Making time for me

***Warning: This post contains a MAJOR drool factor!***

How can eating cake batter NOT make you less stressed!?

Making time for the things (and the people!) you love can be difficult in graduate school, especially within a full time program as fabulously jam packed as ours! But this first year has taught me many many lessons and for me, a big lesson has been, sometimes you just need to throw on that apron and BAKE!

For me, baking is my “me” time. It’s what I do on a Sunday when I’m just in one of those “I don’t want to do anything moods”, it’s how I challenge myself when I’m feeling unproductive and, most importantly, it’s how I wind down when I’m really stressed out.  My old co-workers used to LOVE when we entered our busy season in the office, because the communal kitchen would become overflowing with treats: bread, cookies, brownies, cupcakes (a personal fave) – you name it, I’ll bake it.

For everyone in the program it’s something different: for some, it’s going for that long run after a stressful day. Others, it’s a comfy couch and a bottle of beer. But whatever your “me time” is, it’s important to find those rare few hours and focus not on derivatives and Porter’s 5 Forces, but on you, and what gives you that little sparkle in your eye.

And with that I give you the recipe for one of my favorite creations: Giada’s Lemon Ricotta Cookies! Trust me… these taste like heaven!

Little pillows of goodness!

Ingredients

Cookies:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) container whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 lemon, zested

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Cookies:

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the large bowl combine the butter and the sugar. Using an electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the ricotta cheese, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Beat to combine. Stir in the dry ingredients.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the dough (about 2 tablespoons for each cookie) onto the baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Glaze:

Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about 1/2-teaspoon onto each cookie and use the back of the spoon to gently spread. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours. Pack the cookies into a decorative container.

Cheers – happy finals and happy baking!

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