He leads me to his favorite dive, 2J’s Lounge in Fullerton – packed with barflies, blue collars, and tattooed chicks in tank tops. Two stools, lit by the glare of blue Budweiser neon, are open at the bar. He orders us Cuba Libres. As we sit, our jeaned thighs lightly graze against each other and then rest, knees touching. Lust stirs between my legs at the sensation of our bodies testing this chemistry. He brushes his arm against the back of my hand, gently places his hand for just a moment on my thigh as he speaks, as if not deliberately. I stroke the soft inside of his tattooed arm and rest my hand in his, fingers entwined. Alcohol has made me bold – enough of this game.
He kisses me. He doesn’t ask permission; he doesn’t hesitate. He leans towards me, his lips on mine, his tongue inside my mouth. Mmm…Yes. I like the way he tastes.
He’s not afraid to kiss me in this public place. His hand caresses my lower back, my waist. He kisses me with passion; his day’s worth of stubble leaving my chin raw. A wrinkled regular at the end of the bar shouts, “give her back her tongue!” We laugh, but I’m unsettled by his intensity, this lack of modesty among these strangers.
We kiss and drink and share secrets, finishing another round. It’s late and we decide to leave the bar’s seediness, weaving our way across the parking lot towards my red convertible. I lean back against the rough cinder-block wall; pulling him with me, kissing him, being kissed. We move to the side of my car. I feel him, hard and hot, pressed against my own desire. His chest is firm beneath my hands. I’m drunk off rum and yearning. Too fast, this is going too fast. My logic and this ache for him doing battle in my head, I plead, “Let’s make this last; let me know your brain before I learn your body.” He doesn’t want to comply.
He asks to see me tomorrow. I’m making him wait until next weekend. A daytime date – an attempt to slow us down. He wants my body. I want something more.
Oh, but I do like the way he tastes.
In general, I’m known for complicated, multi-step desserts that take most of the day to complete. There is another side to my baking, however – the late night, small batch, craving something sweet, down and dirty, immediate gratification bake. This is a handful of recipes that ensure a confectionary pacifier can be in my mouth in less than 30 minutes, like these simple sugar cookies. I can add whatever’s on hand to change the flavor – lemon zest, spices, shaved chocolate, nuts, jam or Nutella filling. For the photograph above, I made an ersatz “Biscochito” version, adding crushed anise, rolling them in cinnamon sugar and flattening them with the bottom of a glass. From concept to cooling rack in 25 minutes.
Simple Sugar Cookies
When I’m craving something sweet late at night, these cookies fit the bill. I can add various flavorings or ingredients to doll them up – using whatever I have on hand.
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg yolk
- ⅛ teaspoon vanilla (or other flavoring)
- 1 ⅓ cups sifted all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking sheet. Cream together butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy with a hand mixer or whisk. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Stir in flour. Form cookies into desired shape (drop, pressed, rolled, etc.) and bake 12 to 14 minutes, until just beginning to brown around the edges. Cool slightly and enjoy. Instant freshly-baked cookies, perfect for dunking.