To know me is to know that I love to bake. The holidays are my Super Bowl, and I lean hard into programs like The Great British Baking Show and Barefoot Contessa. Stella Parks' BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts and Mary Berry's Baking Bible hold pride of place on my kitchen shelves. And when my trusty 14-year-old KitchenAid stand mixer bit the dust this summer after eking out one last batch of dough for challah (a quarantine baking project), I cried.
For me, baking is second only to therapy in how it relieves stress. It's hard to feel sad when your kitchen smells like birthday cake and rainbow sprinkles are strewn about, and there's something soothing about unlocking a springform pan to reveal a perfect cheesecake. Braiding that challah dough, carefully twisting ropes of soft dough over one other, felt like meditation.
That's a feeling I want to return to today, election day. No matter what side of the aisle you're on, I think we can all agree that this election cycle—and 2020 in general—has been awful. So, as we come to the end of both, I offer you a recipe that's both the ultimate comfort food and an exercise in getting out your feelings: Sarah Kieffer's Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies.
The cookies are delicious—crispy-edged and wrinkly, with a soft, gooey center and puddles of chocolate—and, as the name suggests, they require you to bang a sheet pan down on your stove or oven rack several times to get them to spread out into huge discs. It's the baking version of those medicine-ball slams you do at the gym—and in a quiet kitchen, the sharp metal rattle of the pan-bang almost feels like an act of rebellion. These cookies are making their voices heard.
Get the recipe here.