When I figure out how to be cool, I will certainly write the recipe down and share it with the world.
Before going on a serious baking rampage this weekend (and packaging up a lot of cookies to mail to lands near and far), I thought a lot about the idea of what "cool" is. I realize that in growing up there is this mainstream idea of cool, linked to popular, well-known people. But even in other cliques and "subcultures" (or whatever you would like to call them), there is still this hierarchy and a striving for something like… coolness or recognition. It is not until much later in life, if ever, that people feel they can break away from trying to impress others and just be themselves.
While I can argue, convincingly, that I made my own plays and did my own thing, I think there was always a back and forth with certain people, trying to assert my own… what shall I call it? My own uniqueness? I did not feel I had to prove anything to or be different from standard-issue "cool" people but did feel like I had some pressure to be cutting edge and avant garde among my small group of friends, i.e., the first to discover new things and introduce them. They would always feel they were falling behind and losing their grip on the friendship if they did not adopt these new things, thus trying to keep up with my "coolness". (If you knew me, you would know what a laughable idea this is. Me and "coolness" don't even fit in the same sentence except to perhaps… negate coolness! Haha. And I love this. Alas, I am also talking about a time — adolescence — when this kind of thing mattered to us.)
Way back when, I managed to "lead the way" among friends by spending every single weekend baking. Seriously, we must have made thousands of snickerdoodles and cinnamon rolls back then (my best friend, T., was a master of the cinnamon roll glaze).
Today, more than 20 years after those glory days of amateur weekend baking, I am still baking obsessively. Recipes will follow, but for now, enjoy the visual temptation above (pictured: Peanut butter sandwich cookies, M&M cookies, polenta-plum cookies, candy-oat cookies, mini cheesecakes and chocolate cookies with dulce de leche filling…).