There’s been a lot of cooky baking in the past few months. New York, Chicago, busy or less so, I am a woman with a wooden spoon.
I prefer the “cooky” spelling, yes. There’s something L’il Abner about spelling cooky with a “y,” which is to say spelling cooky with a “y” evokes newsprint, the 1950s, and little kids with southern accents.* I’m not so sure that even with the “y” I shouldn’t change the plural to “cookies.” I probably should, but if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for language rules you didn’t make and don’t like. Also, Cooky Monster eschews the “ie” and that’s good enough for me.
Yuri likes cookys. Chocolate chip wins by a wide, wide margin. It’s funny how you can not listen to someone, even when they’re telling you exactly what they want, to your face. When I learned that Yuri was a cooky fan, I set about making him the best cookys of his entire life thus far. I listened only partly when he said that chocolate chip cookys were his very very very favorite. I made a batch of chocolate chip first, of course, maybe even two batches. But then it was time for my cooky experience to grow. It was suddenly more about me, this cooky.
I did some maple glazed. That was in New York. Lemon buttermilk, because I had to use up some buttermilk. I did some pecan sandies.** But one day, after I saw a cooky unfinished on Yuri’s snack plate, I inquired.
“Hey, did you like the cookys I made?” I asked.
“Yeah, they were really good.”
“Lemon buttermilk, right? So good. You really did like them?”
“Yeah, they were awesome.”
I gave him a pout. “You didn’t eat all your cooky, though.”
There was a pause, then Yuri, with great diplomacy and tact, said, “You know what, baby? I love everything you make, but I really just love a chocolate chip cooky. Like, straight up chocolate chip.”
It’s a fantastic thing to listen, and it’s also fantastic to focus one’s cooky-making adventure on a single cooky. There’s a zen calm in thinking that for the rest of the foreseeable future (we can’t see much of it, but I’m forever trying to peek) I will be exploring but one cooky. Without deviating from the goal — a great chocolate chipper — I can experiment with infinite variations until I achieve what this man believes is The Best Yet. A little baking powder? a lot? no nuts? hazelnuts? hazelnuts pounded within an inch of their life so you have a fine meal of hazelnut going on in the bite? It’s exciting.
*L’il Abner ran for 43 years. Forty-three years!
**Alt. spelling, “sandys”