That’s Jules Skloot talking about the moment when inspiration strikes for late-night baking.
The Brooklyn dancer, performer, and sometimes banjo player is known to make cookies, pies, and other treats past well past midnight, when the kitchen in his communal home is quiet and the demands of the day are through.
It’s a meditation, and an act of love. “I don’t bake for people I don’t like,” Skloot says. Luckily, he likes the five roommates with whom he shares a rental brownstone in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Pies demand recipe books and several hours of work. But chocolate-chip cookies take just half an hour, and they can be made whenever the mood strikes. Skloot has the recipe memorized, and the work becomes a meditation. “I enjoy the unknown moments, you know, and the messiness,” he says. “I like to take my time.”
Skloot says the ideal cookie — and the ones in the accompanying video, above, come pretty close — should have plenty of what he calls “loft”:
So they’re not like super-thin, like crackery? And they’re not, like, super tall and fluffy, like cakey? I don’t really like that either. They’re like a really good mix… around the edges they’re gonna be really crisp, but in the middle they’ll still be really pliant.
Late-night baking comes and goes. It’s dependent on busyness, work schedules, other demands — but more importantly, on Skloot’s mood, on the emotional temperature of the house, and the unpredictable strike of whimsy. Sometimes Skloot’s roommates are lucky enough to wake up twice in a week to a pile of chocolate-chip cookies or a pecan pie set on a glass plate. Other times life flows by, weeks pass, and they wait and hope.