the ultimate cookie box

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OH MY GOODNESS.

I am breaking my loooooooong stretch on not posting on this site! I never forgot about it, and I have still been baking a ton since starting residency, but I have been bad about posting recipes. And oh yeah, I STARTED RESIDENCY! Boise Boy and I moved to New York City last June and started our new lives here. I don’t even know where to start on that, because the last 7 months have been such a whirlwind, so I’ll just do a couple updates in list form—I feel like being an ER doctor has made it impossible for me to write in paragraphs and sentences anymore? Anyways.

  1. Being a doctor is so much better than being a medical student. More tiring, and many more hours, but also just better. It’s rewarding to finally have an actual role on the care team, and have my patients identify me as “their” doctor instead of a rando student.

  2. I definitely picked right with emergency medicine. Don’t get me wrong—there have been shifts, and patients, and bad interactions with consultants that have broken me and have made my blood boil. But there is generally more good than bad. And at the end of the day, I get to go HOME after my shift. Let it go. And that is the beauty of emergency medicine.

  3. Boise Boy is making it through his internship year, too. Unfortunately he doesn’t get to be in the OR yet doing what he wants to be doing—anesthesiology—because he has to do a medicine year first. But he has kept a great attitude in spite of not getting the satisfaction of doing his dream job quite yet. On the bright side, the anesthesia residents we’ve interacted with have been absolutely awesome, and I think Noah is going to be very, very happy next year.

  4. My residency family—this has been the best surprise. You know when you meet a group of people and you’re like “Um, where have you been all my life?” Like it’s so easy to be yourself around them, there is no competitive vibes, no posturing, no fake-niceness. That perfectly describes my intern class. There are 16 of us all together, and they feel like the little family of weirdos I was always meant to be with. Somehow, the Match just works like that. The culture of my training program is such that the older residents really, really look out for the interns—they scout out procedures for us to do, shield us from the bullshit when needed, and are always, ALWAYS there to support us when we feel overwhelmed and underqualified.

  5. NEW YORK. Oh New York. I knew I loved her after I spent a summer with her after my first year of medical school. I knew it wasn’t just a summer fling when I returned to do an away rotation during my fourth year of medical school. And now that I have my own Manhattan zip code, I know it’s that for-real kinda love. So much has been written about loving New York that I won’t try and re-create the wheel here so I’ll just leave it at this: I feel so lucky to be here, and I try to spend every day off I have traipsing through this concrete jungle, soaking up every bit of magic I can. I do miss my family back in Salt Lake like crazy. And at times I miss seeing the mountains—but seeing the Empire State Building from the stoop of our walk-up is a worthy replacement.

OK. NOW ONTO THE COOKIES…

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Growing up my mom baked something homemade for our neighbors every. single. year. for the holidays. Some years it was cinnamon bread, other years madeleine cookies, iced snowflake cookies, chocolate crinkle cookies, etc. She would go to Costco and buy a huge thing of flour—that’s how many she would make. It always took her like 3-4 straight days of baking, and then my brother and I would hop in the minivan and make deliveries around the neighborhood. Of course, we complained about having to do this nonstop as kids, but now it’s one of my favorite nostalgic memories. I wanted to carry on the tradition this year in New York, but instead of making them for neighbors (which we don’t know at all), I made them for my intern class. I wanted to basically make each person a cookie box with a bunch of different cookies inside—essentially make it look like you had gone to a cookie exchange without actually having to go to one. Here’s how I approached making these boxes:

  1. Pick your box. Or tin. Or bag. Or paper sleeve. I wanted to do actual boxes so that they would be sturdier (hello NYC commutes home). I found a great Black Friday sale that was offering 50% off these guys. I actually bought out the supply and had to do a couple in just plain cellophane wrap, but they are now back in stock! They are great quality and I love that it can be used afterwards as a little tray for organizing.

  2. Pick your recipes. The number of cookies you do depends on how big your box/container is. I estimated I would need 7 cookie recipes, which was about right. I did the following:

    • The OG 72-hour classic chocolate chip cookies (recipe HERE)

    • Sarah Kieffer’s panbang chocolate chip cookies (recipe HERE)

    • Alison Roman’s salted butter chocolate chunk shortbread (recipe coming as I made these a couple months ago, but for now you can find it HERE)

    • Gingersnaps (recipe HERE)

    • Homemade Oreos (but made with peppermint buttercream instead of vanilla! The original recipe can be found HERE, otherwise stay-tuned for the peppermint version!)

    • Bakery-style double chocolate chunk cookies (recipe HERE)

    • Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies (recipe HERE)

  3. Make all the dough up to 1 week in advance and freeze it! This makes the whole 7-types-of-cookies thing less overwhelming. I just made 2 recipes every night and stored the dough in a freezer (use lots of seran wrap to avoid freezer burn!).

  4. Two days before you want to serve the cookies, bake the ones that can withstand being out for a day (I find that chocolate chip cookies tend to get hard/stale faster, so I saved those to bake last). I baked the gingersnaps, oreos (but didn’t fill them), and the PB cookies 2 days before. Wrapped them in seran-wrap, put them in an airtight container, and stored them for a day.

  5. The night before I wanted to deliver everything I baked up the rest of the cookies and filled the oreos with peppermint buttercream. I made sure everything was totally cooled before putting them in the boxes (lined with parchment paper). I then used this plastic wrap to cover the boxes which I liked because it was completely clear and didn’t take away from the main attraction—the cookies—at all. I tied each box with red and white baker’s twine and did a little note on each (the ones I used are here, from my favorite LA letterpress company). Unfortunately I finished these pretty late at night and forgot to take a picture, so I don’t have any final product shots but you get the idea!

  6. Feed them to your hungry co-interns. Or neighbors. Or friends. Or whoever! Nothing says “You’re the best” quite like a box of homemade cookies :)

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