I Made Cookies from Gray Wolf Island

Brown butter oatmeal cookies filled with caramel and peanut butter. That’s it, that’s the post β€” because really, need I say more? (Well, actually, yes; I promise there’s a whole post under the read-more!)

It’s like you took everything good in life and baked it into a cookie.

– Tracey Neithercott, Gray Wolf Island
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I Made Cookies From Small Town Hearts

It’s possible that I have a thing for cookies in books (see: my Mother-Daughter Book Club chocolate chip cookies). What can I say, I love baking and I also love reading about characters baking; it makes them extra relatable and lovable.

So food scenes are a general favorite of mine, and this one from Small Town Hearts by Lillie Vale is no exception:

I sank my teeth into a shortbread cookie that wasn’t perfectly round. The sweet, smoky notes of tea blended with the crushed vanilla beans I’d sprinkled into the cookie batter. The flavor was incredible β€” like sweet, crumbly autumn goodness. Like fragrant, floral tea and crisp breaths in brisk air. Like fingertips warmed by hot cocoa and enormous woolly sweaters wrapped around me.

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I Made Mother-Daughter Book Club Cookies

The Mother-Daughter Book Club was recommended to me by a friend in middle school, and I still adore this series. It’s about four girls whose moms force them to read Little Women and participate in monthly meetings, and they eventually bond through the drama of sixth grade and general growing pains β€” very much a feel-good read, but a fun and relatable one.

I always related most to Emma Hawthorne (named after the Jane Austen character by her librarian mother!) because she’s a writer and baker and slightly out of shape, but also to Megan Wong (Chinese-American, wants to pursue a career in fashion β€” though she’s a terrific designer and I can’t draw a straight line). And while I didn’t see as much of myself in them, I also adored Jess Delaney (Emma’s best friend and the narrator of the above quote; loves animals and music, has two annoying but adorable younger brothers), and Cassidy Sloane (lives for sports and pranks and photography). And I think I’m due for a reread, because the books only span until the end of high school, so I’m sure I’d be able to relate more to the mothers now.

This recipe is for the chocolate-chip cookies that Emma and Jess bake together, and was included in the guide that came with my paperback edition of the first book; the only modifications I made were halving the ingredient quantities and slightly reducing the amount of sugar. (Okay, so technically it’s not my book, I bought it for my mom as a present, but she never got around to reading it so I … borrowed it. Years ago.)

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