Baking with Joy

Or: A Case Study on the Limits of Written Communication

When I tasted the chocolate chip cookies that night, I said


They were that good – creamy, flavorful, melt-in-your-mouth.

Turned out it was Joy.

Turned out she was willing to share her recipe.

Turned out, after several failed attempts,

That there is more to baking great chocolate cookies

Than a recipe.

I found I had three hundred questions:

Butter or margarine? And at what temperature?

Do you cream the fat and sugar first? How long?

What brand of everything are you using?

What texture of dough am I going for?

How do you shape the cookies?

What should they look like when they come out of the oven?

I found what I needed to do was watch her.

So I asked.

And she said yes, that would be fun.

And one July afternoon, I went to her house for a lesson.

I’ll make the first batch, she said,

And you’ll make the second.

And guess what?

I learned.

I now know how to make chocolate chip cookies that knock your socks off.

But I’m not going to share any of her secrets online

Because I’m shy like that.

So much of everything can only be learned when you’re there.

If you want to bake great chocolate chip cookies

And you can’t,

You will have to find a Joy.

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Kim Z
5 years ago

The nerve!!!!!! You tempt us w/these awesome looking cookies, snicker into your hand, (that still has chocolate on it) & creatively avoid producing a recipe?!?!?! It’s just borderline rude! ? I’m sorta kidding! I’ll be raiding your recipe stash when we come visit. ?

5 years ago

Yeah, come on! You could teach a whole raft of us. ?

5 years ago

You should do a video!

5 years ago

We must have been thinking the same thing because I made chocolate chip cookies too!

5 years ago

Next up. Make a video so we can learn too ? they look amazing!!

Lovina B.
5 years ago

Shari, you are a joy! (albeit not the recipe-sharing kind of joy) 😉 Would you have written the article anyway if your friend’s name had been, well, say…. Hilda?

Hilda Joy
5 years ago
Reply to  Lovina B.

Of course she could have, because I am Hilda Joy.

Lovina B.
5 years ago
Reply to  Hilda Joy

I love it! 🙂 Joys abound… I am Lovina Joy!!!

5 years ago

I’m drooling. I just put a bib on the one-year old. I wonder if I have any that would reach around my neck. I don’t think these look like you browned the butter first, which is something I tried recently for chocolate chip pecan cookies. But it was much more noticeable and yummy before they were baked, and the joy was taken by thinking about salmonella while eating raw cookie dough.

Way to go encouraging in-person relationships and great skill learning without videos. 🙂

Hope Byler
5 years ago

Some if us don’t know your Joy =)) . . . me way up here in the Minnesota boonies would love to sink my teeth into one of those . . . reconsider sharing the recipe (better yet — video)?

5 years ago

Why withhold the joy?? Recipe please!

5 years ago

That’s not very nice!!? But I’ll wait patiently…

Lois Hilty
5 years ago

Please share the recipe by video; we’re waiting. Thanks.

5 years ago

I agree with Kim!! Haha ? we’re coming for you ? and that recipe

5 years ago

It will be nice having another local cookie baking pro. I am not begging for the recipe, I’m just begging to have chocolate chip cookies on your front porch someday soon. Say, August 24 @10:30 am ??!!? 😉

[…] could argue that my last post was cheeky and […]

Natalia Showalter
5 years ago

I am commenting today because I love to show others how to….make soap or hand-quilt or have tea….. Thanks for reminding us of the joy in sharing!
And usually for some unknown reason, when I get to the end of your post and want to comment, there is this sad faced icon saying unable to comment. ???
Praying joy unspeakable on each daughter of His today.

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