Life is strange. Cookies are good. These Quarantine Cookies are baked up with whatever chocolate you have laying around your cupboard. Whatever you throw in there, it’s gonna be awesome.
How’s our anxiety, kids? Mine has been peaking lately. I can feel myself edging toward depression, and I’m pulling out all the tricks I know to try to keep that monster at bay. Gratitude. Yoga. Magick. Long walks in the park. Chocolate. It’s helping a little.
Tending to my mental health can sometimes consume so much of my energy. It’s not necessarily where I want to be, but it’s absolutely crucial. Most of us don’t have the benefit of therapy, so we’re out here trying to figure this stuff out on our own. Trying not to drive our loved ones crazy with our constant obsessing and draining negativity. The last thing I ever want to be is an energy vampire. So I bake.
But in the middle of a global pandemic, even baking can be stressful. There are shortages of flour, sugar, and eggs in my part of the world. Every recipe I make is precious because I don’t know if I’ll have the supplies I need for the next one.
Then there’s the stress of leaving your house to find specialty ingredients. That’s how we ended up with these Quarantine Cookies.
I originally intended to make these with those tiny Reese’s peanut butter cups, but those are basically a specialty ingredient already in Scotland, so I couldn’t find them. Normally, I would try a few different places, but that’s not safe right now.
So what’s a quarantined baker to do? Cookies need to be baked, photographed, and shared. Obviously, I just threw some other stuff in there. A totally random collection of chocolate. I also halved the recipe to conserve ingredients. It made 10 giant, totally awesome cookies.
How to make Quarantine Cookies
This is a pretty basic cookie recipe, to be honest with you. We’re mixing together a combination of butter and shortening plus white and brown sugar. The wild card is sour cream. Go with it. It’s good. Plus vanilla and eggs. The usual subjects. Cream them all together with your electric mixer.
Mix in your dry ingredients, flour, baking soda, and salt. Then comes the fun part. Dig around in your cabinet and find some chocolate. Chop up chocolate bars, use up half empty bags of chocolate chips, toss in some mini candy coated chocolates. I even had half a bag of Wispas that went in there. You’re gonna want about 1-1/3 cups of chocolate bits. Mix them into your cookie dough. I do find it helpful to chill this dough for about 30 minutes, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Scoop out giant, quarter cup-sized portions of dough. Make sure you give them plenty of space to spread. Bake for about 14 minutes at 350 degrees. Give them a few minutes to cool on the baking sheet, then try to let them cool on a rack instead of shoving them directly in your face. Good luck.
Take care of yourselves, friends. Do what you need to do to keep a healthy mind. Reach out when you need help. You can always contact me. I’m happy to talk. Bake Quarantine Cookies. They help. Stay awesome.
Quarantine CookiesCourse: DessertDifficulty: Easy
Quarantine Cookies use random chocolate from your kitchen to make a truly awesome cookie.
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces shortening
3/8 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cups brown sugar, packed
1-1/2 teaspoons sour cream
3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1/8 cups all-purpose or plain flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/3 cups chocolate pieces, whatever you can find
- Preheat your oven to 350 and line your baking sheets with parchment or a silicone baking mat. (If you’re going to chill your dough, you can wait to preheat your oven)
- In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer gradually turned up to medium-high to beat together the butter and shortening until light and fluffy. Add the sugar, brown sugar, sour cream, and vanilla, and beat again until well combined. Finally, beat in the egg until blended.
- In a separate bowl, add the flour, baking soda and salt. Gently whisk these together to incorporate all the ingredients. With your mixer on its lowest setting, slowly add in the dry ingredients mix until everything comes together.
- Finally stir in your random chocolate. If pieces are larger than marble size, you probably want to chop them up, but you can keep it pretty chunky. At this point, I recommend chilling the dough for about 30 minutes.
- When you’re ready to bake your cookies, scoop out about a quarter cup of dough for each cookie onto your baking sheet. Make sure you leave plenty of space for them to grow. I have small baking sheets, so I can only fit three or four at a time.
- Bake your cookies for about 14 minutes or until golden around the edges. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an air tight container. If they make it that far.
Recipe adapted from Circle of Friends Cookbook – 25 Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipes.