I recently read a story on NPR about tossing the “holiday rulebook” this year to stay sane. I couldn’t agree more. And not just for the holidays. I think we should reimagine all the rulebooks forever. This morning, I did some chores, read a bit of Shakespeare (Titus Andronicus of course) fed the sourdough starter I admittedly just started a few weeks ago in a moment of pandemic fury, checked my Submittable account entries (waiting, waiting, waiting….) looked up a brilliant poet I read this morning in a beautiful poem from Poetry Foundation (Geffrey Davis), charged my camera batteries for a weekend road trip, caught up on some consulting work, went down the rabbit hole of looking for sourdough recipes that are NOT bread, and finally decided to make these cookies that I adapted from “I am Baker.” I desperately want to write something creative, but the ideas are elusive lately. I can’t force the words, but as queen of the kitchen, I can command the dough. The cookies are damn delicious though — and quite poetic, I might add.

Wishing you and yours a safe & sane holiday time and a hopeful New Year. Stay calm, throw those rulebooks atop the yule log & carry on.

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a batch of these in the oven right now and they smell amazing. I made them for a winter picnic this weekend and to avoid throwing out any of my precious sourdough starter. If you don’t have muscovado sugar, regular brown sugar is fine. I don’t mean to get all uppity with the ingredients, but the muscovado is less refined and adds so much rich flavor that American brown sugar just doesn’t have.


  • 14 tablespoons (1 stick + 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light muscovado sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup sourdough starter, unfed
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (add a wee bit more if the dough doesn’t hold shape).
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) large chocolate chips
  • 1 cup roughly chopped pecans


  1. In a large bowl, combine the softened butter and sugars. (Make sure the butter is soft enough to mix with the sugar by hand.)
  2. Add the egg to the mixture, stirring until incorporated.
  3. Stir in the sourdough starter and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, careful to not overmix.
  5. Finally, incorporate the chocolate chips and let the dough refrigerate for at least 15 minutes and up to overnight (covered).
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  7. Drop spoonfuls (2-3 tablespoons) of dough onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 6-8 minutes/golden brown.