Friends, I’ve recently come to a realization.
By this I mean: I’ve finally acknowledged something that has basically always been true about me. I’ve just been a bit too much of a snob to admit to it.
Maybe it’s my recent shameless embrace of pop music (Call Me Maybe plays at least three times a day. Anything by One Direction gets the volume cranked up and is, most likely, repeated. Justin Bieber is the king of my ipod/computer/car stereo.) that has pushed me to this point. Maybe I’m just growing up and letting myself like the things I like without judging myself for them. Maybe my standards have really fallen as a result of law school-fried brains. Who knows.
All I know is: I am unabashedly a Young Adult Fiction reader. Trashy Teen Lit? Gimme some of that!
You see, for a long time I considered myself a reader of “fine literature.” Pretty much I thought I was really awesome for liking to read the classics like Fitzgerald and Hemingway and the funky newcomers like Zadie Smith. I had, like, impeccable taste in literature (not books. Literature.).
The Accountant and I have had many a “discussion” about our respective taste in reading material. Basically, I generally think I read things of a higher quality. Though in my defense, I (used to) almost never classify something I’m reading as “terrible.” Whereas, when The Accountant says he wants to go to the book store, he says he wants to pick up some “[insert expletive here] sci fi novels.” You can maybe understand where I got my superiority complex here, right? Just a little bit?
Anyway, my superiority about our differing taste in books led to some pretty heated discussions. Mostly they became heated when The Accountant would have the audacity to question the quality of the Harry Potter series (“They’re written for kids, Kate. The font size is so huge, Kate. They’re about MAGIC, Kate.”). It’s almost like he didn’t remember who he was talking to (Dumbledore’s Army for life, you guys).
Sometimes, though, The Accountant could catch me being a bit of a hypocrite when I would start tearing through a Young Adult series… like Gossip Girl. Or a chick-lit series like Something Borrowed, Something Blue. I would brush those instances off as merely blips in my greater literature crusade of knowledge. I mean, I read Fitzgerald.
Lately, however, every time I find myself in an airport, I undoubtedly walk into a bookstore and pick probably the worst book in the place. This started about a year ago when I randomly bought the book Spellbound. To give you an idea of the quality-level, here’s the tagline: What’s a girl to do when meeting The One means she’s cursed to die a horrible death? It’s about teenagers, in angsty love, destined to love each other but destined to die if they ever let themselves be together. I mean, come on, Kate… And this was not a book I casually read. I picked it up on the plane and didn’t stop reading it til about 3 in the morning when I had finished it. I had class the next day. I just had to know how it ended. Did they end up together? Did they break the curse? Will they be in perfect, angsty love forever?!? (I won’t spoil it for you. I know you want to read it…)
My next flying experience led to me buying Class, a book by the same author of Gossip Girl. It’s about a group of so-very-different college freshmen navigating the scary world of first semester. There is so much angsty love I could barely contain myself. Again, I picked it up and didn’t put it down til very, very early in the morning. Because, you guys, I just had to know if the pretty popular girl came to her senses and realized she should be with the geeky wallflower instead of the jerkhead frat boy.
Most recently, I bought Delirium. Again with the no putting it down til 3AM. And I had work the next day and had to get up at 7AM. I was actually antsy all day because I couldn’t handle having to wait a whole eight hours to buy the sequel. I tore through that book as well. Do you see a pattern? (Actually, if you loved the Hunger Games, I would totally recommend this series. Is there anything better than a dystopian love triangle?! (No.)). And it might sound like I’m mocking these books, y’all. But no matter how much I poke fun at their ridiculous premises, I eat them up. I LOVE them. I want to re-read them immediately after I finish them. Apparently, I’m a sucker for angsty love stories. Of the teenage variety. Add in some element of the apocalypse, and I am just all over it, all about it.
I’m learning to accept and love this part of my personality. I’m getting off my high-horse about my reading habits. Accepting that maybe, sometimes, every once in a while, The Accountant has a point (gasp!).
Also, I’m baking cookies. There’s really no smooth way to segue into the recipe… So, I know I pretty much just posted a recipe with this combo. But it’s something I’m kinda on board with at the moment, so I hope you can forgive. Also also, I know I actually just posted a recipe from How Sweet It Is. But that is something I’m SUPER on board with at the moment, so get into it!
Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cookies
Makes 2-3 dozen, depending on size
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips (you can use regular, but I had some minis, and I’m all about them lately.)
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
10 caramels, chopped into fours
- Cream together butter and sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until combined.
- Fold in your caramel, chocolate, and pecans.
- Chill your dough for at least 4 hours. I chilled mine for about 24 and they were golden. You just want the dough to get cold enough that the mix-ins stay suspended and don’t sink to the bottom of the cookies and burn. That would be a super bummer.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Roll 2-3 tablespoons of dough into a ball and place about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet. These don’t spread much since the dough is chilled. Also, the dough will look like a TON of dough for one cookie, but since they don’t spread, they actually stay pretty small.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes. Chocolate cookies are tough because it’s hard to see when they’re browning. You want to bake them til they start to dry and crack on the top and around the edges, but you can still see some doughiness happening under that. They should still be pretty soft to the touch.
- Let them cool on the pan for a few minutes. Then move to a wire rack to cool completely. I would suggest using a plastic spatula to move them. The caramel is less likely to stick to it. I started with metal and ripped a few cookies apart because the caramel stuck to it like a magnet. The plastic spatula didn’t cause nearly as many problems…
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is.
Though I’m abandoning my superiority complex when it comes to Teen Lit, I will desperately cling to my feeling of superiority for never having read the Twilight series. So there’s always that.
Bake with love!!