if you can cream it, you can do it.

18 Jun

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.

Chocolate-M&M Cookies
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?

22 Responses to “if you can cream it, you can do it.”

  1. keepnthefaith June 18, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Oh my lanta your puppers is so adorable :)
    I feel you about the swimsuit girl, but your so incredibly beautiful that I know you will rock whatever you put on. I agree with you about making the real thing. Sometimes there really is no substitute for it!

  2. hippierunner June 18, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

    Oh c’mon-I am sure you looked as adorable as always! Cookies are always good though. My mom is making some right now, I hope they taste at least half as good as yours look! :) Sometimes you just need an old-fashioned butter, sugar and eggs cookie, no matter how vegan inclined we may feel. (just don’t tell PETA i said that!) ;)

  3. runyogarepeat June 18, 2011 at 8:52 pm #

    Sometimes you just need a good, old-fashioned cookie, and nothing else will do! Hope these cookies made you feel better!

  4. Tara June 18, 2011 at 9:02 pm #

    The best part of “traditional baking” in my opinion is the cookie dough. Healthy baking dough just doesn’t compare.. that makes me feel better on a bad day!! Especially when m&m’s are involved.

  5. tliou June 19, 2011 at 1:11 am #

    neeks. stop that. i’m so hungry. i want to squeeze lily.

  6. Jess@HealthyExposures June 19, 2011 at 4:37 am #

    the best thing about “those days” is that they make the next day seem so much better :) I hope today goes better for you! The cookies look awesome :)

  7. Amanda @ Running with Spoons June 19, 2011 at 4:46 am #

    There’s something so comforting about whipping up a batch of cookies. Actually, baking is probably one of my favorite things to do when I’m having a bad day. I also find that spending a little bit of extra time pampering myself by doing my hair/nails/makeup always boosts my mood, even if I’m really not feeling like it. And there’s always the classic Disney movie marathon :D

    Hope you feel better hun <3

  8. movesnmunchies June 19, 2011 at 5:00 am #

    u make THE BEST COOKIES! i got ur package all packed and ready so send off when im in the US!

  9. Alaina Rose @ Sweetness Of Life June 19, 2011 at 6:55 am #

    Aww, I’m sorry you had one of THOSE days, love. But I think you did the right thing! Baking always makes me feel better too! :-) Those cookies look delicious!

  10. Emily @ Perfection Isn't Happy June 19, 2011 at 9:15 am #

    Those look so good! I hope you feel better today :)

  11. Lindsay@LivingLindsay June 19, 2011 at 10:35 am #

    sunshine always cheers me up – and some fro-yo, preferably together :)

    cutest puppy ever!!!

  12. Sophia @ Raven Waves June 19, 2011 at 11:21 am #

    I’m sorry about your day, girl. It happens to all of us from time to time. Just remember that the next day WILL be better! And like you said, worst comes to worst, cookies will solve any problem! :) Smile!

  13. Jenny June 19, 2011 at 12:18 pm #

    I think a cookie sometimes is all we need to make us feel better :)

  14. cinnamonalicious June 19, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Aww that sounds like the perfect recipe to cheer you up! Hope you’re feeling alot better now girly! <3

  15. pawsitivelife June 19, 2011 at 3:27 pm #


  16. Lee June 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm #

    me want cookie

  17. Matt @ The Athlete's Plate June 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    I know those days all too well. Cookies help though ;)

  18. Stephanie June 19, 2011 at 6:11 pm #

    All I want to do right now is scratch those ears and kiss the top of that moppy, floppy head. (errrr…just in case it isn’t obvious…I’m talking about your pup. Ha!)

  19. Thais June 19, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    wait wait wait you are offering your adorable puppy AND the fattiest most sugary delicious looking chocolate cookies ever? I’ll be there in a jiffy!!

  20. thebeautynotebooks June 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

    Baking is so therapeutic! Especially if M&Ms are involved ; ) Tomorrow is another day! <3

  21. elleeatsvegan June 19, 2011 at 6:39 pm #

    Those cookies look AMAZING. Baking always make me feel better! And I totally know what you’re talking about with the swimsuit thing, but I’m sure you looked great :)

  22. kaceytorres June 19, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

    cutest. puppy. ever. and the cookies look pretty darn amazing, too! my husband is the best at helping me feel better on one of those days…search for “baby monkey riding on a pig” on youtube! it’ll cheer you up every time!

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