You may recall a previous blog post, “Eating is an Act of Love: Healing My Relationship with Food,” which received great feedback, so I thought I would write more on the topic. Last weekend, I had another experience where I felt great love and gratitude while baking. This time I made straight-up, no healthy alternative/substitution fresh out of the oven cookies. This is a huge step for me as I spent many years banning foods and battling with cravings convinced that a cookie or two would be my demise. My obeying these very rigid food rules led to deprivation and dangerous binging behaviors. The decision to ban certain foods and not allow for an occasional treat typically backfires. If you want a cookie but try to pacify the craving with a rice cake or something “healthy,” you will likely end up not feeling satisfied. These feelings will then manifest themselves elsewhere in your life or set you up for a binge, further fueling the cycle of guilt and restriction when it comes to food. When we honor our hunger cues and desire, you can have the cookie, enjoy it, and move on. The food no longer has power. This is part of my healing journey with food and learning to eat intuitively.
So, let’s go back to last Friday night when I was craving cookies. Homemade cookies. I knew anything packaged or store-bought would not hit the spot, so I decided to bake some. My husband was also on board with making them; although I was so excited and too impatient to wait for him, I went ahead and baked them myself. Once again, I found this process immensely joyful and full of love. Since the COVID pandemic started, I have found more pleasure in cooking new meals and baking treats. It is amazing what happens when we slow down a bit.
For the cookie recipe, I consulted the famed Red & White Cookbook. The peanut butter cookie recipe caught my eye (see picture for original recipe), and I knew I had all the ingredients and more goodies to add to make it my own.
The recipe called for shortening, but this not something we keep in the house. I substituted that for more butter (you can substitute butter for shortening as a 1:1 ratio). I also swapped granulated white sugar for sugar in the raw. We prefer sugar in the raw in our baking as it is less processed than white sugar, and for our taste brings out that “yum-bonus” in our baked goods. For the peanut butter, I used chunky Teddy Peanut butter. Now I wanted a more chocolate base, so I melted ¼ cup of dark chocolate baking chunks and semi-sweet chocolate chips and mixed it into the peanut butter (I know that is a risky maneuver to add liquid to a recipe, but the chunky peanut butter is very thick and handled it well). Additionally, I added unsweetened coconut flakes, a handful of sliced almonds, and chopped walnuts to the batter. I will say the melted chocolate did not bring as much chocolatey presence to the cookie as I was hoping for. If you don’t care about the chocolate, you could skip that step and follow the original recipe.
Next time I may add more chocolate chips to the batter, drizzle chocolate over the cookie, or make them thumbprint style with a Hershey’s kiss in the middle.
Lastly, the recipe called for rolling the cookie in sugar before baking, and I skipped that step entirely. For us, there was already enough sugar in the recipe, and that just seemed unnecessary. They needed the full 9 minutes in my oven, and be forewarned; this recipe made a lot of cookies. I did not count them, but it was at least 60. Don’t worry, they freeze, so next time I have that craving, cookies will be readily available. I was so impressed with how they came out that I packaged up a dozen and dropped them off at my mom’s house because eating is an act of love, but so is sharing!
What is your favorite sweet treat recipe? Share below and perhaps I will try your recipe and showcase it in a future blog post.
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❤ Lastly, stay tuned for the launch of my courses in 2021 centered around making peace with food, learning to love your body, and engaging in joyful movement! ❤