If Julia Child were alive today she’d be over 100 years old. It’s quite weird to think that someone I never met had such a dramatic impact on my life. Ten 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, several 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.
Blueberry Buttermilk Cookies
- 13 ounces all-purpose flour (approximately 3 cups)
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 6 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
- 11 1/2 ounces granulated sugar (approximately 1 1/2 cups)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 cups blueberries (frozen or fresh)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line one large or two regular baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, 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, about 3 minutes on medium high speed. Add the vanilla and mix for another 15 seconds to combine.
- Turn the mixer speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, allowing the first to fully incorporate before adding the next. Scrape down the side of the bowl all the way to the bottom after the second egg. With the mixer on medium speed, alternate between adding the flour mixture and buttermilk, until all of the ingredients are incorporated, starting and ending with the dry.
- Using a spatula, stir in the blueberries.
- Use a 2-tablespoon scoop to portion the cookie dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Space the cookies at least 1 1/2 inches apart (you may need to cook them in batches). Allow to chill for 15 minutes.
- Bake for 15 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to brown. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack after a few minutes.
- Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (possibly longer, but they'll taste best within 2 weeks).
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