The other way I (used to) deal with stress was to be creative. Scrapbooking, making cards or frames or otherwise using my hands in some way. I haven't been doing much of that lately.
I wanted to make something for some people who have helped us in the last couple of months but I didn't want to spend a lot of money. Everything I came up with I realized I needed one or more supplies that I was out of.
Then I was cleaning out the freezer and I found a bag of white sugar(we had an ant problem a month or so ago), and a bag of chocolate chips. A quick search of the fridge and pantry revealed that I had the ingredients to make a batch(or ten) of cookies.
That's it!(I thought to myself) Cookies it is.
Now baking probably seems like a perfectly normal thing for most people to do.
It's not normal for me. To begin with, I hate to bake. Secondly, I don't even particularly like chocolate chip cookies. Before you think I'm a freak for not liking chocolate chip cookies, it has something to do with hormones. After I had my hysterectomy I couldn't eat chocolate. I mean I can eat it. But I just don't enjoy it like I used to and I can only eat it in small amounts or I feel sick to my stomach. I can't explain it. It just is.
O.K. that does make me sound like a freak. I swear I'm not. :)
Anyway, back to the baking.
I started some cookies on Friday night. My first 2 batches I made off of the recipe on the back of the T ol l h o u s e bag.
These turned out so-so. They tasted good, but didn't have the look or feel I was going for. I wanted them to be like a chocolate chip cookie you buy at the bakery.
I packaged them up and gave them away on Saturday anyway :)
So yesterday I went on the internet searching for the best chocolate chip cookie recipe.
I found a whole bunch and started reading the reviews on each recipe. After reading
Today I made 6 dozen of them. And they are so much better than the last batches.
As I was baking I noticed something. I started to feel more relaxed. Less stressed out. The more I felt relaxed and less stressed out, the more I started to actually enjoy it.
There was something about measuring out the ingredients and pouring them into the bowl, mixing the ingredients by hand(I don't have an electric mixer), and lining them up in neat little rows on the cookie sheets that made me start to feel so much better. Like I was in control of something when I feel out of control in so many other parts of my life right now.
It was very therapeutic.
So therapeutic in fact, that I made 6 more dozen cookies.
That brings the total up to 11 dozen cookies people. We're pretty much drowning in chocolate chip cookies over here. I don't eat them, so this is a problem. Because Joe does eat them. So I have to get them out of the house.
They are being packaged up to be dropped off at different places tomorrow. I hope they bring a fraction of the joy to the recipients that they did to me when I made them.
I'm going to have to find another way to relieve stress though :)
If you could send some good thoughts our way regarding the gloom and doom stuff, I would appreciate it.
And also, anyone want some cookies?
I had a couple requests on FB for the recipe, so here it is. I got it off of AllRecipes.com. I read all of the reviews and used a few suggestions from each one. They really turned out yummy!
I doubled my recipe.
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
• 1 cup packed brown sugar
• 1/2 cup white sugar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 1 egg
• 1 egg yolk
• 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
• Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
• Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
• In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
• Refrigerate dough until chilled. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
• Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
I have found that these should be taken out when the edges are brown but the middles look not quite done. Let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet until they set.