So very sad today to hear of the death of Robin Williams – one of life’s great comedians and actors. A soul who brought so much joy and happiness to so many, but who’s own demons eventually overcame him. This is definitely not the post I was planning on sharing with this scrumptious cookie recipe, but I’m full of emotion for Robin and his family today, so bare with me. The first movie I remember seeing him in was Dead Poet’s Society back in 1989 – as a teenager it touched my soul deeply. Mrs Doubtfire was hilarious and I recently had the pleasure of enjoying Hook again, but this time with my own little boy and saw how Robin Williams was able to touch a new generation and bring a beautiful story to life.
Love him or hate him, ignore his political stance if you will, but his talent was there for all the world to see. Voices, impersonations, such fantastically quick wit. Whether tackling comedy or drama, he brought each role to life with his unique energy and humour. I shed a few tears for him today. So often one hears about Hollywood actors who pass out of this life into the next and we briefly reminisce, but hearing of his tragic death really touched me – I felt like I’d lost a dear friend – someone I could always turn to for a smile or a crazy laugh, the kind that leaves you with aching tummy muscles and an ear to ear grin on your face. I recently began watching his latest TV series: The Crazy Ones – always good for a laugh and it allowed him into our home once again.
The only tribute I can pay to him is to thank him for many happy memories – occasions I’ve shared with friends from the past, tying in to various “growing up” stages of my life.
As I sit with a cup of tea and snack on a few of these delicious caramel chip cookies while pondering the meaning of life, the swift passing of time, careful not to become to melancholy, I think how the world needs more funny, kind, good-natured people.
In the words of Walt Whitman and taken from the movie Dead Poet’s Society, I remember Robin Williams:
O Captain! My Captain! Our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring:
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.
For these cookies, I used the recipe on the back of the Nestle Caramel Bits bag but I wasn’t super happy with the outcome so I’ve fiddled a little – they’re now not as jaw-tighteningly rich but I’ve included the options below so you get to choose for yourself.
125 g butter, softened
¾ cup (165 g) brown sugar (I prefer using 50% raw sugar and 50% soft brown sugar)
1¾ (255 g) self-raising flour
250 g Caramel chips (I halved this quantity but you decide)
- Preheat the oven to 170°C or 150°C fan forced. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
- Cream the butter, sugar and egg in a bowl until it is pale and creamy – about 10 minutes.
- Sift and stir in the flour.
- Add the caramel chips/bits and mix well to combine.
- Roll the mixture into small balls using your hands – I can’t be meddling about with teaspoons!! and flatten slightly with a fork.
- Place them onto the trays, about 4 cm apart.
- Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.
- Allow to cool on the baking trays for a few minutes (they are very soft) which also allows them to set before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
The recipe says you should get about 30 cookies, but I make them a little larger than normal (as my variation isn’t quite as rich) so I get about 24 cookies.