Remember when people had a sense of humour? Those were the good old days. Have you read this satirical essay? I think it’s a brilliant bit of writing. It made me laugh. Did you read the comments? They’ll make you want to give up on humanity. When did people stop laughing at themselves? When did we stop having fun?
When I hit Facebook every morning, hoping to share, say, a photo of a kitten and a bird that have become friends – thus DEFYING THE LAWS OF NATURE – I am inundated with sludge. I click through to a YouTube video. The comments are a cesspool of terrible spelling, negativity, abuse and racism. The comments are on a video about blueberry hand pies. I head back to Facebook. Someone has posted a reminder that Facebook is screwing me over. It seems that my Post Reach Stats reflect society’s selfish need to eat, sleep and work. They also reflect that I pay $0 for facebook marketing. I read that people are stealing your photos and content. People are pinning wrong. I should be more focused on SEO and analytics. You’re upset because Google is doing everything it can to prevent people from finding your recipe for Ants on a Log, and Facebook used your profile picture in an ad for wart remover.
People, some of you are wrecking the interwebs. And I love the interwebs. Cut it out. STOP WRECKING THE INTERWEBS.
Quit being total nutters. Let’s share more videos about cats on Facebook. Isn’t that why the interwebs was invented? I think we should do better. Let’s use YouTube to tell Britney that her latest video has some of the best thrusting ever set to music. Let’s self-promote, but keep it classy. Don’t beg people to like you. If you want fame, do something worthy of it. Work hard, create things you are proud of. Quit worrying about SEO and blog stats for a few hours. Quit whining. Haters gunna hate; be yourself. Don’t steal. When you find something you don’t like on the interwebs? Move on. Take the high road, walk away. Defend those who cannot defend themselves, but do so positively, and then go kick something. And leave nice comments for people. It makes ‘em happy.
I think you’ll find, as I have, that It is enough. I have found that it is enough because – reality check – I’m not running away from chemical weapons or dudes with guns. It is enough because I am living a life that many people would give anything to have. It is enough because there are far more important things in life than internet stats and Pinterest shares. It is enough because my parents taught me to have respect for others – even super annoying people – and to quit worrying about silly stuff. And I’m betting that during my last moments on this planet, I won’t really care about my blog’s performance metrics or how many likes I had on Facebook. I hope I’ll be thinking about my friends, my family, and a life well lived.
So, lest you think I’m a total downer, and because some of you were really sad when I wouldn’t give you Haddy’s cookie recipe, I made you these little beauties. Double chocolate cookies with pecans and – surprise – caramel inside. No, I didn’t invent stuffed cookies, silly! There are lots of versions of these floating around. This is just my take. However, I did develop this cookie dough recipe. Yup, I put my baking school education to proper use. And I’m going to tell you that I’m pretty proud of that. These cookies are a little soft, and a little chewy. Sweet, nutty, and chocolatey. There is a caramel tucked into the centre of each cookie. When the cookies are still warm, the caramel will be all gooey and oozey when you bite into it. As they cool, the cookies become a little more chewy and so does the caramel. (Ten seconds in the microwave will bring back the goo factor, should you so desire.) Yup, that’s fleur de sel sprinkled on top. Tres chic.
It is possible that these cookies will spark something inside of you which will, in turn, help you to record the perfect cover of When Doves Cry to post on YouTube. And should that happen, I will leave a nice comment to say you play air guitar better than anyone I know.
. . .
Double Chocolate Cookies with Pecans and Caramel
Yields about 27 cookies.
- 6 tablespoons cocoa
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 27-ish caramels – one for each cookie – such as Kraft Caramels
- fleur de sel for sprinkling on top of cookies
Mise en place – begin by getting organized. Measure out all of your ingredients. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, preheat oven. Unwrap the caramels – this will take FOREVER and make your fingers sticky. It will be worth it.
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. As soon as the butter has completely melted, remove from heat. Stir in the granulated and brown sugars, mixing well to combine. Stir in the vanilla extract. Stir in the eggs, one at a time, until well blended. Pour the butter/sugar mixture into the cocoa mixture, and mix until well combined. Stir in the flour until just combined (and no pockets of flour remain). The dough will be thick. Finally, stir in the chocolate chips and pecans.
Use a small ice cream scoop (mine holds about 1.5 tablespoons) or a heaping tablespoon to drop the dough into rounded mounds on prepared baking sheets – leaving 2 inches between each cookie for spreading. With your finger, make an indentation in the centre of each cookie. Set a caramel in each indentation, pressing gently with fingertips to secure, and being careful not to press through to the bottom of the cookie. Top the caramel with a generous half teaspoon of dough, and gently press the dough around the caramel to encase it. Sprinkle with a wee bit of fleur de sel.
Bake for about 9-11 minutes – until slightly crusted on top yet still slightly soft. Because of carry-over baking, take care not to over-bake – if the cookies feel slightly underdone, they’ll firm up as they cool. Let cool for five minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to cool completely on racks.
While still warm, the cookie will be soft and the caramel will ooze. As the cookies cool, the cookie and caramel will become a little more chewy. If you’d like your caramel to ooze after cooling, just microwave the cookies for about 10-15 seconds.