I just finished my last round of midterms of dental school. Ever. These cookies were made in celebration of that, and I just realized they’re perfect for St. Patty’s Day. To tell the truth, I’ve always hated this holiday because every year back in elementary school, I’d forget to wear green! This was mostly because I didn’t really own anything green. Thus, I DREADED this day because I would always get pinched! One year, when I had actually remembered it was St. Patrick’s Day, I was praying and hoping that my teal shirt would pass for green because it was the only thing I had. Sadly, I don’t think it passed. Oh, the joys of being an 8-year old.
Anyways, back to the cookies! These cookies are commemorating 6 days packed with 8 midterms, and by far one of the worst rounds of midterms I’ve ever gone through. I didn’t even have as many exams this round, but for some reason, I WAS DYING. Seriously, all praise to the Lord for sustaining me through when I was totally out of fuel.
The recipe is a cinch! Just throw dry into wet, stir in the chocolate, and pop ’em in the oven.
Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies
2 cups + 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ sticks (6 oz) butter, melted, browned and cooled
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips/chunks
1/2-3/4 cup of Andes Mint Baking Chips
In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the cooled melted butter (brown the butter in a saucepan if you want more flavor!) and the sugars with a hand-mixer for about one minute. Then, add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat until just combined.
Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix briefly, just until there are no flour clumps left. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes to an hour.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 325 degrees, making sure you have the racks in the middle of the oven.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of dough and shape into a ball then flatten the tops.
Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating half-way through, or until the cookies have spread out and the edges are golden, but the center of the cookie still looks soft and just slightly under-cooked. Let cool on the baking sheets until the cookies are firm enough to remove.
recipe adapted from Host the Toast
Almost all of my days this past week started out between the hours of 4:30-5:30am. I was literally cramming for every test and went in to some knowing absolutely nothing….[my fault for procrastinating]. Some of them, I knew like 5 questions (out of 110) for sure.. completely BOMBED those. But, I’m here, I’m alive, and I’m breathing. I have so much more than I deserve so during times like these, I’ve tried to resolve to be better at not grumbling or complaining (which is so hard for me). I have so much to be thankful for, because the last few weeks have been pretty hectic. I got into my first accident (the other person rear-ended me). Thankfully, I was watching the whole thing happen in my rear-view as I had stopped on the freeway, and I saw the person behind me going faster than she should have…and BOOM! Turns out she was a USC dental hygiene graduate…I guess this is what the Trojan family is all about? The whole process went so smoothly, and I definitely can testify to the fact that God had an angel watching over me because my car really wasn’t as badly damaged as hers was. I also had my first round of anesthesia..giving injections to one another. That means 8 injections. Not fun! On Valentine’s Day, we had to put our beloved 12-year old, Tidus, down after a tragic battle with cancer. It was one of the hardest things we, as a family, have had to go through, but we all knew it was better for him to be out of pain and it was his time. Sometimes I think God gives us dogs because they are one of the closest things we have here on earth that compares to His unconditional love and loyalty.
Fast forward to now, and I can look back and say that my drama-queen self was feeling at times like things were just too hard. Then, I was reminded of God’s promises through His Word, and how He was right there, hemming me in before and behind me, and preparing my hands for battle and my fingers for war (Psalm 144). In my darkest and hardest moments, He has always been right there, He is my refuge and strength (Psalm 46). When I’m feeling like a drama queen and like the world is going to crumble all around me, I think of Paul (even though his situation was SOOO much worse than mine, like x1000000000):
We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. 11 And you are helping us by praying for us. Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety. [-2 Corinthians 1:8-11]
We must be brought to the end of ourselves so that we can rely, not on ourselves, but on God! Kind of a backwards way of thinking right?
These past weeks, I’ve had the privilege of reading through Exodus. The story of Moses has made me so incredibly thankful for Jesus and the cross, like never before. I can’t imagine having to do all these sacrifices and rituals in a tabernacle which I had to make with specific measurements and materials, and having to make sure I’m doing the offering right and having restrictions of where I can and cannot pray or repent or talk to God. I mean, it sounds so complicated!! Instead…He became our perfect Mediator and Sacrifice:
11 So Christ has now become the High Priest over all the good things that have come. He has entered that greater, more perfect Tabernacle in heaven, which was not made by human hands and is not part of this created world. 12 With his own blood—not the blood of goats and calves—he entered the Most Holy Place once for all time and secured our redemption forever.
13 Under the old system, the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer could cleanse people’s bodies from ceremonial impurity. 14 Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins. 15 That is why he is the one who mediates a new covenant between God and people, so that all who are called can receive the eternal inheritance God has promised them. For Christ died to set them free from the penalty of the sins they had committed under that first covenant. [-Hebrews 9:11-15]
Isn’t that just so amazing? Because, let me tell you, if I had to atone for and come to the altar and make a sacrifice before God every time I did something wrong…geez I’d be there like every 5 minutes and we’d probably run out of goats or calves or sheep or whatever. No joke. As we journey through this Lenten season, I’ve also never before been so convicted of my sins, especially those small, daily ones. Psalm 51 is THE “I’m broken and repentant and so sorry God” psalm. I can’t say it any better than She Reads Truth:
God wants nothing less than broken spirits and contrite hearts when we come before Him for His forgiveness. Any ritualistic sacrifices, any well-crafted prayers, any flowery pleas for mercy—without being genuinely crushed by the true tragedy of our sins—are utterly and totally meaningless. God wants only your authentic expressions of repentance, no thesauruses required.
God doesn’t want us to just be “bummed out” by the consequences of sin in our lives and our world, He wants us to know what true, godly sorrow looks and feels like. He wants our hearts to break like His, and for us to gather up those messy hearts and bring them before Him laid bare, without pretentiously tying them up in a neat little package.
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart…” (Psalm 51:17). Nothing more. Nothing less.
This Lenten season has been different. I’ve been able to sit back in solitude, be still before the Lord, and reflect a lot without the usual distractions I have. I’ve been able to bask in the exceeding wonder of His matchless grace and swim in His incomparable sea of forgiveness and love. And through it all, His praise will ever be on my lips for He has been good.
To end, I leave you with Psalm 18, which sang very sweetly to my soul these past weeks:
1 I love you, Lord; you are my strength.2 The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.3 I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies.
4 The ropes of death entangled me;
floods of destruction swept over me.
5 The grave wrapped its ropes around me;
death laid a trap in my path.
6 But in my distress I cried out to the Lord;
yes, I prayed to my God for help.
He heard me from his sanctuary;
my cry to him reached his ears. [-Psalm 18:1-6]