August 6, 2007

Oh No: Week Two. But: Brownie Cookies to Boost Morale!

Paul took Rob and William swimming yesterday, so I didn't have my running partners. I went out on my own, and learned this: children make excellent shields. When I run with the children, I don't worry that the neighbors are looking at me, because I am certain they are instead trying to figure out what we're running away from so slowly. When I run with the children, people are too busy trying not to hit us with their cars to notice if my rear is, or is not, jogging more than I am. When I run with the children, I look like I'm participating reluctantly in some sort of Family Fitness Fun!! program, not like I think I am Getting Ripped. When I run with the children, the sound of questions ("What's the difference between a cul de sac and a dead end?" "How many more seconds?" "Are you GLAD or NOT GLAD that we're doing this?") drowns out the sound of gasping and swearing.

Running still felt easier without them, though, perhaps because my heart rate was not already elevated from seeing a child jog aimlessly toward the center yellow line or carom off a mailbox. I'd planned to repeat week one, but as an experiment tried a week two session. Week one's sixty seconds of jogging was a nearly insurmountable eternity of jogging, but ninety seconds turned out to be just as nearly insurmountable--and then there's 2 minutes of breathing walking instead of 90 seconds, and that's worth the additional suffering.

May I suggest my favorite post-run snack? Try half a batch of these babies and feel the suffering ease.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
2/3 cup butter (1 stick plus a scant 3 tablespoons), softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 cup flour
approx. 1 and 1/4 cups mint chocolate chips*

*OR: use regular chocolate chips and add 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (make sure it's peppermint, not mint) to the batter when adding the vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream butter and sugar; add egg and vanilla and mix well. Add baking soda and salt and mix well. Add cocoa powder and flour very carefully or you will have cocoa powder on more surfaces than you thought possible; cocoa powder is not bound by the laws of physics and I have found it coating the underside of the base of the mixer. Add mint chocolate chips. You can put in a full bag (which is about 1 and 2/3 cups), but I thought it was better with fewer (I know--I'm as surprised as anyone). Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-9 minutes; err on the side of underbaking, because they'll set up more after they come out of the oven.

The first time I baked them, they almost didn't change shape from the dough balls they started out as. The second time, I mixed them a little more thoroughly and made the dough balls a little smaller, and they flattened out like cookies. Both times they tasted excellent.

If you make this recipe, you will want to kiss me or curse me, but your mouth will be too crammed to do either one. These are like mint-chocolate-chip brownie cookies. Last night Paul went to bed early because he wanted to stop eating the cookies and couldn't think of any other way.

29 comments:

Tessie said...

Oh, YUM. Good tip on the size of the dough balls, that is the kind of thing that always trips me up when baking.

Also: Getting Ripped-HAHAHA! This is the exact reason I don't lift weights. I can just HEAR the judgement: "Way to go with your 5 pounders, gramma!"

Erica said...

Do I have to run to make these cookies? Or can I just eat them and think about running?

Mimi said...

Those cookies sound delish! I must run to the store for ingredients.

Black Sheeped said...

I'm always drooling over these recipes, and then I remember that Justin doesn't like sweets, and everytime I make cookies or a cake or brownies, I know I will be the only one eating them. And it's kind of sobering, at the end of the day, when you see how many cookies are gone and there's no one to blame but yourself. I can't even PRETEND it was someone else.

I'm looking forward to the holidays, when I make lots of cookies with the pretense of "giving them to other people".

nikki said...

I may want to kiss you, but my hind end might want to curse you when I can't fit into my pants.

el-e-e said...

I can't thank you enough for posting this. Chocolate-mint is evidently my pregnancy craving this time. I WANT. All the time. Can't wait to try.

(although Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch Doritos are satisfying me at the moment.)

Shannon said...

OH YUM!!!!! I love your idea of morale boosts!

Jenny H. said...

I am going to the store to buy mint chips right now!

JMC said...

I want to kiss you just for posting this recipe! AND curse you, because now the only thing I want in life is a batch of these cookies. :)

JMH said...

Can't wait to try the cookies! BTW, have you finished the Harry Potter book yet? What did you think?

Swistle said...

JMH-- I finished it! I liked it! I felt satisfied with the ending. There was one death that I disagreed with and in fact have decided to ignore as untrue, but everything else seemed good to me.

Swistle said...

