Feel good baking

11466_10151688769065295_1692853039_nFeeling a bit stressed when I woke up this morning, I checked in with myself to discover what was making me so tense. With my sister studying like mad during this exam period, I thought that maybe it was the lack of sister to sister time or a shortage of spontaneous adventures! In order to shake this feeling, I decided that on my day off from work, I would do exactly what and only what I wanted to do (leaving everything else for tomorrow…).

To begin – and I never do this, believe me! – I sat in bed with the paper whilst eating breakfast and sipping down my bucket size cup of green tea. Breakfast in bed, that’s number one, completed.

Second, I realised it had been an entire week since I had baked something. I don’t even understand how this had happened, but I thought to myself ‘not only do I not have time for spontaneous adventure, I can’t even find the time to bake!’.

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As I opened the pantry doors, my eyes darted around the shelves and I assessed my ingredients. Deciding today it would be cookies, I began to extract what I needed. Scales, flours, sugar, eggs, beaters, spoons, bowls and spatulas, my bench was covered and the oven preheating.

I was in my element. A great thing to do when baking alone, or even with friends, is to play music, and play it rather loudly. It helps you move swiftly and stress-free, and cleaning doesn’t seem a chore. But it also means that, whatever you are cooking, gets a bit of extra love. So with my sister currently out of the house completing an exam, I had itunes blaring out a new favourite CD (Jamie Cullum – Momentum,

check him out!). I was taking my time, being very precise, and several cups of teas later I had a perfect batch of White Chocolate and Coconut Crinkle Cookies. 

Washing up was a breeze, I had fun styling the photos (sorry about the flour everywhere mum…) and I was feeling much better already! Next on my list was to get the week’s grocery shopping out of the way, buy a new book to read, grab a coffee, and Bikram yoga!

So here is the recipe for next time you are feeling a little down and just need a stress-free, simple activity to pick you up. Plus, with the end result being a batch of delicious cookies, you can enjoy this blissful moment over and over and over again : )

White Chocolate and Coconut Crinkle Cookies

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– INGREDIENTS –  

130g Butter, softened

1 cup White sugar

0.5 teaspoon Vanilla essence

1 large Egg

1 cup Plain flour, sifted

1 cup Self-rasing flour, sifted

1 cup Desiccated coconut

180g White chocolate, roughly chopped

– METHOD –  

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line 2-3 trays with baking paper.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large bowl, until pale and creamy. Note: this takes about 8-10 minutes, sometimes even longer, to get the correct consistency.

3. Add the egg and beat well until it is all combined.

4. Add the plain flour, self-raising flour and coconut to the bowl and mix until all ingredients are incorporated and a soft dough forms. Be sure to be thorough as dry ingredients tend to hide at the bottom of the bowl!

5. Lastly, add the white chocolate and mix into the dough evenly.

6. Using your hands, roll walnut sized balls of the mixture and place them relatively spread out on the trays. I got a bit carried away, and to make them all exactly the same, I weighed each ball to 30grams before placing them on the tray – I recommend doing this as it doesn’t take much longer and it ensures they are all identical!

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7. Slightly press each ball down to create flat disc shapes, ensuring there is enough room between each to spread a little.

8. Bake in the oven for approximately 10 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. The tops will appear under-done, but if you check the bottom of one cookie carefully, it should be a golden brown.

9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for 5 minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. During the cooling process the cookies begin to harden and the crinkle texture develops.

I hope the taste brings just as much pleasure as baking them! Enjoy xx.

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