Life lessons from a cookie

via MIT Grad Blog

April 20, 2022


By  Cassandra Overney

One of the most famous movie quotes is Forrest Gump’s, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.” As a hobby baker with a mega sweet tooth, I feel obligated to come up with my own metaphor: Growing up is like being inside of a baking cookie.

To me, it’s not just any random cookie, but a homemade lemon shortbread cookie; at home, we call these cookies Mailänderli, the German word for butter biscuits. When you bite into them, the sweet and sour cookie melts partly on the tongue, releasing a Chanel-worthy scent of lemon, vanilla, and caramel. These cookies are a family classic.

A few years ago, I stumbled upon my grandma’s recipe for Mailänderli written in German. After translating the instructions, I adapted the recipe to my own tastes. The recipe reliably produces crispy, cakey, sweet patches of amazingness, but these cookies are so much more than their final form.

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