El-e-e--Ooooh, I have a good mint chocolate brownie recipe, too! I'll try to get around to posting that--but if it's an emergency, email me and I'll email it to you sooner!

Swistle said...

Erica-- I think walking briskly to the kitchen is all that's necessary to earn cookies.

Alice said...

i like the brisk walking justification. turns out i can walk briskly to the kitchen LOADS of times!

Omaha Mama said...

I've found that my cookie eating has increased since I've begun this 5K quest also. I wonder if the health benefits of walking/jogging are undone by the increased sugar intake I've done? Hmmmm....

Well done you! For going out on your own? Did you hubs take 5 kids to the pool? Surely not! Where were the others, I'm amazed that you were able to leave the house on your own without even a stroller!

laughing mommy said...

I started week two of C25K yesterday. I expected it to kick my butt a little more, but the butt kicking was about the same as week one.

Hurrah for us for not dropping out yet. :)

Recipe sounds amazing. Can't wait to try it.

Jess said...

I always feel so exposed in the gym, too--especially if I'm just popping in to use the scale. I feel like all the people who are sweating and grunting on the machines are staring at me like, "Maybe if you were in here to actually work out like us that number wouldn't be so high."

Also, my gym is in my apartment building, which in theory is great because it means I don't have to pay for a membership and I have no excuse not to go because it's right there. But on the down side, the people watching me huff and sweat on the treadmill and weight machines are my neighbors in the building. I could definitely use a shield or two.

Shelly said...

Those cookies sound fabulous! And I'm going to have to try Paul's idea of going to bed to quit eating cookies! LOL! Who knew?

Oh and put me in the remedial class for C25K. I only did it once last week, so I'll be repeating week one this week. I suck. But I probably wouldn't have been ready to step up to week two anyway!

Sara said...

aaaah, yes. minty brownie cookies would entice me to run FOR SURE!!

Devan said...

Bad!! Bad!!! Those cookies sound so Good!!!!
Now I'll have to run twice as much. *sigh*
Was week 2's workout really not much worse than week 1?

Christina said...

I totally agree with the week 2 vs. week 1 thing - week two doesn't seem all that much worse, especially because you get 2 whole minutes to gasp and puff in between running stints. HOWEVER. I started week 3 yesterday and I am pretty sure that I may have left a lung on the treadmill, because I was wheezing and heaving the whole time. They take you from running 90 seconds at a stretch to running 3 minutes at a stretch, and IT IS HARD. I'd force myself to look away from the clock on the treadmill, and I wouldn't look back until I was SURE at least 2 minutes had passed - and in reality, it had been like 28.4 seconds. It was rough, for sure... I'm hoping this week gets easier as I go, as the other weeks have - if not, I may have to throw in the towel and resort to stuffing my face with mint brownie cookies.

Marie Green said...

So here I am thinking I'm now on some sort of health kick and then I read about mint chocolate brownies. Maybe after I make and consume one batch, then I'll start my health kick. At least I'm running!

Penny said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penny said...

(oops, post correction)

I'm tellin' ya, go slower on the runs. You shouldn't be running more than a minute, with intervals long enough for your to catch your breath almost completely.

AndreAnna said...

Way to go! So proud of you for sticking with it!

Misguided Mommy said...

you are a baaaaaaaaad bad girl swistle. do you know how bad i want to run to the store and buy stuff to make these...and worse..i think i would eat the whole damn bag of chocolate chips before i made it home to cook

Artemisia said...

Swistle - I am so impressed!! Congrats on the second week of running; what a rock star.

A rock star who had magical recipes up her sleeve.

I've added the necessary ingredients for these little stars to my shopping list for tomorrow. And I swear--I swear!--I'll go shopping right after I start my first day of week one running. I swear.

Hmm. It just occurred to me how much I don't care what I look like grocery-shopping. Because I will, without a doubt, look like ass tomorrow after "running."

Thanks for the inspiration, in all its lovely formations.

brandy said...

The cookies sound fantastic! And I know what you mean about needing a running shield. I don't have kids, but I use a friends dog. Whe I run without the dog I feel weird- like I'm almost naked. Perhaps I need to have a few kids to take the running edge off.

LoriD said...

Mmmm! I'll have the hide these ones and keep them to myself. LOL about Paul going to bed to stop eating cookies. I do the same thing... force myself to brush my teeth and go to bed to stop!