope you and the little one feel better soon. Congrats on your pregnancy.. I think a post-partum doula or baby nurse is a great idea. Sending you best wishes for you and your family.

MoonNStarMommy said...

Yeah...... I'm not sleeping ... right now!! I hope your little one feels better, I call mine Monkey too ... hopefully your manage to start getting some sleep before the baby comes, but I know how that goes. 1:30 and I'm reading blogs and those cookies look AMAZING!!!!

Happy ICLW from #37 and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

-K said...

Hope your kiddo feels better soon. I hate it when they're sick and mmMMMmmmmm those look yummy.

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