Home is where the heart is. We all heard this phrase before. But I never thought about it’s meaning or the truth behind this. Until I moved again and again and again and again. I am in my fifth home, fourth state in four years and start to wonder where is my home and where is my love for it?
This must have simmered in me for some time and bubbled up last week while shopping for groceries. Life can be strange. Sometimes lightning hits you between milk and fresh bread. I was about to pay as the lady behind the checkout counter asked me about my key chain. It is green and you can read “Heimat” in big letters on it. I told it means home and my sister gave it to me before I left Germany and moved to the US four years ago. I still know exactly what she said: “This is to remember you where your home is”. I heart the cashier saying something like awe and that is cute… But I was suddenly somewhere else with my mind. I turned my head that she wouldn’t see my teary eyes. I still don’t know what hit me, is it all the moving? Changing locations? Living so fare away from my family and friends? Or starting from scratch – again? I suddenly felt small and all alone. And I don’t know even why, I love it here, Atlanta had been very good to me so far. First I find myself silly and overreacting. But I realized you can’t move home like a box, it is not by default the place where you put your sox in a drawer. Home might be there your heart is but it is a feeling that has to develop. For now my home is as always at my parent’s house in Germany and here and now is the home to be – in process.
Baking is my cure for many things, it relieves stress and grey clouds. I started baking as soon as I was able to use the kitchen. I wrote down this recipe during our family vacation in Florida last year, our rental house had a small but well picked selection of cookbooks and I scribbled this recipe on a small piece of paper. I forgot to note the source, sorry for that, but you can find the recipe all over the internet, I guess it’s not a secret recipe, more a common one. I used milk chocolate my sister brought me from Switzerland and the rest was also good quality organic chocolate. I believe it’s important to use the good stuff if you use so much of it. The smell and look of the melted mess is insane, like shiny dark brown lava. I wish I could tell you how many cookies you will get, but they went so fast. I wrapped some and gave it to the handymen, it was one of these days they continually came in one after another and leering at my cooling rack. I had no choice than sharing. But I have to admit I ate more cookie dough than good for me and couldn’t stop.
7 minute chocolate cookies
- 400 g / 14 oz./ 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 55 g / ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 340 g / 12 oz. chocolate (2/3 semisweet, 1/3 milk chocolate)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 125 g / 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 130 g / 4.6 oz. chopped walnuts
- 2.5 Tbsp. instant espresso powder or 5 Tbsp. bourbon
- Preheat your oven to 175 C / 350 F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium saucepan (choose one that is big enough for vigorous stirring) over low heat, mix and melt sweetened condensed milk, butter, chocolate, vanilla extract. Stir well to prevent the chocolate from sticking to the bottom and burning and reduce heat if necessary. Remove saucepan from heat and add flour, salt, nuts and espresso powder or bourbon. Stir well.
- Drop with teaspoon or small ice scoop on lined baking sheets, leave space in between they spread out big times and bake for seven minutes.
- Still hot the cookies will be fragile and look undercooked, slide parchment paper with the cookies of the baking sheet and let cool before transferring to your mouth or cookie jar.
- They taste best the day made but still fudgy and yummy for at least three more days.
Good quality chocolate is the key. If you prefer a sweeter cookie or you bake for kids, you might want to use more milk chocolate and skip espresso and bourbon (you might know that).
You can also use just semisweet chocolate, I love for a mix of 45%, 60% and 85% (cocoa solids).
Dived dough in half and flavor one half with espresso (for breakfast) and the other half with bourbon (for happy hour).
You can use any nuts you like, toasted hazelnuts are great and the cookies turn out more chewy. Almonds are mmmmh. Pecans and bourbon are a dream team.
Cooking time: 7 minutes (hence the name)