Anyway, I live here in the Netherlands, but I don’t speak Dutch. Maybe I speak a little. Very, very little.
Okay, okay, hardly any at all, but it’s not like I’m not trying. It’s really hard to learn when they’re all already so smart and speak English so beautifully.
If living in a foreign country where I don’t speak the native language has taught me anything, it’s that I’m a coward.
I’m not proud of this fact, but there you have it.
I don’t have the guts to tell someone that I only speak English. There’s lots of reasons why I chicken out of admitting this fact. Sometimes, I feel bad. I mean, I should speak more of their language since I’m here, but I seriously suck. I’m all embarrassed by my pronunciation, and I’m afraid of what they’ll think.
Also, sometimes, it’s just such a short little moment that telling them I don’t understand them seems pointless and rude. Like yesterday, I was out shopping, and I forgot my grocery bag (you have to pay for grocery bags here), and all I had was my purse, so I stuck my apples and celery in there and went on my way.
On the way home, I passed by one of my favorite shops and went in. As I was leaving, a super friendly lady saw my overstuffed purse, with the plastic-wrapped celery Sticking up out of the top, and said something seemingly nice and obviously delightfully funny, judging by her bright smile and infectious laugh. And what did I do?
I giggled like a fool, and ran out of the shop. Tripping over the door jam on my way, of course.
Why didn’t I just apologize and explain that I didn’t understand? Why not be friendly and social with this woman who has such a nice face?
Because I’m a coward. It’s not enough that I’m a socially inept, small-talk-phobic, part-time recluse. No, I have to be a coward, too.
At least she thought I thought she was funny, right?
Or maybe she just thought I was a rude weirdo. Which, frankly, isn’t far off…except instead of rude, I’m just a fraidy cat.
At least you guys can try them, eh? And you want to, trust me. All the warm flavors of cinnamon, coffee, and chocolate together…just right for a cold, snowy weekend.
Cinnamon Espresso Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Makes about 18 large cookies
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant espresso (or more, for a stronger coffee flavor)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) browned unsalted butter, cooled to room temperature (you can use regular melted butter, instead of browned, if you prefer)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoon milk or heavy cream
1/2 cup dark or bittersweet chocolate chunks (I used 60% cocoa)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup cinnamon chips
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat baking mats.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, espresso and cinnamon; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the butter and sugars and mix well. Stir in the eggs, vanilla, and heavy cream and beat until combined. Sprinkle about half of the flour mixture on top and mix until just combined. Add the other half of the flour mixture and mix well. Stir in the chips until evenly distributed.
Using a small (1 1/2 tablespoon) scoop, or a regular tablespoon, scoop out 2 heaping tablespoonfuls of batter. Press the two pieces together to form a cookie. Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 3 to 4 inches between each cookie (I usually only do 6 cookies per sheet, as they are quite large).
Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until dark golden brown at the edges and lighter brown in the center. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack, and allow to cool completely before serving.
Recipe by Darla