Motivating creativity: Baking for the imagination (condensed milk cookies – Brazilian)
Again another Brazilian sweet (I’m very fond of my childhood snacks) one I went about ten years without, until my brother’s wife passed on the recipe a few years back. I went nuts with it, irritated my family with the repetition. Now that the fever is over, I still make them every now and then.
But for those of you who are wondering what does creativity and writing have to do with cookies, let me tell you why:
Sometimes when I’m writing a particularly good scene, I lose myself in the story so completely; the world around me fades away. It’s a wondrous thing, to lose oneself in the make-believe.
Sometimes, those scenes come naturally to me, a slideshow of ideas that keep pouring in while I try to keep up.
Sometimes, those ideas contrast with each other, and I have to choose one.
Here, I stall.
What should I do when both ideas are good enough but completely different?
I follow the thread down the line. I think about the next scene, and how the follow up will eventually meet the ending of the book. I imagine both alternatives and play it in my head – dialogues and all – and choose the best one. Sometimes it’s a long process, and sitting on the couch distantly watching space while I figure it out scares the kids away.
So I bake.
Today I’m going to share that recipe with you.
Condensed milk cookies
– 1 can of condensed milk
– 1 cup of softened butter
– 18 ounces of corn flour (500g)
Mix ingredients together well (I like to add 1 tablespoon of coconut essence). Form small balls – about ½ an inch thick, 2 across and place on a cookie sheet, slightly apart from each other. Bake at 375 f or 180 c for about eight to ten minutes or until bottom starts to golden. Wait for it to cool before you move it or serve.
Jina S. Bazzar