Today was one of those days.
You know, those days when a lot of little things seem to go wrong and you have an overwhelming urge to assume the fetal position? One of those days. To be sure, nothing particularly earth-shatteringly horrible happened… I woke up at my best friend’s house (aka my second home) after a fabulous sleepover, but it was rainy & dreary & I had to skip out on a hike because my shins have been bugging me. Oh, and I tried on a swimsuit. Now that is a recipe for disaster.
A recipe to make me feel better though? A good old-fashioned cookie.
Lately I’ve been experimenting with healthy baking. Gluten-free baking. Vegan baking. Lower-sugar baking. These are none of the above.
You see, I find there’s something inherently calming about creaming real butter and real sugar & watching them get fluffy & creamy & delicious.
There’s something about breaking out my good old garage-sale Kitchen Aid hand-mixer & whipping up a batch of completely nutrition-less, chocolatey cookies. Something about the texture of real eggs as they swirl around in the batter.
This is what got me addicted to baking. The simplicity of the ingredients, the perfection of the chemistry, the call to simpler days when calories & fat grams never mattered.
Maybe it’s counter-intuitive to be upset about swimsuit-shopping and turn to baking cookies, but hey, it works for me.
Colorful M&Ms definitely don’t hurt.
I adapted this recipe slightly mostly because I was lazy and didn’t want to make precise measurements (aka 2 tablespoons to divide 1/4 cup in half). While most of the work & the credit should definitely still go to the original author, rather than rattle off my minute changes I’m just going to type up the recipe myself. But really, any old recipe will do.
Just make sure it has real butter (or Earth Balance, at least) & sugar.
Makes ~20 cookies
Adapted slightly from love and butter
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 whole egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
Most of a 5.6 ounce package of M&Ms (or whatever mix-in you choose)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, beat together butter & sugars until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla, then egg; mix well. Add in dry ingredients and beat until well combined.
Fold in desired amount of mix-ins.
Scoop with a standard cookie scoop (or your own spoons, I won’t judge) onto a cookie sheet, leaving about 2 inches between each. Bake for about 11 minutes or until edges are set and tops are crackled. Let cool for about 5 minutes then carefully remove; the M&Ms may try to stick to your cookie sheet, so this is best done when they’re still a little warm.
Share with your family & friends and enjoy the smiles you’ve created.
Other things that help on a so-so day?
Fluffy puppies. Clinically proven to increase happiness. You can borrow mine if you come over :) And, of course, I’ll bring cookies.
What cheers you up on a bad day?