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How To Bake Your Dread Into Chocolate Chip Cookies

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Ashoka chapter.

Edited by: Devaki Divan

Lately, you’ve been feeling like a suggestion of a person, all shadows and footprints, translucent and wavering. Barely a presence. But, of course, as you are wont to forget, you are a body, solid and present. 

And there’s nothing that reminds you of your solidity quite like sugar and fat, and so you decide to make chocolate chip cookies.

Step 1: Gather the ingredients. Ideally, they should all be room temperature, but you’ve never been particularly good at waiting. As a child, you would pick at scabs before they were ready, swiping your fingernail under the hardened crust to reveal the soft, stinging, pink skin and twist out loose teeth the moment they’d barely begun to wiggle against your flicking tongue. 

Step 2: Cream together the butter and sugars. You could do this with an electric whisk, it would be more efficient, but life need not worship at the altar of efficiency so you do this by hand. You are punished for your impatience (you always are) and the too-cold butter is rock-solid and unyielding. Your arms are a pain-pricked and noodly mess by the end of this. 

Step 3: You’re about to add the too-cold eggs when you realize cold eggs would cause the butter to seize up and harden. Learning from past mistakes (you almost never do), you choose to wait. 

Step 3.5: Watch a moth bump into a lightbulb. It pings off the glass again and again. It sounds like the pitter-patter of the first droplets of rain. You should feel sorry for it, directionally confused and light-drunk, a paradigm of the Sisyphusian tragedy. But you don’t. It must be wonderful to be a moth, to regard every fluorescent bulb and traffic light like a sun. A sky of a million glowing suns. The world must glimmer. Do car headlights racing across roads look like shooting stars? What do moths wish for? You lose sight of it when it hits the glass a little too hard and is propelled back, disappearing into oblivion. You don’t try to look for it for too long; your eggs are warm enough. Things don’t matter as much when you no longer need them.

Step 4: Add the eggs.

Step 5: Sift together your dry ingredients if you’re feeling cautious. You are not (there is something about being barely there that lends itself to throwing caution to the wind), so you unceremoniously dump the flour, baking powder and soda and salt in, clumps be damned. A white cloud plumes from the bowl, a light dusting of flour settles over the kitchen countertops. 

Step 6: You should have abandoned the whisk a while ago, but you’ve never been good at knowing when to let go. The whisk struggles through the dough, which clumps in the hollow center, caged in by the metal wire. That familiar prick returns and settles in your arms. 

Step 7: Add the chocolate chips. You add too much and the dough struggles to stick to itself. You force the dough into passable balls and place them on a baking tray. You forgot to line it with baking paper. You hope it will be okay. You know it won’t be.

Step 8: Bake them. You watch as round balls melt into round discs.

Step 9: Ten minutes later, they come out warm and sweet smelling. On the eighth cookie (third row, second column), a delicate moth wing pokes out of a chocolate chip.

Antara Joshi

Ashoka '25

Antara is a second-year student at Ashoka University and an English and Creative Writing Major (also known as, future member of the unemployment line). She is trying very hard to dissociate her value as a person from her academic achievement and grades. It’s going okay. She has an inexplicable semi-religious allegiance to wearing sweaters and cardigans, even in the peak summer months. She asserts her aesthetic is ‘Heatstroke.’