summer is icumen in

Okay, so actually Summer is still 1+ months off, but the 85˚F weekend has gotten me a little enthusiastic about moderately warm weather. Among other things, this has meant throwing open my one big window to let all the fresh air in, and changing my comforter out for a light quilt.

Yesterday, a group of us decided to take advantage of the lovely weather, and we went to a small park in Urbana, located perhaps a mile away from campus. Despite its proximity to some 30000 students, we only had to share the park with a few children and some folks playing tennis. So the 15 or so of us took over a baseball field and played kickball (although we had to explain all the rules to the several international students playing with us). Miraculously, I didn't get a sunburn while we did this.

When we finished with the park, I went home to make cookies. This was not so nice as it usually has been, because during the winter I enjoyed the fact that the oven warmed up my apartment. The oven still warms my apartment up, but since "room temperature" is much warmer to begin with, there's the potential for things to get a little uncomfortable. Add to that the fact that I made about eight dozen cookies, and it suddenly becomes a good thing that I didn't start baking until the sun was well on its way down.

This week I made thumbprint cookies (43). The name has a pretty simple (and obvious) origin: halfway through baking the cookies I had to take them out of the oven and use my thumb to poke a hole in them. Then they were returned to the oven to finish baking, and later filled with a chocolate, butter, and corn syrup mixture.

The cookie dough is pretty basic. I would say that it's more or less like a shortbread recipe - butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla, and flour - except that there's more flour in here than shortbread calls for. The flavor and texture is pretty simple, which means that the somewhat soft chocolate filling takes center stage in the cookie-eating experience. I'm not sure how I feel about that, it seems a bit like the cookies are just there to hold the chocolate.

There is an up side to the simplicity of these cookies, though: I made such a big batch so that I can give them to my students as an incentive for them to actually show up to class this week and get their old quizzes (I really don't want to have to hold on to them). Since there's no big surprises here, I don't think there will be any complaints, except perhaps the occasional "I don't like chocolate."

Speaking of quizzes, it's about time that I get my grading done. Then I have some homework death and so on. Oh, the joys of wrapping up the semester...


  1. Ahh... so THAT'S what they're called! When I was little, my mom would bring cookies home from the bakery sometimes, and she often got a few of those. I never knew they had a name!

    p.s. There are people who don't like chocolate?! :)

  2. Aaron, there are not only people who don't like chocolate, there are people who are *allergic* to chocolate. My grandma, for instance.



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