Religion, Stress Relief, and Baking Cookies

What does stress relief mean to you? To me, it simply means a healthy alternative to juggling responsibilities. It’s the opposite of eating, talking on the phone, and reading emails all at the same time. It’s contrary to staying late in the office to meet deadlines or to attend too many last minute meetings. It doesn’t mean waking up at 2:00 in the morning to take phone calls from work.



How can one effectively function or earn a living without being multi-tasking in this day and age? Changing one’s priority is sometimes easier said than done, but may be a head start in the right direction.


Besides baking cookies, getting more involved with one’s religion, such as Buddhism, is another practice of stress relief. Although growing up in a traditional Buddhist family, I somehow have shamelessly managed to be oblivious of basic Buddhist teaching until recently.


Stress relief through praying


Nowadays, I visit Buddhist temples more often than I ever used to, mainly because I find unpretentious relaxation when I’m in one. I enjoy the religious chanting, the reciting of Buddha’s words of wisdom. I could tirelessly observe the status of Buddha and many Bodhisattvas.


A visit to any Buddhist temple isn’t complete without having a taste of various delicious vegetarian dishes prepared by dedicated temple goers. These people offer the Buddha foods to show their respect, love and admiration. Everyone later share these foods before leaving.



Believing that stress relief may be most effective through both the mind and stomach, I may one day offer a batch of my homemade cookies, starting with the following whole wheat version.


Whole Wheat Cookies

Ingredients:

Whole wheat flour 1½ c.
Baking powder ½ tsp
Baking soda ½ tsp
A pinch of salt
Unsalted butter, room T. 4 oz.
Granulated sugar ½ cup
Brown sugar ½ cup
Egg, room T. 1 large
Vanilla extract 1 tsp
Bittersweet chocolate 4 oz.
Chopped into small pieces

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F., and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

  • Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt together into a large bowl.

  • Cream butter and sugars together using a mixer at low speed until well blended.

  • Add the egg and continue mixing until thoroughly combined. Mix in vanilla extract.

  • Add flour mixture and mix with a spoon until combined.

  • Mix in chocolate pieces. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared cookie sheets, leaving enough room between them for spreading.

  • Bake for 16 to 20 minutes or until cookies turn evenly dark brown. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool.

    I ventured out of the box a bit by baking with honey and substituting dried fruits for bittersweet chocolate. The cookies were delicious just the same.

    Other Recipes for Drop Cookies Top of Stress Relief