SoulCycle. Baking. SoulCycle. Baking. Well, that is what the last couple of weeks of my life have been comprised of along with work and a sprinkling of socializing. Sometimes you just need a good sweat session and therapeutic time in the kitchen. With 2015 coming to an end I am trying to use what’s left of the year to do some soul searching and reflect on the last twelve months. I’ve learned that life is full of change, and it’s not necessarily about what that change is, but rather how you can learn from it and grow as a person. You will face challenges, we all do, but what’s important is that you choose courage and strength over defeat and self-pity. It is in these moments of complete darkness where we can realize our full potential, and come out on top stronger and better than ever. Love yourself. Respect yourself. Trust yourself.
About a week and a half before Christmas my life was turned upside down, and I found myself with no plans for the holiday. Or more, that the plans I had made I sadly could no longer follow through on. Even as a Jew, the thought of being alone on Christmas was something I could not bare. Fortunately, a close friend of mine invited me to spend Christmas dinner with her family. Another important tip: know that no matter what, there are people who love and care about you.
Since I didn’t have plans until dinner on Christmas, I focused on myself for the day. If you’ve never spent December 25th in San Francisco it is actually pretty peaceful. EVERYONE leaves the city. I didn’t want to show up for dinner empty handed, so I figured homemade cookies would be the perfect hostess gift. I’ve wanted to make Chocolate Crinkle Cookies for a while and since I had all the ingredients decided on baking a batch. The recipe requires the dough to be refrigerated for at least four hours, so while the dough was chilling I sweat it out and danced it out at SoulCycle.
After class my dough was ready to be rolled into balls, covered in powdered sugar, and baked into fudgy treats. These cookies are so simple to make despite how gorgeous they look; trust me anyone can make them. I arrived at dinner with a bottle of wine and a tin full of my beautiful cookies. It is in moments like these where I have to step back and allow myself to feel proud. The cookies were a hit, and I couldn’t have asked for a better Christmas. I feel so lucky to have been able to enjoy a beautiful night surrounded by a welcoming and loving family. With one week left in 2015 I will continue my soul searching, and be sure to begin 2016 with positive vibes.
- 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners' sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.
- I chilled dough for only 3 hours and it was just fine.