If Julia Child were alive today she’d be 100 years old. It’s quite weird to think that someone I never met had such a dramatic impact on my life. Five years ago I was in a very different place. I was struggling to find meaning in my life and joy in my career. I spent most of my 20s agonizing over my job. I earned a good living but was desperate for more. I wasn’t one of those kids who always knew what she wanted to be when she grew up. I was an English major, not because I wanted to be a professor but because I loved reading and writing. After receiving my bachelors degree I moved on to IT training because it seemed like a good way to make a living. But once the memories of student life were fading and I had settled into my profession, I was unhappy. I became obsessed with the notion that I’d never truly be happy until I was passionate about my work. But nothing fit the bill. Over the next several years I went back to school multiple times and always quit soon after I realized I was headed in the wrong direction yet again. I frustrated loved ones (and myself) with my indecisiveness. But I knew there was something out there, that ONE THING that would bring me satisfaction. When I read Julia Child’s My Life in France, everything changed. Not overnight. It was a gradual, slow change.
I connected with Julia’s story. I saw myself in her gleeful delight over small details such as a beautiful neighborhood or a delicious butter sauce. She moved to Paris and discovered her passion for food and cooking. I was doing a lot of international travel at the time and was becoming increasingly more interested in food and discovering new cuisines. Julia enrolled in Le Cordon Bleu at age 37. I was 29 and wanted to learn to be an amazing cook. Finally, after a lot of debate and many skeptical looks from friends and family, I decided to leave my job and attend culinary school. I thought ‘If Julia can do this, so can I.’ She made me believe that anything is possible. It’s cheesy but it’s true. And here I am, five years later, infinitely more happy. Thank you, Julia. For everything.
The recipe I’m sharing today is not one of Julia’s (check out her wonderful buttermilk scones here). Today’s recipe is just a simple cookie, made from the leftovers in my refrigerator. I bet she’d like them. They’re light, moist and cake-like.
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups blueberries
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- juice of half 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flour, zest, baking soda and salt.
- In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time and scrape down the side of the bowl. Add the vanilla.
- Alternate between the flour mixture and buttermilk, adding until all of the ingredients are incorporated. Stir in the blueberries.
- Scoop the cookie dough onto the parchment. Allow to chill for 10-15 minutes.
- Whisk together the glaze ingredients and set aside.
- Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown.
- Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack after a few minutes. Brush with the glaze.
Adapted from epicurious