Yesterday (Thanksgiving day) was the first time that I can remember where scrolling through my Facebook feed produced nothing but delight and joy. Friend after friend recorded long lists of thanksgiving. There were pictures of family and of tables filled with food following gleeful descriptions of all the good in their lives. There were also some friends whose thankfulness transcended sickness, loss of family, pain, and suffering. I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with my own gratitude as I read the gratitude of others. I could then easily see passed the sickness that rocked our own family and the annoyance of a car accident (no one was hurt!) that happened the day before.
The day before Thanksgiving I read this fantastic article about the science of happiness. It’s great, I’d highly encourage you to read it. It turns out my mom was right, when you smile, even if it’s forced, you’ll start to feel better. My value in authenticity often forces me to tell the whole story, to suppress the smile when I don’t feel like wearing it and to not hold back the good, the bad and the ugly. I think at times that’s fine and okay to not withhold your truth but this line in the article really hit me: “This Thanksgiving, don’t express gratitude only when you feel it. Give thanks especially when you don’t feel it. Rebel against the emotional “authenticity” that holds you back from your bliss.”
I want to be a rebel. Especially when that looks like giving thanks in all things.
The turkey has been put away, the lingering can of cranberries tucked away for another year and the leftover pumpkin pie is now reserved for breakfast, but I’m determined that our day of thanks transcends the days to come. Even if my Facebook feed returns to its normal political fanatics and everyday grumblings, I hope to continue in the mindset of thankfulness.
Let’s start with cookies. It’s quite easy to be overcome with gratitude with a plate of cookies in front of you. These ones are special. Transformative even. You see these humble looking sandwich cookies transformed a friend from one who “doesn’t like peanut butter cookies” into a friend who “really loves THESE peanut butter cookies.”
They’re really my version of the well known Girl Scout Cookie call the Do Si Do. Usually I stick to the Thin Mints and Samoas (best when frozen) but this year Gabe snuck in a box of the Do-Si-Does and it was the first one emptied. So naturally my next move was to figure out how to make them myself because these cookies need to happen more than once a year.
First of all a sandwich cookie is always a plus as really it’s two cookies in one. Perhaps it was the sweet, salty and buttery filling that converted our friend or the crisp and crumbly cookie that is packed with oats for a pleasant heft. One can never know for certain but the whole sandwich is a sweet and salty delight. So much so, in fact, I think your holiday cookie platter just found a new friend.
Homemade Do Si Dos
1 1/2 dozen sandwich cookies
3/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/2 Teaspoon baking soda
1/4 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup butter, softened
1/2 Cup /125 g creamy peanut butter
1/2 Cup white sugar
1/2 Cup packed dark brown sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla extract
1 Cup quick cooking oats
6 tablespoons / 85 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
3⁄4 cup / 190 g smooth peanut butter
1⁄3 cup / 40 g confectioners’ sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon flake salt
For the cookie:
In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Add egg and beat well.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add these dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Stir. Add oatmeal and stir.
Drop by teaspoons onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12- 15 minutes, or until cookies are a golden brown at the edges.
For the filling:
Cream together the peanut butter, butter and powdered sugar. Add the salt then stir to combine very well.
Let the cookies cool before adding 1 teaspoon peanut butter filling to the bottom of 1/2 of the cookies then sandwich with another cookie.