These days it seems like there are a million different chronic illnesses that we are battling. Autoimmune diseases, fibromyalgia, lupus, thyroid disease, EDS, Addison's, Arthritis, MS... the list goes on forever. There are two extra sucky things about chronic illness: the long drawn out fight to get diagnosed, coupled with the standard "You don't look sick" refrain.
I myself have fibromyalgia, chronic migraines, and thyroid disease. To be honest, my doctor (and here I count my blessings that I have an excellent, caring, well-informed physician who listens) and I were working on a fourth diagnosis when I asked if we could put some of the testing on hold. I mean, a girl can only take so much bad news, and no one wants to be a human pin cushion, never mind the amount of medications I take on a daily basis just to get through the day.
On a bad day it feels like I've been hit by a truck, or like that one year I decided to skip my flu shot and needed up with the flu, which turned into bronchitis which turned into pneumonia. Hot and cold flashes. Nausea. Headaches. Body aches that no amount of pain meds can touch. Fatigue so bad that I get winded just lifting my arms over my head. Plus the soul-crushing guilt that I'm not the active, outgoing person I used to be. On a good day- drop the kid off at school, run to the gym, go grocery shopping, clean the house (which I've neglected for the past few bad days), cook dinner, bake a million sweets, spend time with the family. And then fall into a coma-like sleep, because I overdid it. It is a vicious cycle, and sadly the bad days have far outweighed the good for the past year. Hence, my disappearing act the past few weeks.
This weekend I had several good days in a row, which means I got to whip up a few new recipes that have been percolating in this brain of mine. And I love to reward my family's patience with a new batch of goodies to try!
The Biscoff Chocolate Chip Cookie. If you've read my blog before then you're already fully aware of my obsession with Biscoff Cookie Butter. It is rich, toasty, deliciousness. But I feel some judgmental looks being cast my way anytime that I stick a spoon in the jar so I'm always trying to incorporate it into new recipes. (FYI- Biscoff and Jelly Sandwiches are amazing.)
This recipe was originally a Peanut Butter Cookie recipe that I've used for ages, occasionally substituting other kinds of Nut Butters. With just a few adjustments, it made a delicious chocolate chip cookie with the added tastiness of creamy cookie butter. Crunchy and crumbly on the outside, but soft and chewy on the inside.
This is definitely a cookie that needs chilling, so plan in advance!
I almost always follow a very simple recipe ratio of softened butter to sugar to flour. (Usually 3/4 cup butter to 2 cups flour to 1 1/2 cup sugar) In this case the added oil content of the Cookie Butter means adding a bit more flour. Also, make sure you're using CREAMY Cookie Butter.
Start with softened, unsalted butter. The best way to make sure your butter is the right consistency is by gently pressing a finger into it. No fingerprint means the butter is too cold. If your finger sinks into the butter with hardly any pressure, its over-softened. An indentation when lightly pressing means its just right. (Pioneer Woman has a great post on Softened Butter. Click here for the link:
Start the cookies by creaming the butter and sugars. Add in your eggs and vanilla, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed as you mix. Then add the Biscoff Cookie Butter. In a separate bowl whisk together all of your dry ingredients. Then combine the wet and dry, beating together bit by bit until well combined. This dough will be thick! Finally, add in the chocolate chips.
So, here's a secret from my kitchen. If a dough has to be chilled, I go ahead and scoop the dough balls first and lay them on a cookie sheet or in a Tupperware. Its much easier to scoop than than a bowl of already chilled dough, and it also gives me the freedom of only baking a few at a time. If you go this route, as opposed to covering and chilling the bowl of dough, make sure you tightly cover the dough balls well so that they don't dry out. (If they do, cover with a slightly damp towel for about 10 minutes before baking.) Either way, chill overnight.
When its Baking Time, preheat the oven to 350*F and prep your cookie sheets. Although these cookies don't spread a lot, still allow enough room for cookies to spread slightly on the cookie sheet. Flatten each dough ball slightly. (*These cookies are packed with chocolate chips, but they are mostly on the inside. For that bakery look, lightly press extra chocolate chips into the tops of the cookie just prior to baking.) Bale for 9 to 11 minutes, just until lightly set. Remove from oven and let cool on the cookie sheets for about five minutes, allowing the cookies to finish setting before removing to wire racks to cool completely. They will be very soft, almost gooey at first, but they will set once completely cool.
These won rave reviews from my family. (Which means I may not be able to smuggle any out of the house for the Monkeypod Crew, although I promise to do my best, guys.) So whip up a batch for yourselves, and don't forget to tag us in your photos! Happy Baking!