Sometimes it takes a while for my brain to settle into writing mode. Back when my blog was my only reason to write (with the limited intended audience of only my future now-where-did-I-leave-that-recipe self and my mom (Hi Mom!)), it wasn’t a big deal to have writer’s block. Eventually I’d hit a creative high and churn out eight articles. Then I wouldn’t think about writing again for two months.
Now it’s a little different. Having a creative day job is incredible… But what am I supposed to do when I’m staring at a blank Word document and nothing is coming to mind?
(Or worse, when I’m staring at a page of notes and statistics, but I can’t strain them into a cohesive, engaging thought piece?)
Cookies. The answer is cookies.
We’ll ignore what this is doing to my waistline for now (the Whole Life Challenge is coming!), and I’ll happily type while I drink cup after cup after cup (after cup) of earl grey tea, and eat these gingerbread reindeer.
My eternal favourite. Incidentally vegan.
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup molasses
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- pinch all spice
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together oil and sugars. Add molasses, almond milk, and vanilla and keep mixing until pretty well combined.
- Sift in all remaining ingredients. Stir until well-mixed.
- Spoon the batter out onto a sheet of Saran wrap. Press into a flattened pancake of dough, wrap it up, and put it in the freezer for at least two to three hours. (Pro tip: If you make two Saran wrapped batter pancakes, you can probably get away with only an hour.)
- Just before you’re ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet (or 2) with parchment paper and set aside.
- Pull the batter out of the freezer, and unwrap it (but leave it on top of the Saran wrap). Roll it out with a rolling pin (or wine bottle) to about 1/4″ thick, and use your favourite cookie cutters to make shapes. If it’s sticking to the rolling pin, use some flour.
- Place the cut out cookies on the prepared baking sheet, about an inch apart.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the cookie looks dry.
- Store frozen (baked or not – these keep super well!)
[Endnote: After taking my lunch break to relax and write this piece under no expectations, I managed to get on with it, and I ended up with my third and final semi-readable piece in a series on commuting by bicycle. This is greatly entertaining to me, because I am outrageously unqualified: the last time I commuted by bicycle, I was probably six years old and riding to elementary school, with my mom walking next to me.]