Sunday, January 16, 2011

Baking for self-esteem

Everyone has something they do when feeling overwhelmed, or out-of-control, or like they are maybe just not cut out for the task they have in front of them. Some people get out the yellow rubber gloves and scrub their kitchen like it's a competition for Mr. Clean's heart. Some go for a walk or run, purposely scaring pigeons just because they can. Some watch hours of Mad Men on their sister's laptop, secretly wishing that when the doorbell rings, it's Don Draper come to seduce them rather than the sushi delivery guy who didn't even bring any chopsticks.

And some people bake. 

I admit I've done all the things above in times of stress, but absolutely nothing calms me more than creaming together butter, sugar, eggs, flour, salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips.  

It's not a mystery as to why: with baking, I know what I'm going to get. Yes, baking does require a little talent and finesse - but I know I've got these things (at least 90% of the time) and I'm confident about that. The other plus to baking? If you loose steam halfway through the process, you've still got yourself a giant bowl of cookie dough to devour with a spoon.

Baking in times of stress is not the moment to try a new recipe. Nope - this is the time to bake the recipe equivalent of your favorite pair of slippers - one that never fails you and that makes you warm and fuzzy inside.

So I don't have a new recipe to share today, but here are some of my warm and fuzzy favorites:

$1,000 Chocolate Toffee Pecan Cookies
Giant and decadent.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies
These come with an extra comfort factor: getting to think of my good friend E every time I bake them.

Oatmeal Lemon Creme Bars
Try to eat just one.

Oatmeal Carmelitas
Go ahead and do a flamenco dance while you make/eat these.  All that stomping also helps with stress.

What are your favorite warm and fuzzy recipes?


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