It’s much easier to fall out of a routine than it is to maintain one, don’t you think? The busier things get the more I want to buckle down and honor my routines. Little things and big things – like walking the dogs every day, getting fruits and veggies with each meal, exercising, getting 7 hours of sleep, washing my face before bed, and fitting in relaxation. I invariably feel defeated if I can’t keep on top of it all, so I take a step back and sort through my emails, my planners, and my to do lists.
I believe a peak into a woman’s purse is both mysterious and telling. For example, on any given day my purse has: homework, work notes, planner, so many index cards, a note book, a scarf because I’m always freezing, dog toys and treats, hairspray that I always carry but never use, a surplus of writing instruments, and a beautiful purple knife which may or may not have gotten me kicked out of a federal building. When my brain feels overloaded and I don’t want to think about NIH grants or about survey research (or heaven-forbid my thesis) and I just want to cuddle up with my family but can’t, that’s when I have the urge to create. Compiling my notes, emails and plans helps center me. It centers me much the same way creaming butter with sugar centers me.
It’s pretty well-established that Joanne Chang is a go-to for me. These are her sugar cookies, with a little whole grain twist. The cholesterol is so much more acceptable with a good dose of fiber. As we near finals and grant-submission time, I started breaking out in hives and losing sleep (yep… that’s my stress-MO) which drove me straight to the butter. Truth be told I initially wanted to make oatmeal cookies until I realized I had no brown sugar. Once I survived the no-brown-sugar panic attack I got myself together and decided on sugar cookies.
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1½ cups granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole-wheat flour
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoons salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter and sugar on medium speed for at least 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
- Meanwhile whisk together dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
- Add in eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla extract. Scrape down the bowl before adding dry ingredients.
- Gradually stir in dry ingredients being sure to scrape down sides of bowl and get all ingredients fully incorporated.
- Divide dough in half and shape into discs, wrapping tightly in plastic wrap. Chill at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- Let dough rest for ~15-30 minutes at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking sheet.
- Roll out dough to ¼" thickness and cut out using 1-inch cookie cutters. Transfer dough to cookie sheet and top with colored sugars or leave plain for frosting.
- Bake cookies for 7-9 minutes until edges are just golden brown but centers look almost underdone. This will give you a cookie that is soft in the center and crisp at the edge (i.e. the perfect cookie).
- Let cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.
How could you want to be productive when they look so cute and comfy??