You, yes, you. Those pants on you are pretty darn groovy! And so are you, of course.
Humour aside, Valentine’s been hard in its own right – whether it’s because there’s a sudden tsunami of couples out everywhere, the tacky red/pink decor that takes over the streets, or simply just dealing with the masses and traffic and roses ambushing me on public transport. I never really talked about V day (see, we even have an acronym for it that is vaguely reminiscent of D day) because it’s like a que sera sera state – attached, attached lorh, if not, it’s Single Awareness Day for you.
But having come so much closer to the 24th milestone in my life (*imaginary panic attack sets in*), I must admit Valentine’s is tough. Tough like a cookie, some may concur, but also tough on me fragile apple crumble heart. It’s tough because Valentine’s today is bloody commercialised, and to be honest I can find no adverb that aptly connotes the degree to which Valentine’s has become a pink-in-utmost-health cash cow for retailers and restaurateurs the world over. There are no lack of reminders for singles or complicatees (troubled ones stuck in complex entanglements) that this day is not theirs to behold, and thanks to the powerful messaging of commericials and what not, that somehow they’re lesser beings because they aren’t recipients of bouquets, baked pastries or stuffed animals.
And the fact remains that if you are in a relationship (whee, congrats!), and hopefully a healthy, happy and nurturing one, Valentine’s becomes an occasion of stress – lovers feel obliged to shower material tokens of love onto each other, and the alluring ads for some of these non-essential physical gifts certainly don’t help. True, Valentine’s is a lovely day for love-birds to dress up, snap selfies and savour fancy meals, but when you’ve found the love of your life, every day is Valentine’s – we cherish, adore and be thankful for the apples of our eyes any day, all day.
As someone who is cheerily single, it does cross my mind to question if the day would be more glorious and starry-eyed if I had a date. Perhaps it would, but then again, perhaps it would not. Since wondering about the shoulda, woulda and couldas is absolutely futile, I tossed the thought aside pretty effortlessly. Ultimately, while I may not be at the “lucky” end of Cupid’s arrow, this is a day where I am reminded that I am loved in so many other ways. And for now, that’s way more than enough.
It’s only right to end this post with a foolproof recipe for some kick-ass Nutella & cinnamon cookies. After all, sugar makes everything better :*
*Photo is a bit shitty and not in the least bit artsy because I forgot to snap a shot after baking and I was about to hand them out when I remembered I neglected to shoot them pfffft
*Makes 2 dozen (1.5 cm in diameter, heart-shaped)
125g unsalted butter
125g fine sugar
1 egg (preferably large, if not, medium should suffice)
250g all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
7-9g cinnamon powder/ground fresh cinnamon (remember, this is pretty powerful stuff)
4-6 tablespoons Nutella (heaped, if you like)
Pre-heat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius. Start with the usual – combine the butter and sugar in a deep mixing bowl and cream until there is a consistent, thick, indulgent blond mixture. Crack the egg in and continue whisking until the mixture is even. In the another bowl, combine baking powder, salt and flour – no need to sift the flour (unless of course there’re obvious bits and globs), since we’re making cookies and not cakes where the texture and fluff is of top importance.
Next, add a quarter of the dry mixture (read: flour + baking powder + salt) into the creamy mix, and whisk until uniform. Speed of whisking here also doesn’t matter, since cookies are not meant to be fluff puffs, we don’t have to pay careful attention to the speed since the air bubbles don’t have to be carefully preserved. Thus, you can take your anti-Valentine rage out and whisk that batter to Mars and back (told ya sugar makes everything better…and not just when consumed).
When both the wet and dry mixtures are one smooth mix (when two halves become one…), add in the cinnamon powder and Nutella. The key here is to taste and adjust and taste and adjust, and the Nutella has to be really distinct since cinnamon is a explosion on your tastebuds and Nutella tends to mellow after being baked (will investigate why someday). Also, if you’re not a fan of cinnamon, please please please go easy on that stuff. I mean it.
Bake at 160 degrees Celsius for 12-15 minutes. When ready, the cookies should peel off the the baking powder easily (talk about non-clingy, independent partners heh). Let those young ‘uns rest for 3-5 minutes before guzzling or storing them. Hypothetically, they should go really well with yoghurt or even creme fraiche since there’s spice and crunch…but this is to be tried at your own peril. The only risk: your possible dissatisfaction with my suggestion.
Some of my cookies turned out misshapen, thus the name. Nevertheless, Happy Valentine’s! If nothing else, these cookies would be awesome companions. Cookies are food. And friends. Excuse me now while I go snack on the last 2 Franken creations.