Lately I've barely been home, minus when I'm sleeping or taking a shower. It's been a steady pattern of work, run, eat, and meeting up with friends. At first I was really anxious about the lack of down-time, that time where you just lie around in bed and do nothing at all. In college I hated that - being an introvert. I was the social butterfly, running from one hang out session to the other. Not sure what's happened in the last couple of years, but there are so many more days where I just want to be my content little lonesome self, sitting in bed to the silent humming of the washer. This week in particular, with a new rotation starting out, I started to feel some of that all-too-familiar worrisome stress that happens when I don't think I'll get that down-time my inner homebody so often screams for nowadays. Andrew calls it my transformation from a full blown extrovert to a full blown introvert, obviously because I am a woman of extremes (har har). In reality, it's probably just because work is hard. Rewarding, but tough. Tough to the point where it's easier to draw energy from just yourself instead of around others. A minimal charge to get you at least puttering along the next day.
But yesterday that introversion took a backseat, and I remembered why I love being with others so much. Andrew and I managed to finally meet up with friends we haven't seen all summer because of busy schedules and board exams (on both ends). We ended up at a place where our food took 40 minutes to get the food, but it didn't even matter because the conversation never ended. There was a constant melody of chatter, laughter, and jokes throughout the night, and when the food was merely crumbs, we simply moved our asses to the brewery next door. I don't think I've laughed so hard in a long time. My cheeks were aching to the point of giving them little massages in between sips of beer. It was a joy that comes from genuinely good company, and it is a gift I am learning to cherish even more as I realize that time to do these things becomes more and more sparse.
Today I woke up feeling more refreshed than I had in a long time, and it wasn't from getting to bed early (on the contrary, bedtime was a little later than usual last night). And I know it's because I went to bed feeling that energy I so desperately needed. So thank you, dear friends, for charging my social batteries and filling my heart. I don't think you hear it enough from me. I owe you a boatload of cookies.
I am the funny person who enjoys both raisins and chocolate chips in their cookies. But luckily enough I have a dude who loves that weird, polarizing combination as much as I do, so I didn't feel too bad about trying out both in this cookie. In the end we have a chewy cookie with spiced simply with some cinnamon and nutmeg for that ultimate oatmeal cookie flavor, and studded with both raisins and cacao nibs, because I didn't want the whole thing to be overly sweet. If you want a sweeter cookie, I would sub the cacao nibs for semisweet chocolate chips. The overall cookie is sturdy but soft, perfect for sandwiching with vanilla ice cream in the middle.
Oatmeal raisin cacao nib cookies
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup cacao nibs
- In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, and oats until well combined. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugars until well incorporated. Beat in the eggs and vanilla until well combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until you see a few flour streaks left, but the dough is mostly incorporated. Add the cacao nibs and raisins and using a wooden spoon, mix these ingredients until well distributed in the batter. Place batter into the fridge and let chill for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Scoop the dough onto cookie sheets lined with a Silpat or parchment paper, about 2 teaspoons each scoop (you can make them bigger though if you want bigger cookeis!). Flatten them slightly with your hand, then place in the oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until the edges start to set and the entire cookie looks golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, and place cookies on a cooling rack to cool. Enjoy with your beverage of choice, a cuppa tea or coffee or chocolate milk for the little kiddo in you!