everything but the kitchen sink


When I was in high school, my friends and I would do some babysitting for a little bit of spending money. I think that’s pretty standard.

What’s maybe less standard (or, at least, no one wants to admit that we all do it) was that we would do a little bit of snooping. Nothing serious like digging through bedrooms or offices, but I remember one friend who liked to look through makeup bags, and another who liked to scour the bookshelves (she also judged people based on what they read). I liked to go through the kitchen cupboards.

The houses with junk food were my favourite. I’d sneak a graham cracker here, a marshmallow there, a small handful of goldfish crackers and a row of a chocolate bar. I’d be disappointed with the houses that only had apple sauce and NutriGrain bars. I lived for Costco bags of jellybeans.


You can tell a lot about a household based on their cupboards. Whether they’re health nuts or constantly pressed for time. Whether or not they like to make things from scratch. Whether or not they’re OCD and need to line up their spices in alphabetical order. Whether or not they’re stocking enough canned soup and boxed mac and cheese to survive the zombie apocalypse.

If someone were to judge me based on my cupboards, they would know I make almost everything from scratch. They would know I have the ingredients for s’mores on hand at all times and stored for easy access within one box. They would know I have three unopened bags of cornmeal, four types of rice, five jars of peanut butter of varying levels of fullness, and no canned vegetables. They would know that I would not survive the zombie apocalypse.


In a couple days, however, I’m starting the Whole Life Challenge. It’s going to be eight weeks of no gluten, no dairy, no sugar, and no fun. In preparation, I’ve been trying to use up all of my baking ingredients so I won’t be tempted to cheat. I was getting down to the dregs of my cupboards when I decided I needed to make chocolate chip cookies. For being entirely unprepared, these turned out surprisingly well.

I might survive the zombie apocalypse after all.


Chocolate Chip Toffee Cookies

As mentioned, these were an effort to use up everything in my cupboard. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend recreating this recipe ingredient for ingredient, because you’ll end up needing quite a few things. Think of this as an encouragement to substitute and experiment and – most importantly – eat cookies.


seven ounces bread flour
ten ounces all purpose flour
half tablespoon baking powder
half tablespoon baking soda
one teaspoon salt
three quarters cup butter
half cup margarine
half cup brown sugar
three quarters cup coconut sugar
one cup plus two tablespoons granulated sugar
two eggs
one teaspoon vanilla
lots of chocolate chips (I used milk and dark)
lots of toffee bits
flaked sea salt (it’s optional but delicious. If you don’t have flaked, I would highly recommend still using a coarse sea salt)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a few cookie sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside.
In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars using the paddle attachment. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time and mix until fluffy.
Sift in all dry ingredients and stir until all the flour has disappeared. Fold in chocolate chips and toffee bits.
Scoop onto your cookie sheets and sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until the edges are getting brown.

Note: These were quite dark coloured (I assume because of the coconut sugar) and they also got quite puffy in the oven, so it was hard to tell when they were done. I took mine out before I was convinced they were ready, and when they cooled they became thin and chewy. If you’re into crispier cookies then by all means leave them in longer, but if you like yours chewy like I do, a little too early is probably safer than a little too late.


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