"Don't underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering."- Winnie the Pooh
Are you stressed today? I sure was.
Everyone gets stressed once in a while. Work is a big stress causer for most people. University and school, too. Trying to achieve a goal but you're not quite getting it right. Feeling like you have too many things to do in one day. Being hungry but not having the time to go get groceries so you eat porridge for the 3rd meal in a row. Not being able to operate a camping can opener (or maybe that's was just me).
You feel the anger storm growing in your mind. Everything seems to be against you and you just want the world to give you a few minutes to breathe! Nothing is going the way you want it. The anger storm is going full blast now. Eventually, you give up, wallow in your self-pity, and act the victim. At least, that tends to be my cycle of rage. It doesn't always get to the last bit, sometimes I can intercept it before it gets to be too much. The one thing that I do to de-stress that will almost always work?
Doesn't have to be fancy or complicated. Chocolate chip cookies are my go-to when feeling stressed, but any cookie recipe does it for me. It's calming to follow a recipe and go through the steps. You don't have time to think about what's stressing you out. You just focus on what you have to do next. I find that the simplest recipes are the best for calming down. You don't want to be stressed and have to worry if your egg whites or lemon curd are perfect for your Coconut Chiffon Cake.
Next time you feel that anger storm a-brewin', pick out a simple recipe and go through it. No rush, no fuss, no worries. Maybe put on some classical music, or whatever music you like.
Don't feel like baking? Read a book. Sit down, open a book, and read for 10 minutes to start. I guarantee, you'll be feeling better and you'll probably want to keep reading that book.
I was pretty stressed with research papers when I made these. I had to read so many articles and books for them, I was working too much, and I knew I wouldn't have much time between then and the due dates to work on the papers, so I had to rush. Plus, I was mad because I wouldn't get time to bake, but I really wanted to bake. I knew what was ahead of me if I worried and stressed for the rest of the day, so I made these little cuties.
The voice in the back of my mind was nagging me at the beginning, saying, "Hold on, you should do work, you're procrastinating, go do some work!". After a few minutes, that voice was gone. Now that the cookies are finished, I'm still confident that I'll finish my papers on time, my stress level is way down, and I have some tasty cookies to munch on.
Recipe from Baked Explorations
2 ounces dark chocolate
2 ounces mint chocolate
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup coarse sugar
3 ounces white chocolate
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
Melt the dark and mint chocolate in a double boiler. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt.
With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the butter until creamy. Add both the sugars and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and beat until combined. Pour the melted chocolates into the mixtures and beat until it is just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl every so often with a spatula. Add the flour mixture all at once. I used a wooden spoon to slowly combine the ingredients before switching to the mixer until the dough was smooth. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Take the dough out and unwrap it. Using a tablespoon, form smooth balls by rolling them in your hand. Roll them in the coarse sugar and place them on the baking sheets. Using the back of a 1/2 teaspoon measurement or your thumb, make a small indent in the cookies. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Using the 1/2 teaspoon measurement (you'll burn your thumb), make the original indents more prominent. Put them back in the oven for another 4 to 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and transfer to a wire rack.
For the filling, place the white chocolate in a measuring cup with a spout. Put the cream in a microwave-safe cup or a very small saucepan and heat until boiling. For the microwave, this will be about 30 seconds. Pour the cream over the white chocolate and let it stand for 30 seconds. Whisk until smooth and stir in the peppermint extract. Pour the filling into the cookies and refrigerate until the filling is set, about 30 minutes.
Store in an airtight container and enjoy!