When I spotted the recipe for “Feel-Better-Soon Cookies” in Small Victories, I earmarked the page immediately. Though I love savory dishes (read: all the cheese and basically anything salty), sweets are my true love. Pies, cakes, cookies—my love knows no bounds. If it has sugar in it, I’m in.
What I loved about these cookies—and the Small Victories book at large—is how much Julia invites you to make the recipes your own. Almost all of them include ideas for swapping ingredients, using what you have on hand, and not following the rules all the time. Rule-breakers, unite.
My variation kept the oats (though you could sub in ground nuts), chocolate chips (I almost exclusively use Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips—the best quality chips at a reasonable price and available everywhere), and tart dried cherries, because I had them on hand from a batch of granola I made. The result was perfection.
The cookies are super soft and pretty flat—which I tried to fix by refrigerating the dough and baking longer—but then realized they are best in their ooey, gooey form. Just embrace it!
These treats would certainly be perfect for someone who needs a little pick-me-up or dose of comfort—and equally as good for no reason at all, other than wanting a damn good cookie.
In my opinion, the only acceptable beverage with cookies is milk, so I started thinking about the classic White Russian. I found a variation that originated at the Tosca Café in San Francisco which uses brandy, and used bourbon instead. Combined with coffee liqueur, warm coffee and rich half and half, it was super smooth and decadent—perfect with the cookies.
I enjoyed the two after dinner as a nightcap, but I would not argue with you if you insisted on spiked coffee and cookies for breakfast on a Saturday. Remember? We’re rule breakers around here.
The White Nun
makes 1 cocktail; build each cocktail individually
- 1 oz bourbon
- 1 oz coffee liqueur (I used St. George Spirits)
- 1/2 c. hot coffee
- 1/4 cup warm whole milk or half & half
- lots of foam
Combine the first four ingredients in a mug, stir to mix, and top with lots of foam. Sip alongside a feel-better-soon cookie (or two).
adapted from Small Victories cookbook; makes about 24 cookies
- 2 sticks butter at room temp
- I cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 c. flour
- 1 cup rolled oats (or ground nuts)
- 3/4 c. chocolate chips—I love Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao chips
- 1/2 c. dried fruit of your choice (raisins, cherries, diced apricots, etc)
Preheat oven to 350º. Beat butter and brown sugar together until well-combined and fluffy. Add vanilla, eggs, baking soda, salt and flour. Mix until combined. Add remaining ingredients until everything is distributed evenly in the dough.
Scoop dough into 1-inch balls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 12 minutes for gooey cookies, 15-17 for crispy cookies.