Every time I write a blog post I feel compelled to say “I’M BACK!!” as if I was on a long hiatus and that I really should’ve been blogging like every week. In an ideal world I’d be able to do it every day. I recovered from a horrid mystery stomach flu (or what I guessed it to be) last week, which left me feeling completely sucked out of energy, it was the weirdest feeling. Like I slept 9 hours the night before, and I passed out at 6pm for an hour, then I went to bed two hours after I woke up from that nap. Never in my life had I ever felt so energy drained, and it was pretty frightening to me thinking that for some people, maybe that is what their energy level is… and it won’t ever reach back to 100%…it just really made me appreciate my two legs and feeling back to normal.
Lately I’ve been trying to incorporate small things in my life to, I don’t know, improve my quality of living. Compounded habits, I think they call it? So it’s a bunch of small things like being more appreciative/practicing gratitude, being more active and exercising, being more creative and creating…
Like something I’ve tried was listening to an audiobook when I get ready in the morning. This doesn’t sound particularly innovative lol, but we’ve just always had a radio in the bathroom so it’s just always been the radio on in the morning. Morning talk shows aren’t really my thing. I really have no excuse to not have a super amazing morning routine considering all the apps out there for news and meditation and podcasts and workouts and whatever else, but I’m not really up to date with apps either (there isn’t a single game on my phone).
I knew of Audible but wasn’t into the um, not-free part of it haha, so I found LibriVox which has free audiobooks– most of them are classics. I saw Sherlock and right away wanted to listen to that, but I wanted to “go out of my comfort zone” blahblahblah so I chose “Your Invisible Power” by Genevieve Behrend. I’m almost finished, but the gist of it is the power of visualization and a strong mental image combined with daily action will bring what you visualize into reality.
So far, as much as it’s been inspiring, it’s also a little idealistic(?) theoretical(?) impractical(?) for me. Anyway, but the point of it is that it gets a region of my mind going in the morning that usually doesn’t get a “work out” if I just listen to morning talk shows.
I’m still thinking of other small habits to compound together, but in the meantime, let’s discuss cookies…
These were baked with the desire of emanating these cookies I tried at Prado (a coffee shop) over winter break. They were huge, oaty cookies called “Cookie with No Name”. I’m always a mixture of interested and disappointed whenever I try out baked goods from coffee shops, because the thoughts of “I could’ve made this at home” go through my head, but also at the same time thoughts of “how did they make it this way” and so there’s always something in particular that keeps me from being able to replicate it from just tasting it.
And okay, I’m sure not everyone feels the need to replicate things they’ve tried, especially if it’s averagely tasty instead of mindblowingly tasty, but it’s these things that intrigue me.
The Cookie with No Name seemed to contain just oats (with none to very little flour), chocolate chips, I can’t remember what else but there were cute mini marshmallows on top and it was well-spiced, and chewy in texture. Kinda like a granola bar-cookie hybrid, actually.
These cookies aren’t quite the same. They’re more cookie than granola bar. I wanted a good baseline to jump off of, so I went with trusty ol’ Cooks Illustrated, with minimal modifications. I scaled back the sugar a teensy bit– with cookies, the sugar (and butter) is really what makes the texture– added more spices, a bit more salt, and personalized the mix-ins to my liking. Most importantly, I chilled the dough for an hour before scooping, because even though the recipe didn’t require it, chilling the dough is integral for getting your cookies to bake up thick. I also doubled up the cookie portion so they had enough thickness.
Yes, I tried it after it cooled down and hence the missing cookie, BUT gosh that is one of the rare joys in the world… tasting something fresh out of the oven. And gosh, I don’t know if it’s because I haven’t had an oatmeal cookie in a while, but it was one of the best I’ve ever had. Nailed it. So chewy and satisfying, not extremely sweet (but still quite sweet), with flavour explosions coming from the different mix-ins. I only wish I had a blowtorch so I can caramelize the marshmallows a bit more… and also that the cookies were more ROUND and consistent in shape because that really killed me…. but other than that, these were a home-run.
So pour yourself a glass of milk & enjoy!
Ultimate Oatmeal Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened but still firm
- scant 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- scant 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1.5 cups mix-ins*
*I used 1/3 cup shredded coconut, 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips, 1/3 cup raisins, 1/2 cup craisins; black sesame seeds and 12 large marshmallow halves to top
- Preheat oven to 350F. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter until soft and creamy. Add sugars and cream until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon to combine. Add to the bowl of the mixer and mix until combined, 30 seconds or so.
- Stir in oats and mix-ins.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Divide into 12 equal portions (I found 2 ice cream scoops per cookie to be perfect) and place on a large cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper or Silpat. Yes, the cookies are giant. Flatten slightly with a wooden spoon. Sprinkle on sesame seeds, if using.
- Bake for 15 minutes. Take the cookies out from the oven and top with the marshmallows. Return to the oven (rotating the tray) for 10 more minutes. The edges of the cookies should be slightly golden brown when they’re ready.
- Let cool, and enjoy!