I’ve come to a very important conclusion: there are not enough sprinkles in my life. That sounds oh, so very childish. I know. But don’t you think sometimes we’re a little better off for letting the child inside take over? Trust me, I’m not talking about that temper tantrum-throwing 7 year old. She’s ruined many of my good times. No, I’m talking about that wildly creative child who’s inquisitive and given to flights of fancy. She’s the one that likes sprinkles and I’m the one who wants to help her out. In fact, I decided recently to make some Chocolate Chip Sprinkle Cookies. All I can say is…why didn’t I think of this sooner?
It’s easy to be serious. Sometimes when I drive down the street I look at the faces of the people in the cars around me. Everyone’s so serious. Well, except for that one chick who was rocking out to Heart. She was having a great time. I stayed behind her for awhile at the stoplight trying to soak in the vibes of her enthusiasm.
I’ve had too many things getting me down lately I guess.
These cookies, an anecdote to what’s been ailing me, have been mellowing my harsh.
Not that I think food is the way to relieve stress. Finding healthy ways to relieve stress is important. Here are my favorites.
Non-food Stress Busters
- Stroll. Will I surprise anyone here by saying that going for a walk is a seriously great way of dealing with stress? We recently moved to a lake neighborhood. Did you hear that? It was a mallard flying by. Yes, we have ducks and all kinds of water fowl in the area. I can walk 10 minutes and be sitting on the dock of the bay…wasting time. And that leads me to my next point…
- Relax. I can sometimes pack way too much into my day. I’m listening to Spanish tapes, watching videos on SEO optimization, and writing at least two books. It can be a little overwhelming sometimes. Giving yourself some time to relax can be key. I used to have a commute every day and I found that some of my most creative ideas would stem from that time. Now I have to find ways to pack some downtime in my day. I’m down with that!
- Sleep. I’m a morning person for sure. But sometimes I can be a night owl too. It’s a bad combination. But every now and then if I’m not paying close enough attention, my body will just shut me down. I’ll get a cold or I will come down with some mysterious fever and I will be down for the count. I’m sure it’s my body’s way of getting caught up on its REM. That’s some dang good music, but I’m talking about the sleepy time kind.
- Meditate. I was in such a pattern with meditating for awhile. There was nothing to hold me back! Except when I got busy and didn’t have the time for it anymore. Now I’m having to restart that old habit. I was feeling so zen too! Darn. But that’s the good thing about meditation, you can stop and restart and pick up right where you left off!
- Breathe. Sometimes stress, anxiety, you name it can be relieved with just a little deep breathing. And I don’t mean the kind that involves your head in the oven! My favorite trick is to breathe in to the count of eight and breathe out to the count of eight. Sometimes when I’m wanting to work on my language skills at the same time, I’ll do that counting in Spanish. Or French. That’s right I’m multi-lingual…if you include counting to eight as a criteria for fluency. Why do people from other countries have to use so many other words!
- Hydrate. Another great non-food Stress Buster is water. Sometimes I find myself living on the edge…of dehydration. If I feel a little tired or a little stressed, having a glass of water can make all the difference.
As long as you have your stress under control, having a cookie or two as part of a healthy diet is fine. Sometimes I’ll get overly rigid in my diet and put an out and out ban on all sugar. That does not lead to a happy Marly. Sure I can maintain that for awhile. In fact, taking a break from sugar for a week or so once or twice a year is a great idea! I’ve seen other people who minimize sugar on certain days of the week.
Whatever plumps your cookie!
Nothing But the Best
But here’s my secret. Come in a little closer and I’ll tell you. If I’m going to eat sugar, it’s got to be good. I’m not into some packaged cookie that’s been shipped from Tuscaloosa and has now been sitting on a shelf at the store for three weeks.
And, as long as we’re being completely honest, I also like my sweets to be really fresh. That’s why sometimes I’ll make a batch of cookie dough and only bake one or two panfuls and freeze the rest of the dough for later. That way fresh cookie dough is only a freezer door away!
How sweet is that!
You know what I left off that non-food stress reducing list? Spending time with friends. That means just chatting with you all and sharing this recipe has made me feel better than ever! It’s so true – you all just made my day!
- ½ cup dairy-free margarine
- ½ cup peanut butter
- 1½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 2 tablespoons corn starch
- ½ cup non-dairy milk (soy, almond, etc)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2½ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 4 tablespoons PB2 (optional)
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup (plus extra) sprinkles
- Place the margarine, peanut butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and using your electric mixer, mix on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about one minute.
- Push the margarine mixture to one side and in the other side of the bowl combine the ground flax seeds, corn starch, non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and almond extract. Stir to combine. Now, using the mixer, slowly incorporate the flax seed mixture in with the margarine mixture. Continue mixing until light and fluffy again.
- In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and PB2 (optional). Stir to combine. Pour the flour mixture over the margarine mixture and use your mixer to combine. Add the chocolate chips and sprinkles and mix some more until the sprinkles are incorporated throughout the dough.
- Cover the bowl and place the cookie dough in the freezer for about an hour or fridge for two hours.
- When you're ready to bake the cookies, turn your oven up to 350F.
- Use a cookie dough dispenser to drop cookie dough roughly 1½ inches apart on your cookie sheet. Pour some additional sprinkles on a plate and grabbing one ball of cookie dough at a time, dab the top of the cookie dough ball into the plate of sprinkles to give the top a nice coating of sprinkles. Place it back on the cookie pan and gently smash the top of the cookie to ensure that the new sprinkles are embedded in the cookie dough ball. Repeat with each cookie. Return the bowl of cookie dough back to the freezer while you wait for this batch to cook.
- Place the prepared pan of cookie dough balls in the oven and bake for 8-9 minutes. These cookies are best when they're slightly undercooked so be careful not to over bake. You'll be rewarded with a dense, rich, moist cookie!
- Remove the pan from the oven and allow the cookies to cool slightly before placing on a wire rack to cool completely. Of course you might want to have one (or two) while they're still slightly warm. You will love them!
- Repeat until all the cookies are done. Store in an airtight container.
If you like these, you might want to give my Almond Joy Cookies a try
Or these Triple Chocolate Cookies
And if you’d like more sprinkles and less chocolate, these Confetti Sandwich Cookies are a real show stopper!
Whichever cookies you try, enjoy!