Irish Cream White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Tell me your life story in 15 songs... That’s not how this started. I was trying to come up with a list of my top 5 favorite songs of all time. A daunting task for sure but a girl needs something to keep her mind occupied while cleaning the kitchen. What defines a favorite song? To me it’s something I can listen to over and over again for years and never grow tired of it. It didn’t take long for 5 songs to turn into 10. And then I forgot an important song which caused my top 10 list to turn into 11 and it was unthinkable to remove a single one. As I looked over these 11 songs, I noticed something. These weren’t simply my favorite songs. Each song represented a time in my life. These were the songs that saw me through the good times as well as the bad. From there I began to fill in the gaps and here we are. My life in 15 songs. I’m breaking it up over a few posts to make it easier for me to share and perhaps easier for you to read. And here’s a disclaimer: it gets personal. I won’t be offended if you skip to the recipes. I promise.
There are obvious gaps. Trust me, there is not one single piece of music I was enjoying at the age of 11 that I want to share or you want to hear. Some audio moments in my life are best left on mute.
I’ll bring all your dreams alive
Yes, I’m starting the story of my life with Xanadu and this won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. Since I basically wrote a whole tribute to the movie last week I’ll keep this short. This is a beautiful song. When I hear Magic I think of innocence, the house where I grew up, and the world looking like this big, magical, confusing place. All the adults were really tall. The runner up for this song was the opening theme to Neverending Story which I still really like despite its cheesiness and background waves. I love that movie and Atreyu was my first crush.
Help me get away from myself
I like to think I’m the only person to ever transition from Xanadu to Nine Inch Nails. If for some reason you’ve never heard this song I should probably mention that the lyrics are a bit… NSFW. I fell in love with Closer the moment I heard it and am equally enamored with it almost 20 years later. I was in high school when this song came out. Grunge was fading into the ubiquitous and bland “alternative”. Kurt Cobain was dead. But Trent Reznor was filled with a genuine angst that any teenager could embrace and I most certainly knew angst and depression. There’s no point in sugar coating things. My teenage years were a mess and I was the definition of a juvenile delinquent. What got me through these years was my parents unwillingness to give up on me and, quite frankly, a whole lot of luck. There are many things I wish I could say to my teenage self. I wish I could give that me a big hug.
Yesterday I woke up sucking a lemon
Everyone hits rock bottom at some point, right? Maybe? Well I did in 2001. This was the year after I graduated from college and realized I had a completely useless degree and absolutely no idea what to do next. This was the year my friend Todd suddenly died only hours after we said goodbye to one another. And then 9/11 happened. For awhile I turned into something of a hermit, withering away in my home and not seeing a soul. By the end of the year I realized I was drowning and needed to pull myself together. I packed up my belongings, ditched the suburbs and moved to the city.
She says it gets much worse
Before it gets any better
I still remember the first time I heard Rilo Kiley and the haunting vocals of Jenny Lewis. This song was playing on a record player at the house of a new friend. The soft melodies and soothing pace calmed me and created feelings of warmth and hope. There was still a sadness behind my smile and a bewilderment I couldn’t pinpoint. But I knew everything would be ok and this was a new beginning. Anything was possible. For the majority of my 10 years in Baltimore I lived in a beautiful neighborhood with historic buildings and cobblestone streets. It was the location where Homicide, The Wire and America’s Most Wanted were filmed and for good reason. Fells Point has an incredibly unique look. Frederick Douglass, Ella Fitzgerald and Edgar Allen Poe all lived there various times. Living in this neighborhood brought a new sense of freedom. I still had no idea who I was or what I was doing. But really, what 23 year old has it all figured out? Maybe I wanted to be Jenny Lewis. She was my new Olivia Newton John.
I have never seen two eyes so shiny
This song amazes me every time I hear it. Colin Meloy is an absolute poet and I love how he manipulates words. This song evokes those first years in the city. Optimism, uncertainty, and loneliness all prevailed in their own ways. I was an extreme introvert who struggled with social anxieties and awkwardness. Friendship and dating did not come easily for me. I felt like there was something wrong with me and I was a bit helpless about how to fix it. But life in the city was a vast improvement and never boring. In 2003 Fells Point was featured prominently on national news when we took a direct hit from Hurricane Isabel. I lived on the waterfront and 4 feet of the harbor covered our neighborhood and totaled my car.
If I’m to run the future
You’ve got to let the old world go, oh oh
I must have seen 3 episodes of Portlandia before I realized that Carrie Brownstein was Carrie Brownstein from Sleater-Kinney. Mind blown. Seriously. I love blasting this band when I want to really feel alive. It works to this very day. This album helped me get through more than one bad breakup and I was so disappointed when the band called it quits. At least I managed to see them live once. They were just as powerful if not more so in person. This song still gives me chills. I only wish that everyone watching Carrie on TV knew how badass she really is!
That’s a good place to stop. 6 songs down, 9 to go. Thank you for indulging me. Let’s move on to these Irish cream white chocolate chip cookies. They’re easy to make and just amazing straight out of the oven. Soft, delicate, and sweet. I didn’t skimp on the booze. If you’re as much of a lightweight as I am you might even get a buzz after munching on a few of them.
- 1⅓ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 6 ounces sugar
- 6 ounces brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup Irish cream liquor, such as Baileys
- 16 ounces all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 6 ounces white chocolate chips
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
- In a mixing bowl with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on high speed. Add the eggs on low speed, followed by the Irish cream. Then slowly add the flour. Add the white chocolate chips.
- Use a small scoop to portion out the cookies. Chill for 15 minutes, then bake for 13-15 minutes.
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