Yesterday I was reminded of how important it is to stop and take a deep breath when I’m feeling stressed. The minute I got to work chaos ensued. There were a million little fires to put out, and they seemed to keep piling up every few minutes. Shortly after arriving at the bakery where I work, I like to settle in with my afternoon cup of decaf and do my thing. Even when it becomes busy, I feel prepared because I’ve logged in, reviewed orders, read emails, and checked in with my co-workers about anything that needs to be taken care of during that shift. But yesterday, I barely had time to sit down before five items popped up that needed my urgent attention.
Drat! I haven’t had time to take a sip of my coffee yet! Breathe in. Why did my computer have to crash last Friday?! Breathe out. Ma’am, we cannot write “Happy Birthday” on your pie. We can’t inscribe on our pies, period. Breathe in. Oh no, I just touched the dry ice. *Waits for fingers to start burning.* Breathe out.
Simply taking the deep breaths reminded me to not become overwhelmed. Yes, my body was definitely producing more cortisol than necessary, and yes, I could feel a headache developing, but by taking the deep breaths, I tried to stay present and focus on the work at hand. I didn’t let it escalate into a general feeling of dread and anxiety. If I had been presented this situation a year ago, I would have become enveloped in consternation. Doesn’t it feel wonderful to see progress in your life?
I worked as fast as I could to put the fires out without sacrificing my quality of work. I knew that things would quiet down eventually, and that I just needed to continue breathing. When I finally took my first sip of coffee, it tasted even better than usual. I earned this coffee.
I felt like using up my coconut last week, but I also was craving something chocolatey. Voila: I give you chocolate macaroons. I had no idea they were so simple to make! I love how they are chewy on the inside and crispy on the outside, not to mention light as air—thanks to the whipped egg whites. They are essentially flourless cookies. I mean, who needs flour in a cookie? The coconut and chocolate take center stage on these gems. Try them and let me know what you think.
Adapted from Bon Appétit
Yield: 15 large or 30 small macaroons
1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Place one cup chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl; microwave on medium-low setting until melted, stirring occasionally. Cool just to room temperature.
3. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites and salt in medium bowl until soft peaks form.
4. Gradually add sugar, then vanilla, beating until whites are thick and glossy.
5. Fold in melted chocolate and coconut, then remaining 1/3 cup chocolate chips.
6. Drop batter by heaping teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 1 1/2 inches apart.
7. Bake cookies 10 minutes, then reverse baking sheets. Bake until tops are dry and cracked and tester into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 10 minutes longer.
8. Cool cookies on sheets on cooling racks. Store airtight at room temp. for up to 2 days or put in freezer.