Monday, October 15, 2012

Like Autumn in Your Mouth

Other than my husband and books, the only thing I write about more here is probably food. And specifically baked goods. Or maybe I'm just thinking about them all the time. Nope, I write about them a lot too. Umm, cupcakes. Anyway, this year I've become a reformed baker. I want to bake cookies all the time. And cupcakes and caramels and all of those delicious treats. But then I eat too many. So many. All the cupcakes, except for the few that I share. So I've baked rarely this year and lost about 25 pounds. That weight loss is not directly connected to just less baking, but it sure as hell helps to not have batches of your favorite cookies sitting around the house every few weeks.

And suddenly in the last two months, with training for this triathlon in July 2013, the idea of losing more weight isn't just for cosmetic reasons or to fit into my clothes better. I want to run faster, feel better when I'm running and become stronger and fitter. But sometimes a girl's gotta bake. And this weekend was lazy and rainy and relaxed and it needed cookies. And I have book club tonight, so those ladies can eat most of the goodies, right? I'll just save a dozen for myself, I mean, me and Joe, ok, me.

So after careful recipe evaluation, I baked. And it was good. So good. Saturday night, after we went to the movies and had a quick dinner, we came home, the golden leaves falling on our deck and the night arriving earlier all of a sudden, and fall firmly in place. So pumpkin orange cranberry cookies were on the menu. I forgot how much I enjoy lining up the ingredients, measuring out the dry and the wet. Smelling the cookies baking in the oven. The whole house smelled like nutmeg and pumpkin the rest of the weekend.

These are a really cakey type of cookie. Almost like little muffins. Not chewy or crunchy, but moist and soft and with a strong spice flavor, dried cranberries, and the zest of a large orange to cut the sweetness a bit. They were wonderful. With a large cup of coffee, they made an excellent breakfast on Sunday morning. And they satisfied my urge to bake. I think I'll hold off baking again until the holidays, when I can mail off all the treats and send a little sweet joy to friends and family. And damn it, I need to run a little longer tonight, I might have had a couple or six of these little treats. But yum, so worth it. (Oh, ok, this might be happening before the holidays, but does it even count as baking?)

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