Wednesday, November 11, 2009

birthday, with love

Among the many "life lessons" they don't teach in college -- how to pay bills, how to not run up your credit card, how to make rent each month, how to give a great interview, how to gracefully survive a break up, how to dress designer without weekly visits to Saks, etc. -- is one that surpasses all the rest in navigational difficulty: how to make new best friends.

It seems elementary -- in Kindergarten, we shared legos; in middle school, we passed notes; in college, we held each others hair back and BAM! Friends were formed in an instant. After college, in the midst of figuring out all the "real world's" demands, most of us found ourselves alone and stumbling, missing our "BFF" college buddies who scattered in every direction after graduation.

The truth is, it's tough to make friends when you're a grown up. If your first job's office isn't full of "kids" your age, the options are pretty limited. I remember missing my girlfriends so much my first year in the city, that I saw a girl at the gym a few days in a row who matched my pace on the spinning bike and played over in my head how to ask her to see a movie or take a trip to Bloomies (I never actually did).

So it was to my absolute delight when I landed at a job a magazine where the majority of the staff was my age. They were even lovely people, and they liked drinking wine as much as I did (oh, DID they)! Even though I've now moved on and out of their glass tower, they are some of my favorite people and best girlfriends in New York.

Today was one of their birthday's, and I can't wait to let the wine flow and celebrate with her tomorrow. I thought this week about what I could give to show her how much I've appreciated her friendship. It's this lady's 11-month old son who has solely convinced me that I want kids eventually (, and her love and support in the past year has meant the world to me. So, after considering standard birthday gifts like dangly earrings and Borders gift cards, I decided to do what I do best: cookies, with love.

I found this recipe on and even though I could have gone with something fabulously chic from Neiman Marcus, hopefully my cookie treats will wish this very lovely lady a happy day.

Happy Birthday, Melanie!

(p.s. there's a cute story about the name of the cookies here)

Neiman Marcus Cookies
First published in Saveur in Issue #97

2 sticks butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups oatmeal, processed in blender to a fine powder (such a cool idea for cookie texture! Love. It.)
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups walnuts, chopped
4 oz. Hershey's chocolate, grated (I left this out)

Preheat oven to 375 F. Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars together in a large bowl until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla and eggs and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Add oatmeal, flour baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Stir in chocolate chips, walnuts, and chocolate.

Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls and place 2" apart on large baking sheets. Bake until light golden but still soft in the middle, 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to rack and let cool.

1 comment:

Desiree said...

This actually made me tear up. So well written, such great content, and the subject isn't bad either. Great job Beth :)

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