Saturday, September 22, 2012

Chocolate and Changes

I am not happy.  OK, I said it.  The first step to changing something is admitting it, right?  Well I guess I can start now.

Grad school is hard.  Really hard.  I have no time for myself, no time for seeing friends, and no time for sleep.  The stress caught up to me and I got sick.  Today I spent five straight hours writing a paper, and I don't even understand what it says.  I am sad.  I snap at whoever is around me, and I cry on a daily basis.  And you know what?  That's not even the bad news.  Nope, the bad news is that I have a whole four years of this.

This is not a way to live for four years.  I am a happy person, and if I am not happy in a situation, I change it.  I'm not ready to drop out of grad school just yet, but I am ready to make some changes in my life.  Today is the first day of fall, the season of change, so today is a good day to start.  Instead of crying and trying to do my readings all day long, I took a break, and baked some cookies.  I opted out of going to a lecture I signed up for, and took time to clean the kitchen.  I might even take a nap.

I am going to school to learn to relieve people's suffering, and it's about time I learned to relieve my own.  Today marks the first day of my happiness project.  I am going to actively pursue that sense of life and hope that I've somehow lost.  These cookies are my first step.

Double Dark Chocolate Cookies
Recipe adapted from The Cookie Bible
Yield: 2 dozen cookies

1 8z bar semisweet baking chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup dark chocolate chips (or chunks)

Chop baking chocolate for faster melting
Make yourself a double boiler using a small sauce pan with about two inches of water, and a large bowl on top.  Melt chocolate until smooth, remove bowl from heat.
Stir in butter until melted and smooth.  Cutting it up makes it melt faster.
Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla until combined.
Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt until incorporated.  Then add chocolate chips.
Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Dough will be messy/runny.
Bake at 350°F for 13 minutes.  Cool on pans on wire racks for 3 minutes, then transfer cookies directly onto rack to finish cooling.

Rant about non-stick cookie sheets:  they suck.  Cookies don't stick to regular pans anyway, so don't buy the non-stick pans.  They cost more, and only burn the bottoms of your cookies.  I put both pans in for 13 minutes, and the ones on the non-stick pans were burning by minute 7.  They are still edible, but it's still frustrating.

Ask yourself every day: "am I happy?"  If the answer is "no," change something.  Or bake these cookies.  They will help.

Love and cookies,

1 comment:

  1. I miss you and your delicious baked goodies, Hannah!