Everyone has something to do to relieve stress. Some people read, some people run, some people knit, I cook. The mechanical actions and scientific standards that are required to cook and bake seem to soothe my stressed out mind and ease any anxieties that I have. However, having all those baked goods around is a little dangerous for maintaining a svelte figure, but I always try to adapt the recipes so that they are a little healthier, and I’ve also started bringing them into my department to share. This has started a trend of having some type of delicious goodie at our Friday Cultural Heritage Informatics (CHI) meetings (and also an epic bake-off between CHI and Scholar’s Lab at George Mason University- but that’s a story for another day). Although I usually keep my recipes fairly guarded (a family trait picked up from my grampa) sometimes its better to share the love and the stress reducing benefits of having a Friday baked good on hand.
Most of the recipes I use are inspired by recipes found online, but they are always edited by me to fit what ingredients I have on hand (using all whole wheat instead of half whole and half white) and my own personal inclinations (swapping out the chocolate chips for raisins). I welcome you to edit the recipe as much as you want to fit your own personal tastes- and please, post the edits/improvements/successes/failures on the blog so that we can all learn! I’d love to know a healthier way to bake something, or a more decadent way, or even just a crazy accident that happened to work out!
So here is my inaugural Friday Feel Good Recipe:
Matt’s Snickerdoodles: The story behind these cookies (because all good recipes have a story) is that they are my little brother’s favorites. Whenever I got into a baking mood when I was home- these were the cookies he asked for. They originally were from a Better Homes and Gardens recipe, but I wanted to make them healthier and richer. I like my version because they aren’t too sweet and don’t involve chocolate. They are also nice because after they are baked you can freeze half of them, and just nuke them in the microwave on medium high for a minute to get a fresh baked cookie any time.
Oven: 375 Chill: 1 hour Bake: 10 minutes
½ c. Butter, softened
1/2 c. White Granulated Sugar
1/2 c. Brown Sugar
¼ tsp. Baking Soda
¼ tsp. Cream of Tartar
½ tsp. Vanilla
3/4 c. Whole Wheat Flour
3/4 c. White Flour
2 tbsp. Sugar (reserve for later)
1 tsp. Cinnamon (reserve for later)
1. Mix up butter, sugars, baking soda, and cream of tartar, then slowly add vanilla and egg
2. In a separate bowl mix the flours together
3. Add the sugar/butter mixture into the flour, stir the two together
4. Cover with cling wrap and chill 1 hour
5. Roll dough into tablespoon sized balls
6. Combine sugar and cinnamon and roll dough balls in it
7. Place a few inches apart on baking sheet (I like to use a baking stone because it cooks more evenly, but any sheet will do) and bake until brown and crispy. Cool slightly before eating.
Variations on the standard: I’ve also done this recipe before adding about a 1/3 cup almond butter to the cookie portion which gives the cookie a yummy nutty flavor (and don’t forget the health benefits of nuts).
Hope you enjoy this first recipe!
[Image by Jim Winstead and used under the Creative Commons license.]
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From all of us at GradHacker, have a wonderful and productive summer. We'll see you again this autumn!
Writing your dissertation this summer? It's important to have a writing plan. Katie Shives advises: bit.ly/1UDMhrV
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