Not having a smartphone at my disposal has frankly been a breath of fresh air these last fourteen days. My husband kept calling me a social media addict and I persistently begged to differ. But I see now that although the word “addict” is strong, I was dependent. I have been super homesick for a couple of months and maybe digging my nose into my phone was helping me pass my days and block out the noise of tantrums and Elmo. Ever since I lost my phone though, I have vowed to grow up and smell the coffee. Or in my case, the tea. This past week+, I’ve brought the soothing warmth of herbal tea into my life. It’s been a refreshing change to my diet. I decided to stop being stubborn and old fashioned and embraced our dishwasher. It has been LIFE CHANGING. Here I am now, no phone and no dishes in the sink. Lots more time to REST. I’ve also played and danced and laughed A LOT with my toddler and he’s been much better behaved. I’m wondering now if there is a correlation between my occupation with my phone and his bratty demeanor. Lots of food for thought there. Speaking of food, I’ve brought baking back into my life. Baking and I have a love-hate relationship. I go on these spurts where I try, I fail, I write off. But with rest comes patience and for me, ambition. So I baked an apple cinnamon loaf. Messed up a bit but my husband liked it so I went on and tried something else. Cookies.
I had a pile of regular (without nuts) M&Ms – who eats those?? – from a sizable box of Halloween chocolates we got for free with our groceries one day. So I decided to Pinterest some baking ideas and found this awesome and easy recipe from How Sweet It Is. You can check out the recipe directly on the website, but I wanted to share a few adjustments I made/would make.
First, the recipe includes baking soda. I don’t have baking soda at home (the one in my refrigerator is not suited for baking), so I used 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder. I read somewhere that you can use 2-3 times more baking powder to substitute the baking soda. It worked out just fine for me!
Next, this recipe’s originality was that it tells you to roll each portion of cookie dough into a ball and then tear it apart. The halves are then pressed together “back to back”. What I missed was the part where you have to squish them together. SQUISHING IS IMPORTANT. I didn’t do that and so the top halves of some cookies toppled and then melded together in the oven, looking like a pair of Siamese cookies. I think the tearing and squishing technique ensures a fluffy cookie with a chewy center. Yum.
Finally, I left the cookies in the oven 3-4 minutes longer than instructed and they were to my liking, but that’s up to you. Just don’t over bake! The cookies turned out soft, rich, and deeelicious.
On a side note, I only baked half the cookie dough at first. I froze the rest by rolling it into a big ball and tightly wrapping it with cling wrap. When I wanted to bake the rest (4 days later), I put the dough in the fridge a day ahead to let it thaw. It was just as moist before baking and just as chewy after baking!
Needless to say, these cookies were a huge hit at home. But a surprising thought has dawned on me as I write this post: baking this time around has been metaphorical to my moving to BC. Exciting and full of expectation at the start. Then a wave of discovery, enjoyment, and satisfaction. Now giving me an unsettling feeling in my stomach. Too much butter, too much sugar, and too far away from everything that makes me feel whole and healthy.