For someone who just wrote about working on losing weight, I sure bake a lot these days. Fortunately, I only like the process of making pastries, and not eating what I bake. Some people find it weird when I say it, but that’s how it has always been. There’s something about standing in the kitchen, steadying a bowl in one hand, and a whisk in another, that soothes me. Staring into the batter I’m mixing puts me into a hypnotic state, and transports my mind to places. It’s like everything else that’s begging for my attention quiets down, my mind calms, and I am able to think much more clearly. You can say baking is my own version of a Magic 8 Ball. My career feels stale, should I quit my job? As I whip cream cheese frosting manually and without using a handheld mixer. Sometimes the thought that I will forget how my mom looks like terrifies me, and I think this batter needs a little more flavor. I feel like I’m wasting my life on things that don’t necessarily matter but I am unsure on what to do about it, and I hate how stubborn this cookie dough is.
I find solace in baking, the type that I don’t get from anything else. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great support system and a privileged life. This is why I struggle more whenever I don’t have a grateful heart because I know there are so many things about my life that deserves gratitude. I have a roof over my head, a stable job that pays my bills and spontaneous travel plans, and I’m surrounded by people who love and support me. I know it’s all in my head which makes it harder because how do you banish your own thoughts and mindset? These days come few and far in between, but when it does, is such a downer. Maintaining how I feel about life takes conscious effort and is always a work in progress. I find that there’s no shortcut in being happy with what you have.. but luckily, in baking sometimes there are shortcuts. Not gonna lie, I do use mixes on days when I don’t feel like baking from scratch. When I saw this on S&R, I purchased a box to try it out.
Baking instructions. I use unsalted butter when baking, as always, but I hate how expensive it is compared to regular butter!
Mixing in progress. When I’m preparing cookie dough, I usually stick with a spatula to mix because it’s a pain to use a whisk on. It’s a task in itself to scrape off all the dough off a whisk. I used a fork instead to make mixing easier! The annoying thing about working with Hershey’s as I come to realize is that their chocolate chips melt quickly. It’s not a big deal to me (who eats leftover batter on the fork, screw salmonella), but I would prefer my chocolate to mix inside the cookies while it is in the oven.
I bought a few bottles of green tea spread when I went to South Korea last year (I only have one left!). I’ve made green tea cookies before, and what I usually do was make a ball out of the cookie dough and place a small blob of frozen green tea spread inside. I place the entire baking sheet in the fridge to chill it while preheating the oven to make sure it does not spread too thinly and the green tea stays inside the cookie. But since we’re taking shortcuts, I went and put in a significant amount of green tea spread in the batter.
It turned into an ugly shade of brown after mixing (photo below), and I decided to put in some more green tea spread but not mix it in too thoroughly so that when I take a bite of a cookie, I’d still see some actual ‘green tea’ in there.
I usually am meticulous in scooping cookie dough into evenly sized dollops. But to be consistent with how I wanted to make things quickly, I used a spoon and a clean finger to put it on the tray.
The result! The cookies are actually way darker in real life and I used my limited Photoshop skills to brighten this photo to show the resulting green. Overall, I probably would not repurchase a box of this cookie mix. It was way too sweet for my liking, and I had to down black coffee/green tea with it. I’m not the biggest fan of biting into diabetes-inducing pastry.
I’ve mulled about life over cookies and more green tea. And I still haven’t gotten answers to any of my existential questions, no assurances that my fears won’t materialize, and no idea on what steps to take next. My goal of being consistently and genuinely happy may seem like a long shot some days. But I do know, that at the end of the day, I’ll manage and [hopefully] surprise myself. 🙂
Anyone else here feeling this ‘midlife’ crisis? I sometimes feel like it is too early in life to feel like it has left me behind.