Friday, April 19, 2013

Faith-filled Friday (plus cookies!)

Good morning Crushers!

It's been a crazy week, hasn't it? So much sadness and destruction, but there was also a lot of amazing stories of perseverance, resiliency, and kindness in the face of tragedy and danger. As sad as the loss of lives in both Boston and West, TX and all around the world is, we know that there are amazing individuals who are ready to jump in and help. Of course there are many ways that you can help by giving blood, volunteering, making donations, etc., but you can also "pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

Say prayers for those who have done great things and be thankful. Pray for the safety of others and peace in our world. You can even expand your look at 1 Thessalonians 5 to the verses around the prayer command to "16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." Hear that? Take time to rejoice in the great moments and give thanks! 

I would encourage you to take a look at the whole chapter that Paul wrote in his letter because it is a great reminder to be "children of the light" (verse 5), "encourage one another and build each other up" (verse 11) and "live in peace with each other" (verse 13). I always find this to be a great reminder to "keep it up" when days/weeks are hard to handle. I hope you find just as much encouragement in these words as I do.

You know what else is a great way to relieve stress? Bake cookies. Not only will it smell great, taste wonderful, but you know that if you just follow the instructions, everything will turn out. And sometimes, just having a batch of cookies turn out well makes my day turn around. Plus, you know, you get to eat them!

As I mentioned earlier this week, our local Women's Club's Spring Fashion Show was last night. I had to bake 3 dozen of a dessert to bring as a treat. All of the ladies of the club could be kitchen crushes. They are such wonderful cooks! Anyway, my mom suggested that I bring chocolate chip cookie bars since they're easy and everyone loves them. Instead of bars, I made them in my mini cupcake tin and they turned out great! The only crazy thing was that the recipe said it would make 3.5 dozen cookies. It turns out that it made 6 dozen cookies! What a wonderful surprise!

Chocolate Chip Bites
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt (you can leave this out if you use salted butter)
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks - I zapped them in the microwave for about 12 seconds each to soften them)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg (best at room temperature)
2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips (or more if you like them extra chocolaty!)

Gear you'll need:
1 large bowl for mixing, wooden spoon, measuring cups, measuring spoons, mini muffin tin, cooking spray (optional) OR skip the wooden spoon and use a mixer like I did because I was doing this late at night and didn't want to waste time on mixing it myself. Yes, that's kind of a wimp move.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cream the butter and both kinds of sugar together until it's really smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Add in all of the dry ingredients and beat until well mixed. I know some people mix all the dry ingredients together in the beginning, but I don't understand why you'd one to get a separate bowl dirty. That's just more dishes to do at the end. Once you've got a great cookie dough, add the chocolate chips and beat until it's all well mixed.

Here is the dough before I pressed it down into the tin cups.
Although there is a TON of butter in this recipe, I still gave a light coating of cooking spray to my mini muffin tin because I REALLY did not want to burn these cookies or have them get stuck in the pan. Once that's done (or skipped), roll the dough into 1-inch balls and put them in the muffin tin cups. After you fill them all, squish the dough down so it fills the bottom of the cup.
Tip: If you're like me and don't want to pull out a ruler while baking (seriously, who does?), just crook/bend your pointer finger and hold the dough ball up to the first or second section of your finger. It's about an inch long. If you don't believe me, I dare you to go get a ruler. One part of your finger will be about an inch long.
Pop them in the oven and bake for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, remove them from the oven and let them sit in the tin for about 5 minutes to cool. Transfer the chocolate chip bites to a cooling rack and then repeat until you've used up all the dough. My mini muffin tin makes 24 at a time, so I had to repeat this three times. Yikes! Fortunately, that meant there were plenty for the Fashion Show and for us to enjoy at home.

Cooling in the tin. 
Extras for snacking!

Thank you to everyone who came to the show, volunteered, modeled, and donated! I had a great time as the emcee and can't wait to see how much we raised!
"Hi! I'm Jen and I'd like to welcome you all..."
Honestly, Steve took this picture while I was practicing.
No one was there yet!


  1. Jen I love this post! It's always so reassuring to know that whatever is going on in the world we have a direct line of communication with God! Thank you for sharing that reminder with all of us :) and the cookie recipe!

    1. I'm so glad that you found both the verses and the recipe helpful!