Whenever it snows I am a gleeful. I don’t care about tomorrow’s bad commute, slushy sidewalks or the big scar on my left knee from slipping during an icy walk two years ago. Snow days as an adult are rare, but I’ve managed to salvage that childhood excitement by turning to my kitchen, late at night for a special baking session. I imagine myself into Maurice Sendak’s “In the Night Kitchen,” baking cookies in my PJ’s, running to the corner store in my mother’s old purple snow boots for some extra milk.
Just as the cookies come out of the oven, the nibbling starts. (I was never very good at waiting for things to cool.) Roommates and neighborhood friends are always invited — even if it’s late. The next morning, as the snow starts to turn to gray slush, I console myself with the lingering smell of sugar and chocolate — and a bite of last night’s snowy kitchen mischief.
Levain Bakery Chocolate Chip Monster Cookies: In New York City, Levain Bakery’s cookies reign supreme — there is no better chocolate chip cookie. The 6 oz. monsters are perfectly crisp outside and gooey inside. While the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret, this one comes pretty darn close. For an extra touch, try adding chopped walnuts into the batter and a bit of sea salt atop the cookies while they’re cooling.
Sarabeth’s Rugelach: Sarabeth is the baker we wish all of our friends were. Her rugelach are delicate and sophisticated, filled raspberry preserves, cocoa powder and chopped nuts.
Pumpkin Macaroons: If you’re lucky enough to have an extra bag of shredded coconut and a can of pumpkin in your home, there’s no better use for them than this simple pumpkin macaroon recipe. These little mounds are sweet and slightly chewy. Baking them will fill your home with a scent that I can only describe as perfectly cozy.
Fortune Cookies: The ghost of Christmas (and our Chinese food feasts) may have passed but fortune cookies are a perfect snow project. Fill them with little notes for your friends or family.