It’s 5:19am. Why the hell have I been awake for roughly 25 minutes. Unless getting back from a night out, getting up to go on holiday – THE most exciting part of the holiday when you’re young in my opinion (not the amazing activities and experiences of a new country that my parents had saved up for and organised, no. It was getting up when it was still dark and driving down the empty m25. Sorry mum and dad), or pulling an all nighter for work (which I’ve never done because God why) it shouldn’t be legal to look at your clock and see that it’s 4:something in the morning. I have no exams, I have no plans today until 2pm, thus I have no legitimate reason to be awake until at least 10am.
But I’m awake, and writing this is my last resort to try and make myself tired enough to go back to sleep (I’ve already tried listening to sleepy music and…that’s about it. I’m can’t think of much else because it’s bloody 5 in the morning). So here’s a few things I’m observing/thinking of whilst sitting in bed waiting for sleep;
- Student landlords are malicious people. They resent that we students have the option to lie in on days with no morning lectures, AND the ability to nap between lectures. They therefore provide the shittiest, ugliest curtains possible in order to make sleep impossible once the sun rises. I don’t even know what the pattern on my curtains are meant to be – there’s a mix of flowers, birds, stars, plus signs and what look like teeth (molars to be precise) all over them, and they aren’t even large enough to fully cover my window.
- Seagulls never bloody shut up.
- Seagulls kind of sound like a baby crying
- I want to strangle all of the seagulls
- I hope I’m more tolerant of these noises when I actually have a child, because I really don’t want harbour thoughts of strangling my child
- Pros of being awake this early = the sunrise is sometimes quite nice
- Cons of being awake this early = I’m now hungry, and so chances of sleep are minimal
So on the subject of hunger I think I’ll share a recipe that is now engraved in my mind due to the amount of times I’ve done it over the past few weeks. Last week one of my best pals Paige put on a show called Baking Bad (it was phenomenal. It was my soul put onto the stage. It had a huge food fight at the end. I got cake batter all over my jeans and raw egg in my mouth. I loved It.) and she asked me to bake 50+ baked goods for the audience members to enjoy upon arrival. With 2 days to come up with enough for a whole audience and a limited budget because this wasn’t exactly a National Theatre production (yet), I decided to make a HUGE batch of cream cheese cookies – a recipe I came up with after running out of butter a few months ago. The substitution of cream cheese for some of the butter makes the cookies much softer and chewier, and this makes its time in the fridge even more important than normal – all cookie dough should have at least 2 hours in the fridge to prevent them from spreading too much, but I would suggest leaving this dough overnight to get the right size and texture. The cream cheese also gives it a more rounded flavour – not tangier exactly, just better for some reason. I made two varieties – one with dark chocolate and one with cranberries and white chocolate – but you could literally put anything you fancy into them. Next time I want to try pine nut, pecan and raisin, or maybe maple, walnut and crispy bacon (I made a cake with crushed crispy bacon on top the other week and oh my god).
Cream Cheese Cookies
80g plain flour
60g butter, room temp
2 heaped tbsp cream cheese, room temp
65g caster sugar
220g light brown muscavado sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1tsp baking powder
1tsp sea salt
Up to 200g extras (chocolate chips, dried fruit, oats, spices etc)
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder and salt until evenly combined.
- In a larger bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract and sugars until smooth and pale. Add the eggs, one at a time, before adding the flour mixture and beating into a dough.
- Add whatever extras you want, folding until evenly distributed. Spoon this mixture into a rough log shape onto a piece of cling film and roll in the cling film to make a tight sausage. This can now go into the fridge or freezer for at least 24 hours, or until you want it.
- Preheat the oven to 190 degrees c. On a baking sheet lines with parchment, cut off pieces of dough from the log and roll into golf ball sized balls, before placing on the parchment and pressing down lightly – space them out quite a bit. Bake for around 10 minutes; if you want a flatter, chewier cookie, open the oven 6 minutes in and pat the cookies down lightly with a metal spatula, deflating them. Do this again with 2 minutes to go.
- Allow to cool slightly before handling to allow them to harden a bit.