Monday, November 19, 2012

spiced banana cookies

On Thursday afternoon, I was watching out of a window with a cup of tea in my hands. The sky was clear and the sun was shining, a ray of sunlight flicking through the blinds and the trees just outside the window made it look like the light was dancing around the room. That moment right there, it was beautiful and peaceful.

Yet, I was sitting there out of tiredness. I was watching out of the window, hoping that the moment of stillness would help me to fight the weariness trying to take over me. I was truly tired, with that kind of tiredness that hadn't gone away with a good night's sleep and a 20-minute nap in the morning (and I  nap very rarely, so that was something).

The thing is, I felt bad about being tired. I honestly felt bad, even a little ashamed, that I would be so tired though I had slept well the night before. As I lifted the cup to my lips and sipped the hot tea, I watched out of the window. I watched, and saw beauty. The rays of sunshine pouring in through the windows. The branch of a tree waving with the wind, the sunshine behind it. The golden hue of the afternoon sun, lighting up the room.

And then, I realized.

It was okay to be tired.
It was okay to feel weary, even at the brink of exhaustion.
It was okay to not be at my best. It was okay.

Because there will always be days when you feel tired and weary. There will be days when you are feeling down, maybe even depressed. There will always be those days and that's nothing to be ashamed of. We all experience them and what matters is whether you get through them. How you get through them. For me, I find rest and comfort in the Lord. This may not be the case for you. But I do pray it would be.
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Now, I suggest you go and make these cookies. Maybe you are feeling weary or down. Maybe you are feeling rested and happy. Maybe you have a sweet tooth that's acting up. Or maybe your day just needs some sugaring up. However you are feeling right now, if you happen to have a few browning bananas on your kitchen counter, I suggest you go and make these.

These cookies are fun, seriously. They are really cakey and soft, so much so that it's more like you are eating banana bread than cookies. (So if you have problems with portion control, here you go.) They are sweet but not overly so, and the spices come through beautifully. I absolutely love these with a cup of black tea, and have been enjoying these on many afternoons now.

Spiced Banana Cookies
adapted from Simply Recipes

115g butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 to 3 medium)
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups plain flour
3/4 tsp groung cinnamon
1/2 tsp groung nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
a good pinch of ground ginger
a pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 175C. With an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until light and fluffy. In a small bowl, stir together the mashed bananas and baking soda; set aside for 2 minutes. Stir the banana mixture into the wet ingredients.

In a bowl, combine the flour and spices. Stir into the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Drop tablespoonfuls of batter on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake the cookies for 11 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown.

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