Our world is topsy-turvy these days, and many of us are finding ourselves at home with lots of time, maybe some kids underfoot and a mild case of anxiety. Let me introduce you to my favorite way to manage uncertainty…Let’s stress bake!
Sure, I create gorgeous custom cakes for a living, but my first love is the humble cookie. I will mix up a batch of chocolate chip cookies during a busy cake baking or sugar flower week, just because….I LOVE COOKIES! Like much of America, my heart belongs to a classic chocolate chip cookie.
I found baking after a fulfilling career in dental hygiene and as a young mother of two toddlers. Flour, sugar, and butter (queue the musical, Waitress) were my yoga, ok, Xanax and wine. The act of baking is so many wonderful things to me, beyond the delicious outcome.
Baking is mindful.
Baking is a charming meditation: the concentration of measuring, the whir of the mixer and scooping dough onto a sheet. Using your hands and letting your mind wander means you have put down your phone or shut off the TV to focus, giving you a much-needed mental rest. Some people get their best ideas in the shower, mine come when my hands are covered in flour.
Baking is simple and caring.
With a few ingredients you usually have on hand, flour, sugar, butter (again cue the musical Waitress), you have the makings of a yummy cookie. Cookies are easy to assemble and don’t require perfection to be delicious. The act of creating a tangible item that has a beginning, middle and end offers a sense of accomplishment when hours and days start to melt together. Baking is a lovely way to build a bond with the people you care about most. It conjures up butter-soaked memories of being in the kitchen with grandma or your mom whipping up cookies after school when your friends were over. It reminds us of people we love, of being cared for and simply, just love.
Baking is creative.
Being creative is empowering and just plain feels good. It isn’t about the outcome as much as the process. Add more flour for texture. Substitute brown sugar for a chewy molasses flavor. Bake it a little longer for a crispy outcome. Add a little sea salt at the end of baking. There are so many options! You cannot go wrong, it is a cookie!
Baking feels indulgent.
Baking is an overlooked coping mechanism. It provides structure and, there is that buzzword, self-care. It is an opportunity to step away from constant demands and focus on just yourself and the ingredients. Cooking is necessary, but baking, that is the creation of a little luxury. And it is scalable. You can create single units of love or batches to spread love to family, friends, neighbors, and strangers. Toss the dough in the freezer or fridge and bake up a few cookies whenever you feel like some warm, chocolatey goodness is in order.
I will be sharing more recipes in the coming weeks to help pass the time at home. Got requests? Comment below or send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t forget to show me your baking magic, tag me: @minetterushing
Oh, and pour the milk!
I have been baking these chocolate chip cookies for as long as I can remember. I have fond memories of baking with my younger sister (Mom supervised of course) and these cookies are still one of our favorite things to bake. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside, just the way I like them. I always add pecans because everything is better with pecans.
Use my recipe to create the perfect chocolate chip cookie (in my opinion) or play around with it as a base for your own perfect cookie creation.Print
- Preheat oven to 350° and line baking sheet with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, add flour, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
- In a large mixing bowl using a paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars on medium until pale and fluffy. About two to three minutes.
- Reduce speed to low and add vanilla and eggs. Mix until combined.
- Add in dry ingredients. And mix until just combine.
- Drop by heaping tablespoons onto baking sheet.
- Bake 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from baking sheet and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
Make sure your ingredients are at room temperature.
I like to use mini chocolate chips, the semi-sweet chips are my favorite.
Walnuts or other nuts can be substituted for pecans.
Toasting the pecans really amps up the flavor.
This recipe can be doubled.
Bake ahead and freeze. These cookies freeze beautifully. So does the dough.