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Sweet as Sugar

It was a dark and stormy night, and I had a research proposal to write and two electronics projects to complete. The pileup of work was somewhat self-inflicted, but it seemed hopelessly heavy. On the way to dinner, I stopped at the mailroom to check if a book I’d ordered had arrived. Instead, there was a flexible, lumpy package. Confused, I tore it open, and out peeked the frosty gleam of a Ziploc bag over the caramel brown of… cookies?! Yes, chocolate-chip cookies! There was also an envelope holding a pink polka-dotted card crammed with handwriting I hadn’t seen in months: my sister’s. The sudden splash of sweetness over my sad state made me sappy. I felt ready to cry. That night, I slept five hours too few and ate five cookies too many.

After experiencing firsthand the life-changing power of butter and sugar, and now that I’m home for Spring Break, I’ve decided to return the favor. Today, I made the cookies. First, I decided what kinds to give her—chocolate almond and oatmeal raisin. Then, I found recipes online and biked to Walmart for missing ingredients. Finally, I baked.

(Aside for baking buffs: Wondering why the oatmeal raisins (left) are so much flatter than the chocolate almonds (right)? Me too, and I think it’s the sugar content: The biggest difference in the recipes is that the oatmeal raisin dough has about twice as much sugar. This doesn’t come through in the taste though, probably because the chocolate almonds are also heavily sweetened by chocolate chips.)
If there’s anything as heartwarming as receiving a package of homemade chocolate-chip cookies in the mail, it’s sending such a package to someone else. So—and I’m speaking to you especially, second-semester seniors who don’t know what to do with yourselves—bring out the butter; pull out a pan; dole out the dough; cook it into cookies; and ship them off to someone special.

Noelle Davis ’20

Option: Electrical Engineering

Graduation Year: 2020

House Affiliation: Avery

Noelle is a Texan who used to love cold weather, but ever since the first month in sunny SoCal, anything sub-sixty degrees sends her into shock. Besides the sunshine, her favorite thing about living in Pasadena is having mountains in her backyard. When she’s not struggling through sets, she likes to hike, bake, play soccer, and take pictures. She participates in the Caltech Christian Fellowship, volunteers with Robogals, and writes for The Tech, the campus newspaper.