Apparently it is called petrichor. The distinct smell of the earth after rain, particularly after an extended period of warm, dry weather. An evocative smell, reminiscent of flowing streams and spontaneously flowering valleys; long grass wet with dew; soil dark like freshly ground coffee. Petrichor seems to carry with it the kind of rain that is seen as relief, rather than the constant, hounding rain that chases through northern Europe in winter, driven by wind and, seemingly, despair. But the rain eventually gives way to the dry spells of summer. Circling dust and relentless blue skies, grass and wheat slowly fading.
The rain started about 15 minutes after I began my run. It was early morning, a warm one, with the kind of clammy atmosphere that leaves skin sticky to the touch. Clouds were heavy, in angry sheets, heather gray and violet. There had been some low rumbles of thunder, when Prune and I took our humid walk by the water. The lake itself was perfectly still, a mirror, soft ripples a portrait of the moody skies suspended above us. Prune didn't notice the thunder; she watched the rabbits scattering between the hilly pastures one side the footpath to the brush lining the shore, where bushes were laden with fading blossom, so a spirited pink looked watercolor.
That first bout of rain only lasted a few minutes, soaking fields and darkening tarmac. The smell of petrichor filled the air, it hummed through all of us that were out in that shower; my running shirt was three shades darker than normal, the cows revelled in the respite, farm workers rushing to the fields on bikes pulled their hoods over their heads.
The rain stopped, which is when the lightning started. It had been a while, since I was outside in a real thunderstorm. I forgot the way that lightning plays with you. The first flash, you think it was something else; a camera; your imagination. Lightning without rain was somehow sinister, taunting, and I was suddenly covered in goosebumps. Not from coldness; it was still disconcertingly mild, but because, when you're out in a storm, there's a feeling that raw nature is so close. I felt a small pounding in my head, doubtlessly from electricity. Bursts of light illuminated the slumbering countryside, mature wheat too bright in the gloom.
It started to rain again.
I made it back to the lake, towards the end of my run. Lightning and thunder played out their duet sporadically, the sheep sheltered together on the hillside. There was no wind and the air was heavy with water and warmth. Electricity was everywhere, dripping from the leaves of the bushes and wire outlining the pasture. Thunder echoed along the coast; lightning punctured the sky and a small boat lolled on the glassy water. There was still a pounding in my head and goosebumps came in bouts, not from the tiredness of a run. I think it was the storm’s way of talking to me.
"I take what's mine, then take some more. It rains, it pours, it rains, it pours"
- A$AP Rocky ft. Skepta, Praise the Lord (Da Shine)
Hi from deep within the realm of summer weather and chocolate chip cookie science, which is a thing. I have a few ccc recipes on the blog, but I (strangely?) like trying new variations and techniques. The rosemary in these cookies is a very loveable addition, kind of evocative of tangled gardens and countryside. The herbalness somehow cuts through the cookieness.
The method for these cookies is a little… different and possibly fussy, but I enjoy complicating my life by insisting I use higher maintenance ingredients (cough coconut oil) so it is one method I’ve found for super big, flat cookies, like the bakery kind, with all the pug-like wrinkles. It’s actually not complicated but I included a lot of troubleshooting in the instructions so the recipe looks long. I love the other two ccc recipes on the blog which are both great and a little less high maintenance, but if you want giiiant, chewy, bakery-style cookies, I’d try these babies.
Anyway. Love and cookies to you ❤️
rosemary chocolate chunk cookies
1 1/2c (165g) spelt flour
3/4tsp baking powder
1/2tsp baking soda
1/2c (125ml) coconut oil, either melted/solid is fine
1/2c (75g) coconut sugar (or dark brown sugar)
1/2c (75g) turbinado/pure cane sugar
1 free range egg (best if it’s been at room temp for a bit)
1tsp pure vanilla extract
few sprigs rosemary
110g (4 ounces) dark chocolate, chopped chunky, from a bar (70%-85% cacao content)*
A note to start: the method seems a little odd and involved, but if you want cute looking very spread-y, wrinkled, flat cookies (like in the photos) it’s what I found to work best.
Preheat the oven to 180’c, 350’f. Line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper and keep the trays somewhere a little warm, for example above the oven.
Combine both types of sugar in a small bowl with the sprigs of rosemary. Use your fingers to rub the rosemary into the sugar for around 30 seconds, it should become very herbal and fragrant. You can then take the rosemary out of the bowl - tiny pieces are ok, but I’d check for any leaves that are left behind and remove those.
In a small pan over low heat or in a microwave friendly bowl, gently melt the coconut oil. As it melts fully, stir through the rosemary sugar. The sugar should become ‘melty’ and there should be no visible clumps, it should become a smooth, light mixture kind of caramel in color. Set aside to cool slightly (you will be adding the egg and you don’t want to scramble it), but not too much - you want the coconut oil to be a little warm and definitely with no visible solids.
While letting the sugar-oil mix cool, stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. If your sugar-oil mix is just warm and not hot, beat in the egg. If the egg has been at room temperature for a while, there shouldn’t be any visible effects on the sugar-oil mix. If the oil starts to harden (if the egg is cold), heat it veeeery gently, no scrambled eggs necessary. Once the egg is combined, add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.
Add the wet mix to the dry and combine gently with a wooden spoon. As the dough comes together it will seem greasy, that’s ok. You can add the chocolate chunks at this time and bring the dough together.
Scoop out rounds of about 3 tablespoons onto a baking sheet, no need to flatten. They’re really going to spread, which makes them cute, but I underestimated how much space these babies would need and I had to cut a couple of them away from each other (as you may be able to tell in the photos). So, perhaps limit to 4/5 cookies per sheet, you’ll get 8-10 cookies, so you can do rotations in the oven if you need to.
Bake for 17-19 minutes, this will depend a little on the size of your scoops. The cookies will appear just set. They will firm up as they cool, so give them a few minutes on the baking tray to cool first.
The cookies will keep for a few days in an airtight container, they will become a little more crispy as they sit, but I kiind of doubt they’ll hang around for too long.
*chocolate science is another thing altogether but it’s important you use an actual bar rather than chocolate chips, which are often made so they don’t melt, and retain their shape. You want chocolate puddles, so standard melty chocolate is better. You can just cut chunky pieces with a knife. The higher the cacao content, the less sweet the cookies will be, so choose what you like 💕