Thursday, June 28, 2007

Barnacle Boy's Blessed Biscuits

Barnacle Boy loves to bake and to share what he bakes. Batches of cookies end up in my classroom, delivered to neighbors, mailed to aunts and brought along on visits to my spiritual director (who has a serious chocolate habit and a penchant for sharing the treats that pass through his office with all comers).

On our recent visit to my dad's the Boy enjoyed trying out the new kitchen and baked two batches of his famous cookies. His cookies taste different (and to some minds better!) than mine. A friend recently led a double-blind tasting in which everyone could reliably tell that the Boy had not baked the batch of cookies they were consuming. Maybe it's a bit like sourdough, he doesn't wash his hands as much as I do and some strange bacterial culture grows in the cookies? Better not to inquire too closely.

He says it's because he blesses them. He's serious about this. One weekend last fall he wanted a batch of chocolate chip cookies to share with his buddies. With four boys in my kitchen, I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and vanished. Sorting papers in the in dining room, I could keep tabs on the progress in the kitchen. The Boy carefully instructed his team of assistants to say a blessing as they dumped the chips into the dough. He's not particular about your choice of deity or form, but he got each kid to offer some words. None of this batch survived long enough for me to sample, but it had to be a good one!

1 cup butter, cut into 1" cubes (doesn't need to be softened)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 12-ounce package of chocolate somethings (mini chips, M&Ms, your choice...)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Cream butter, sugar and molasses until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat to combine. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter, sugar and egg. Mix well. As you add the chocolate chips, say the blessing (or your own): Dear God, thank you for this chocolate and may you bless these cookies. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Scoop the batter by the spoonful onto a baking sheet. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Wonderful warm (how not?).


  1. This looks like a recipe worth trying; complete with blessing of course! I think perhaps the boy is on to something with blessing the cookies.

    Have been stopping in sometimes but have not commented. I do enjoy your writing though.

  2. Barnacle Boy sounds pretty amazing. Go Barnacle Boy!

    As for the different tastes, I have a friend like this. We use the same recipe, but her cookies are absolutely always way better than mine. Weirder still, she can bake in my kitchen or we can bake together in my kitchen, and they're still better than if I make them myself.

  3. Thanks, Nancy! I think The Boy is on to something.

    kb, chemists often say "in our hands, the reaction yielded..." to acknowledge the ineffable nature of cooking up molecules or cookies. Barnacle Boy read the comment and laughed out loud.

  4. Michelle, I was a chemistry major as an undergraduate and recall that piece of humble, functional ritual language. Now that I've distanced myself from the pleasures of concocting molecules, I have to content myself with concocting food. Loving to eat helps.

    Tell Barnacle Boy that I hope Thomas grows up to be quite a bit like him.