I do not bake. Ever. I try, I really try very hard and have had some great attempts. When I say bake, I don't mean banana bread or pumkpin bread or muffins. I can make loaves or muffins and I'm okay with that. When I say baking, I mean looking at recipes like homemade cake from scratch, even cookies from scratch. I get nervous. Something about measuring exactly what it says on the recipe, knowing that if I am off by an inch it can ruin the recipe just intimidates me. People like Jessica and Evan, are baker afficianado's--but me. I will never be a baker. Come to my house if you want a damn good roasted chicken and veggies, colorful salad and well, probably ice cream out of the tub and store bought brownies---just saying. If you ever come to my house thinking I will serve you homemade, warm, chocolate chunk cookies-then you probably want to think twice about being my friend.
So today is my mom's birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE YOU!) For my mom's birthday I decided to go out of my comfort zone and do something I think she would really enjoy. My mom has a think for chocolate chunk cookies. Not chocolate chip, but chocolate CHUNK. Whenever we go to visit my grandparents in Florida, we always have brunch at least one day the main hall where they serve the most amazing food I have ever had in my life. My mom has an obsession with the cranberry chocolate chunk cookies. Seriously she acts like an 80 year old woman and hoards them in paper napkins (which I guess means she would fit in there?) Anyways, I wanted to try to recreate these cookies for her.
I began creaming the butter and sugars together with an electric beater, that I beleive was collecting dust in the cabinet (no worries, I washed it before hand)
As I was mixing the raw dough, I noticed the mixture felt and looked more like a scone recipe consistancy than cookies. It was a bit dry and crumbly. I went back and double checked to make sure I had all of the right amount of each ingredient. Everything seemed correct, so I just figured they would be more 'scone' like. I baked them for the correct amount of time and when they were done, placed them on a wire rack to cool
They smelled and looked delicious!! I took one hot out of the oven and gave it to my dad (the taste tester) just before I started giving myself a pat on the back, I noticed my dads face after he took a bite. And spit it out. "Something's not right here, Naomi" Okay, I knew I was not the best baker, but never have I thought they were THAT bad. He asked if the butter was salted and it was not. I then went to the 'sugar' bag which was unlabeled in a ziploc bag. I stuck my finger in and sure enough it was SALT NOT SUGAR. I screamed right away "This is why I do not bake!!" Even the simplest recipe-I screwed up. I dabated whether making another batch or just showing my mom the effort I made, and I decided that because I hadn't cleaned any of the items I used to mix and bake AND I love my mom, she deserved another GOOD batch
The good bactch
Happy Birthday Mom!!! After my second batch. They were delicious!
She laughed at my story because I do inherit the "I am not a baker gene" from my mom. She can cook up a STORM but when it comes to intricate baking, we stick to serving ice cream and cut bake cookies!
Chocolate Chunk Cookies adapted from All Recipes
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon brandy ( I used vanilla)
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup white chocolate chips ( I used chocolate chunks)
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg and brandy. Combine the flour and baking soda; stir into the sugar mixture. Mix in the white chocolate chips and cranberries. Drop by heaping spoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. For best results, take them out while they are still doughy. Allow cookies to cool for 1 minute on the cookie sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
I made up for baking two batches of cookies by making an awesome breakfast in the morning! I had some quality time with the birthday girl as we chatted over breakfast and coffee.
This would be 1/4 C oats cooked in water and almond milk (I like my oats more on the watery side than on the porridge side) I added a big dollop of pumpkin, lots of pumkpin pie spice and vanilla stevia to the bowl. It was topped over 1/2 C liquid eggwhites and some frozen raspberries
This is obviously from a different morning, but when I take a bite from the bottom it looks like this! Egg white hiding underneath there!
I made myself a delicious protein shake after the gym (It was shoulders and arms day which is my FAVORITE) This is a BSN Cinnamon Roll Protein shake made with 5 ice cubes, water and 1/4 tsp each guar and xanthan gums
My family is in the coffee biz, and we get hooked up with coffee...for real look at the size of this bag!! That will last me...1 week.
And my lunch. Add sweet potato and changed surfaces. YUM. Grilled chicken + sweet potato + veggies + Balsamic = perfect lunch!
Trainer Tip of the Day: If you are getting bored in your workout routine, simple changes can make for BIG differences! Change the angle, grips or weight of your current exercises to shock the muscles!
Front raise--->Incline front Raise (face down on bench)
Lateral pulldown--->Reverse Grip lat pull down
Walking Lunges---> Static Lunges
Barbell Deadlift---> one arm, one leg DB Deadlift
DB Shoulder Press---> Nuetral Grip Shoulder Press
Hamstring curl machine--->Stability Ball Hamstring Roll Ins
- Would you describe yourself as more of a baker or a chef? What do you ENJOY more? for me thats cooking FOR SURE! unless the baking recipe is simple!! (But even I can screw up a simple recipe!)
- Is there anything out there that intimidates you to cook or bake? For me thats anything that is supposed to come out hard like biscotti, homemade crackers etc. OR real breads like whole wheat bread. I just don't think I could ever have the patience!!
- What exercise have you changed up recently in the slightest way to make it a completely different exercise? I love doing variations of push ups! Lately its push ups on the medicine ball or decline push ups with my feet on a stability ball