If I am being completely honest, I haven’t been feeling like myself for a quite a while. I have only halfheartedly wanted to blog. I have tons of trashed or half written posts, but I just haven’t had the drive or desire to continue. Call it a quarter-life crisis if you will. I just couldn’t bring myself to create a finished product. Whether I was too lazy to take pictures or just wasn’t in the mood to write. I always found an excuse.
For me, it took the greatest loss to date to give me a wake up call. I haven’t been living my life to the fullest. I have let my creativity go dormant, ordered pizza on too many nights when I should have cooked, and lost my desire to travel and explore. This past week I lost someone who had been a beacon of light and positivity throughout my entire life. A safe place to turn to when it felt like the world kept beating me down. He taught me to value my education and put my marriage and family before anything else. He might have been the most stubborn and hardheaded person I have ever met, but had a heart of gold. If you were to have asked him about his life, he would have described it as fortunate. I think that speaks volumes about him.
One of the many things I loved about him, was he just wanted to get to know me. We would sit and play cards for hours and we would just talk and visit. That was all he wanted, to just know who I was. My opinion, likes and dislikes, and what was going on in my life, no matter how trivial. When we were sitting at that card table, he treated me like I was the most important thing in the world (also that certain rules didn’t apply, like I was able to eat poundcake in the living room). I have never felt a love so unconditional.
Today, after a week of nonstop traveling, from one coast to another and up and down the coast line, I finally wanted to bake. Not just one cookie, but two. The two I baked couldn’t be more opposite. A soft sprinkle cookie that is playful, happy, and cheerful, and a massive fudgy chocolate cookie, with a bold richness of flavor that is comforting. No cookie could fill the void my family and I feel with the loss of my grandfather, but I learned the harsh reality that you can’t get time back. If you aren’t living your life purposefully, what is the point?
I know this post might be a downer, but it is honest. I learned from a very young age that the best way for me to work through my emotions is to bake. I made the sprinkle cookies first. My husband happens to have a minor obsession with them, but also because I thought they might make me smile. I used the recipe from Cookies and Cups.
Soft Sprinkle Cookies
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg and 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 (3.5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup sprinkles
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- In a stand mixer or bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together flour, soda, and salt.
- Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl, then add the eggs one at a time. Beat until incorporated, then add the vanilla.
- Add the pudding mix and mix through.
- Next, on a low speed, add the dry ingredients until the dough comes together. It will look a little crumbly, but that is just fine.
- Fold in your sprinkles until evenly distributed.
- Roll a rounded cookie scoop of dough into a ball and lightly press down to flatten the tops.
- Bake on parchment lined or silicon mat covered baking sheets for 10 minutes or until the cookies are just set.
- Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet before transferring to a wire rack.
These delicious and massive chocolate chip cookies are from Kirbie’s Cravings.
Fudgy Dark Chocolate Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup cake flour*
- 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup salt
- 1 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* If you don’t keep cake flour on hand, for each cup a recipe calls for, substitute 2 tablespoons of flour for cornstarch.
- In a stand mixer or bowl, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape the bowl, then beat in eggs one at a time.
- In a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, cake flour, flour, cornstarch, soda and salt. Gradually add into your mixer.
- Once the dry ingredients are incorporated, fold in the chocolate chips.
- Chill the dough for 15 minutes. While the dough is chilling, preheat your oven to 410º F.
- Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls. You can fit 6 on a half-sheet. Flatten the tops slightly before baking.
- Bake for 10 minutes until the cookies are set.
- Let the cookies cool completely on the baking sheet.