Tuesday, June 19, 2012

New Beginnings and Old Habits

Well, it's certainly been a while since my last post, over a month in fact.  For that, I apologize.  You see, I was rather busy with that whole graduating college/moving thing.  Oh, and the fact that I had also resolved to stop baking.  It's a rather expensive/unhealthy habit, and I figured that since I would be on a poor grad student budget with a full class schedule and job (hopefully I'll get one soon), I might have to cut down on my favorite hobby.  Blogging also takes up a considerable chunk of time.  I figured, OK, undergrad done=blog done.

Then why am I still writing, you ask?  Well, old habits die hard.  Baking is my therapy.  It is what I turn to whenever I am sad, lonely, or just plain bored.  I guess there are worse habits to have, so I might as well just embrace it.  Baking is what makes me happy, and I like being happy, and I'm not ready to take that away from myself just yet.

I moved to Boston a week ago.  I LOVE it here.  My house is beautiful, it's in a great location, and my housemates are more wonderful than I ever could have hoped for.  I am ready to call this my home for the next four years.  Unfortunately, it can't all be smiles and rainbows.  Moving to a new city can be tough, and even though I know a few people here, I've been feeling a little lonely.  It could be the small-town-girl-in-the-big-city effect, or it could just be Wes-withdrawal and the fact I no longer live within a 5-minute walking radius of all my closest friends.  Or it could just be the constant rejection of job applications.

I baked some muffins last week for a brunch my housemate through for her teaching aids, and it felt pretty good, but I wasn't too proud of their texture, so they didn't really cheer me up.  Last night, we had a house meeting, so I decided to bake some cookies.  I had to improvise with the ingredients a bit and I was worried how they'd turn out, but in the end, they were amazing.  They reminded me that this is what I do, this is my passion, and this is what makes me happy.  So I'm going to keep baking through doctoral school.  You're welcome to follow me along my journey.

Triple Chocolate Espresso Cookies
Recipe adapted from the Cookie Bible
Yield: 2 1/2 dozen cookies

2 cups whole wheat flour (you can use all-purpose; we just didn't have any)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (softened)
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
2 large eggs
2 tsps vanilla
1 Tbs strong-brewed espresso
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup white chocolate chips

Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream together butter, shortening, and sugars until smooth
Add eggs, vanilla, and espresso.  Beat until well-combined.
Slowly add in the flour mixture, and then stir in your chocolate chips
Drop by rounded Tablespoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes.
Cool on pans for 2-3 minutes.  Then transfer to wire racks to finish cooling.
Update on the chocolate allergy:  I drunkenly ate a brownie over the weekend, and didn't get any hives.  I figured I would try my luck with these cookies, and so far, no red spots!  Maybe my random and completely depressing chocolate allergy that lasted 3 months is finally going away!

All this love and good news means I have to get a job soon.  It's only logical, right?  I'll keep you posted!

Love and cookies (for another four years),


  1. I miss you already Hannah!! But I am glad you didn't stop baking, it would be ridiculous if you did! When you find something that makes you happy you can't let it go, and when your find something your amazing at, you never give up! I have been in a slump lately and I need to find that sense of happiness again. And I know that job opportunity is coming! I can feel it..

    much love sister <3

  2. We are so glad you live with us now! And you don't have to make us cookies to prove how awesome you are... but no one here is complaining :) <3