The scent of chocolate chip cookies always seemed to put me in a trance. I would be in my room at eleven o'clock at night, laboring over an essay I couldn't seem to write or staring at a math problem like it was a rubix cube, and then all of a sudden I would get a whiff of chocolate and charge directly to the kitchen. There, I would see my sister, leaning against the kitchen counter on her phone while waiting for the cookies to finish baking. I would turn on the oven light and watch the cookies as they baked, asking an obnoxious amount of times when they would be ready. Then, I would agonize over the ten minutes they would take to cool, and finally I would be greeted with the sweet, gooey glory of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. Everything good and just in the world seemed to be packed into these roughly circular chocolate delights, and I will always cherish them with all my heart.
My older sister was the one who made these cookies. My mom would buy the pre-packaged cookie mix from the supermarket, then, whenever my sister felt like it she would just add eggs and butter, shape the cookies, and bake them. It was a quick and easy process, which is probably why she made them so often. She's in college now, so I no longer experience the sudden joy of waking up at midnight to find my sister in the kitchen, but I've taken to making them myself. The process is pretty simple: I start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Then, I take out a block of butter and let it sit while I gather the other ingredients. After I get a medium sized bowl, pour in the cookie mix, and add one egg. At this point, the butter is soft, so I add it to the mixture and stir. Finally, I roll the cookie dough into balls, place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper, and pop it into the oven for about fifteen minutes. Baking and cooling take about thirty minutes, and prep time is ten so in total it takes around forty minutes. It's a fun and relaxing process that has always been therapeutic to me on a stressful day.
Baking chocolate chip cookies tends to remind me of my sister now. When she was the one to bake them, it was usually because she had some deadline coming up and she needed a break. Walking into the kitchen and seeing her there, knowing that she was stressed out, and feeling the exact same way I did made me feel connected to her on a different level. No matter how different we were, and no matter how much we drifted apart as we grew older, I could still understand and share something with her. It gave me an unmatched sense of joy that I cherish more now because I haven't seen my sister in so long. The nostalgia that those chocolate chip cookies hold will forever stick to me like dough, and I couldn't be happier.