The Violent Life of a Spent-Grain Chocolate Chip Cookie

So vulnerable & short-lived! Click on photo for recipe.

I am many things, I am nothing, I am air. The components that will soon make me up are stashed in cupboards or sitting on shelves in a fridge in a tiny, unassuming townhouse in Golden, Colorado. Why this place? Why these things? Why now? These are all questions I will never know the answers to. All I can tell you about is the story of my birth. 

A glass bowl clinks onto a crumb-dusted, coffee stained counter top. Then, gobs of creamy peanut butter smear themselves across the bottom of the bowl, creating a thick, ripe layer for the following ingredients to cling to. Next, hot, slippery butter pools in the valleys of the cresting peanut butter just before a choking downpour of fine, sweet crystals coats the fertile ground.

A thin stream of chilled milk and hypnotic vanilla barely disturb the giant mound of sugar. And just as the terrain settles and begins to soak itself up, a giant spoon thrusts the land into an earthquake of the grandest dimensions. It nullifies the purity of each ingredient, reducing everything to a soupy brown mixture.

Just when the end seems nigh, a delude of white dust, toasted grain husks, and chunky black boulders suffocate the sweet ruins of what once was. Again, I am a tumult, a tsunami of my being. Every part of me spreads itself evenly throughout. And then things get really interesting.

Dollops of myself suddenly find themselves on a slick, gray surface. We peer over at each other, across great expanses of hard, barren land, all just wanting to be together again as one goopy mass. And then the temperature changes, from a balmy 73 degrees to a life-threatening 425. We puff up and flatten out, inexplicably expanding! Our innards transform from a peaceful, Zen-like goo to an airy, cake-y, almost crumbly texture. What are we made of?!? Why is this happening?!? In our panicked state of mutation, we reach out to one another, sometimes touching our now alien brothers and sisters. The sense of calm we thought this would bring is non-existent now.

Finally, the metamorphosis miraculously stops and we breathe a collective steamy sigh of relief. Our undersides cool and we begin to harden as hot pockets of chocolate remain hot and gooey inside. All is calm and we reintroduce ourselves to one another.

Some of us grew jolly and obese, some of us turned cynical and downtrodden by life- burnt around the edges.  Some of us look sunken in the middle, as if clinging to a childhood that is forever gone. And few, like myself, look stunningly perfect, round and even, with just the right amount of-  *CRUNCH crunch CRUNCH smack smack* “Mmm, gooey chocolate chips…”