Monday, November 10, 2008

Dessert Cornucopia: A Good-bye Feast

While the rain passed through Brooklyn this weekend, I spent most of Saturday in my kitchen creating a buffet of baked goods for a party on Sunday: the three recipes below, and one of my favorites, the Chocolate Crinkle cookies which I wrote about in March. The mini cupcakes were the real winner out of all the choices; everyone enjoyed the hint of sweetness in the cakes paired with the confectioners' sugar of the icing, appreciating the flavor balance along with their cute size. My favorite were the brownies, since I used the Valrhona cocoa powder I had been saving for a special occasion, and they made me realize just how much the quality of the ingredients matter in a baked dish.
It wasn't the cloudy weather that had me pause from time to time, smiling sadly out the window; it's the fact that the countdown has begun until I leave this apartment – and this wonderful, tiny kitchen – for my cross-country move. At the end of November, I'll vacate, hand in my keys, and say goodbye to the counter top and oven that helped me to grow as a baker over the past several months.
Although I'm giving away or selling most of my things, I'm reluctant to part with the kitchen items, not because they are of any great quality, but because my bowls and wisk and measuring spoons remind me of the various new desserts I've tried, the chocolate chip cookies that I've compulsively attempted to perfect, and as always, the delighted reception of my treats. Maybe it's ridiculous, but it is, after all, my first set of baking tools and I don't believe I've worn them down sufficiently yet. So I'm keeping the pink mixing bowls and the plastic measuring cup, and even my requisite Betty Crocker cookbook (amongst a few others).
With a few weeks left, I doubt this will be my last day turning on the oven and pulling the flour from the cupboard, which is a relief. And I only hope that the brownies and the cupcakes and all that I've made have absorbed some of the nostalgia, comfort, and bliss that I've felt myself working around my kitchen this weekend.

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