A tasty, tasty Spring Training jaunt
One time, when I was in the prime of my life in the middle of the pandemic, I thought it’d be interesting to sit outside in the mid-March sunshine and watch a baseball game. The Mariners were facing off against the Royals in a televised Spring Training match-up for the ages and boy, they sure did play a game of baseball. Or, at least, the Mariners did.
Here’s your late-night snack. pic.twitter.com/QHz85PPLCi
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) March 17, 2021
Justus Sheffield had a banger of a start, going four innings and allowing just two hits while striking out six. It was a marked improvement over his last Spring Training appearance, and lent further credence to my suspicion that this is just how fans should get used to handling Sheff starts – opportunities for dazzling brilliance, or the potential for a little bit of a meltdown, without a whole lot of variance in between.
Bunch of other guys came in and pitched too. Casey Sadler looked halfway decent when he wasn’t throwing to an empty first base, and Joey Gerber continued to impress with his bang-on fastball.
Offensively, the Mariners banged out hit after hit after hit after hit – and that was just through the fourth inning. Starting center fielder and mightiest little Pony Sam Haggerty was a home run shy of the cycle, Tom Murphy lurched out of a worrisomely slow spring with his first dinger of the year and Ty France continued to trumpet his own horn louder than the Spring Training bugler with his fourth homer of ST.
Not to be left out of the hit parade, Julio Rodriguez pinch hit in the fifth and oh, what a bang.
— Céspedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) March 17, 2021
The Royals may not be very good this year, but they were definitely bad tonight.
Anyway, here’s the recipe for some literally and metaphorically banging chocolate chip cookies courtesy of the brilliant Sarah Kieffer, with a few minor notes and adjustments.
- Two cups (284 g) AP flour (can sub 1:1 gluten free flour, measures closer to 296 g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, shoved into your waistband or under your armpits for approx. the length of one half-inning until room temperature
- 1½ cups (297 g) regular sugar
- ¼ cup (50 g) brown sugar, packed in like the Mariners packed all of their offensive abilities into this single game
- 1 egg, similar in size to the one laid by the Royals in this game
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons water
- 6 ounces (170g) chocolate. Kieffer calls for bittersweet, chopped into bite-size pieces and says chocolate chips won’t spread as well. That may be the case, but I didn’t notice enough of a difference to assuage me from taking this shortcut in the future. If you go the chip route, about 2⁄3 of a bag is perfect.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, dull side up. This seems persnickety, but it makes for a more perfect golden brown underside.
- In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together.
- In a large bowl, or in the bowl of a stand mixer if you’re fancy, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugars and beat on medium until light and fluffy. Don’t get impatient here – keep beating, like the Mariners did to the Royals in the 4th inning. Add the egg, vanilla, and water and mix on low to combine. It will be an unpleasantly curdled texture, not unlike the feeling the Mariners bullpen will elicit this season. Add the flour mixture and mix on low until combined. Add the chocolate – can do with a mixer, but I recommend doing so by hand.
- Roll the dough into mammoth balls. Seriously, make them bigger than you think they should be – approx. 1⁄3 cup. The cookies spread better when they’re larger. Transfer dough balls to a sheet pan and put them in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking. Remove 3-4 balls (make sure to place these FAR apart, otherwise they will merge into giant monster cookies) and place them on the aluminum foil-prepped sheet.
- Place the foiled baking sheet in the oven and bake 10 minutes, until the cookies are puffed slightly in the center. Now this is the fun part, and you have two options: 1) Pull the sheet out of the oven and bang it 3-4 times on the counter, or 2) Lift up the edge of the baking sheet and let it bang down on the oven rack 3-4 times. Close the oven and bake another 3 minutes and repeat the banging process. Bake approx. 2 more minutes and go through the banging one more time. The cookies will be done when they’re fully spread out and the edges are golden brown but the centers are much lighter and not fully cooked.
- Let the cookies cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Happy baking and go ‘ners!