Thursday, October 24, 2013

Honey Spice Cookies

Something's been on my mind for a while.

It's an odd topic of conversation, but it pops into my head every time some new controversy comes out, and it's this:

Every major religion reminds us to love each other, because we can't seem to remember to do it ourselves.
Think about it. The great religious leaders of the world have never told us to to do the obvious things that come naturally.

Commandment #4: Eating is good. Eat something every once in a while.
Commandment #5: Go to bed if you're tired. Try to do this on a regular basis. Once a night is a good place to start.
Commandment #6: Dropping a hammer on your foot is a bad idea and may result in broken toes. Don't do it, unless you really like broken toes. Then, you know, whatever.

You know what I mean?

But they all tell us to love each other.  The Torah says to love your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18) and that the universe is built on kindness (Psalm 89:3).   Jesus said "love each other, as I have loved you" (John 15:12), and that that commandment to love your neighbor was the second greatest in the whole of the law (which was a pretty big law, by the way) (Matthew 22:39-40).  The Quran 'recommends us to patience and compassion' (Al'Quran 90:17-18), and the Prophet himself said "Kindness is not found in anything except that it adds to its beauty."

Those are the big three religions here in America, but there are more. You want more?
Lao Tzu said: I have just three things to teach:
 simplicity, patience, compassion.
 These three are your greatest treasures.

And the Dalai Lama said on Facebook just the other day, "if you cultivate loving kindness, compassion and concern for others, there will be no room for anger, hatred and jealousy."  I follow the Dalai Lama on Facebook. Those little reminders to peace and compassion are good.

But see? We need those little reminders. Compassion and kindness don't come naturally to humanity. And you may think that you're just fine, but how did you react to Miley Cyrus' on-stage performance? Hmm?

I dunno, man. It's kinda sad. So next time you get all ready to let fly some judgmental vitriol, maybe stop and remind yourself to compassion. You lose nothing in being kind. You know? You really don't.

Here. Have a cookie.

(Thanks to as always.)


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup honey
1½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspooon (a pinch) salt

1) Whisk together the flour, corn starch, baking soda, and salt in a bowl until combined.
2) In another bowl, with either a hand mixer or a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together very well, for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
3) Add the egg and beat some more.
4) Add the honey, spices, & vanilla and beat some more, scraping down the bowl as necessary to make sure everything is well incorporated.
4) Now set the mixer to low/medium, and carefully add in the flour mixture. Only mix this until combined, about a minute or so.
5) With a cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, scoop out little balls of cookie dough and set them on a plate, then put the plate in the fridge to chill for at least 3 hours.
6) After the afternoon has passed, preheat your oven to 375º.
7) Place your cookie balls on a cooking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. You can space these pretty close together, they won't spread much.
8) Bake at 375º for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are just beginning to set on top. Allow them to cool on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.

If you want, you can finish these off with a glaze:
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon butter, melted
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar

Whisk together all of these ingredients, let them sit for a few minutes to thicken, and then pour over the cookies. Yay glaze!

Well, I started off this post feeling a little sad and thoughtful, but now I'm full of cookie happiness. I'm not a big pumpkin pie spice person (I'd much rather have a vanilla chai) but these are good stuff. They make you feel warm and happy. Full of compassion. Give your neighbor a cookie too.

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