Monday, March 30, 2020

Treat Yourself Gently

What's your new "normal?" If you live in a rural area like us, it might not look drastically different than it did a month ago. But trust me, it feels different. But like everyone else, we keep on keeping on. And sometimes that means making a special treat. I baked cookies last week. I just used the recipe on the back of the bag of chocolate chips. It's always good.

Recipe from back of Nestle Chocolate Chips bag

But that recipe that we have all probably used for years calls for two sticks of butter. I had plenty of butter. At least for the time being. So I proceeded and we really enjoyed having a special treat.

And then friend Kathie told me she had also baked cookies and put most of them in the freezer. So I followed her lead, putting a half dozen cookies in bags, then into a rigid container to keep them from breaking in the freezer. We can enjoy these later. When we need to feel "normal' again.

Recipe below

But if your butter supply is low, you might try this recipe that Todd baked this weekend. Only needs 1/3 cup of butter and a 1/3 cup of shortening and 1 egg. We are all looking for recipes that match our ingredients now. This might be one you need now.

Jessica says, "They are crisp on the edges and chewy in the middle. So yummy!" Then she added, "Yeah, they are powerful!"


1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (light or dark)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (12-oz  bag) chocolate chips, semi-sweet or milk chocolate
1-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
coarse salt for sprinkling 

Preheat oven to 375º. With a stand mixer, cream butter and shortening until combined. Add sugars and beat another minute or two. Add egg and vanilla. Beat again. Mix in chocolate chips. Add flour, baking soda, and salt, Mix until JUST combined. It will look over-floured for a few seconds, but should come together fairly quickly. (If you are using a hand mixer, stir chocolate chips in by hand at the end.)

Scoop golf-ball size spoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet (I like to use parchment paper for easy clean up) and sprinkle each with a pinch of kosher or sea salt. Bake 9 to 11 minutes. They should be light colored and puffed when they come out of the oven, but dry looking (not shiny or wet.) Let cool on pan for about 5 minutes, then move to cooking rack.

HINT: Always set timer for the shortest time for the first pan. Watch and adjust time if necessary.

And beyond cookies and cakes—we don't need sweet treats every day— find other ways to treat yourself. My special moment of the day is watching for the sunrise. (Right now, after the time change, this doesn't happen until around 7:30, so it's not as early as it sounds.) And I'm looking forward to our book club gathering tonight via Group FaceTime. And we will celebrate Baby Girl's 6th birthday tomorrow in some online version. 

This might be the time to pull out the gratitude journal you used to keep and begin making a daily list of things you are grateful for again. Writing it down makes you focus on the good things. And remember to breathe. Breathe deep.

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