Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Small Is the New Big

Individual Berry Cookie Shortcakes. The cookies are made with muffin mix and toffee chips, serve with macerated strawberries and whipped cream for a light summer treat. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Small is the new big. 
Profound, I know.
I haven't spent the last year and 6 weeks (but who's counting?) just sitting on the couch eating cheetos and missing my life. I've actually learned a few things as well.
I've learned that I can find ways to fill my day, make the most of staying isolated, without losing my mind (well, without losing any more than about 30% of my mind, but I'm calling that a win).
I've learned that I can let go of control (this was a really hard one), and make the best of what's available. I hate, I mean hate, having someone else choose my meats and vegetables. But for a year I did, every week. I adjusted what I wanted to purchase to what I was willing to take a chance on, and I learned to make due with whatever I got. And actually be grateful for it.
In fact, as we ride the dizzying teeter totter of covid case counts, excess has taken a back seat to minimalism, prioritizing need.
I've learned that sacrifice can actually be reassuring. We have been safe, all of us, but I know people who did contract covid, am aware of how they suffered. I know that way too many have died, and those rising numbers are both terrifying and heartbreaking. But I am fully aware that a month with my son living in my home is the result of sacrifice. It took time (an 8 hour drive each way for him) and forfeiture (we all had to isolate more completely for 2 weeks before he was comfortable making that drive) but it happened. And it was nothing short of revitalizing.
And I've learned that bigger is not better. It's just bigger.

Take the sweet potato, for example.
Small Is the New Big | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com
Sweet potato? Or football? 
Small Is the New Big | Picture taken by and property of www.BakingInATornado.com

When I bake potatoes for dinner, if I'm not using reds, I buy a Russet for Hubs, who prefers white, and sweet potatoes for College Boy (when he's here) and I.
But what I got in my last order? Yikes. Maybe if I start roasting this today it'll be ready next Tuesday. Now all I need is a small country to help me eat it.
But I am finally free to choose my own groceries. FREE. Have been for 5 days now, when I reached optimal vaccination immunity. And now that I'm free, what am I doing? I'm going small. Decidedly, deliberately, and joyfully small. 
And not just in sweet potatoes.
I have also officially become a social minimalist. That may partially be covid PTSD, with a smattering of the knowledge that the vaccination status of anyone not in my immediate personal circle being unknown (and now, a new phenomenon, a percentage of people getting their first shot but skipping their second) sprinkled in. But isolation has taught me just how much I value individual, meaningful, eye to eye, in person conversation to my former preference of working a crowded group. 

And I'm embracing individual sized portions not just in my social gatherings, but in the dessert offerings there too. 
Individual Berry Cookie Shortcakes. The cookies are made with muffin mix and toffee chips, serve with macerated strawberries and whipped cream for a light summer treat. | Recipe developed by www.BakingInATornado.com | #recipe #dessert

Individual Berry Cookie Shortcakes

I recently published a post featuring my Vanilla Blueberry Tartlets. For today I've re-imagined the Strawberry Shortcake. I did it once before, an extremely successful post called Strawberry Shortcake, Nacho Style, but group dishes are a thing of the past, they'll be back, but not quite yet. For now, especially in groups, individual style desserts are my focus. And these Individual Berry Cookie Shortcakes are fun. 

And that sweet potato football? Still got it. For now it's sitting in my pantry, reminding me of just how far I've come, of perspective, and of priorities.

Baking In A Tornado signature | www.BakingInATornado.com | #MyGraphics

Individual Berry Cookie Shortcakes

Printable Recipe

Ingredients (makes 12):
1 pint strawberries
3 TBSP sugar
2 pouches (7 oz each) mixed berry muffin mix
6 TBSP oil
2 TBSP milk
2 eggs
1 tsp strawberry extract
1/3 cup chocolate toffee baking chips

whipped cream for serving

*Rinse, hull, and slice the strawberries. Mix with the sugar and set aside.
*Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Mix together the muffin mix, oil, milk, egg, and raspberry extract. Once incorporated, mix in the chocolate toffee chips.
*Form into 24 balls of equal size and place on baking sheets.. Flatten slightly.
*Bake for about 10 minutes or until the edges start to brown. Allow to set on baking sheet for 1 minute, then remove to cool completely.
*For each serving, place a cookie, flat side up, on a plate. Top with 1 - 2 TBSP of the strawberries, a dollop of whipped cream, then a second cookie, flat side down.


  1. Another delectable recipe :-)

    You could chop that sweet potato up and roast it.

    1. Absolutely, but I still need to find a small country to help me eat it all.

  2. I can relate to so much of what you wrote. So very much.
    Carol C

    1. We're all adjusting the way we see things, and that's not a bad thing at all.

  3. Husby loves groups. I do, too. But I chatter nervously the whole time and then have to crawl into my cave and recover afterwards. So, would it be a terrible faux pas to admit that I've actually enjoyed the solitude of the lockdowns? Eep.
    So happy you've finally been let out to play. And choose your own adventures (foodstuffs)!
    P.S. Maybe a sweet potato pie in your future?

    1. I don't mind solitude either, unless it's prolonged and necessary, that is.

  4. You can send some of the sweet potato to me. I love love love sweet potatoes. I haven't had one in forever, though - why? Because they have points on Weight Watchers but guess what doesn't? Butternut squash. And its NY bred cousin, Honeynuts (which we can only get in the fall) are almost like eating sweet potatoes. I don't even need a sweetener on them. So why make the swap? So I can have more points for DESSERT. (Sshhh, don't tell my coach.) But...where was I? Oh yes, the mini chipwiches, I mean, strawberry shortcake cookies. I am craving one right now! Except I've never seen mixed berry mffin mix - or strawberry extract. So now you are sending me down a rabbit hole of sorts. Maybe Wal-Mart sells this stuff. At least I can get the toffee chips. Stay tuned, taste buds! Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

    1. Ooh, and now I have to look up Honeynuts, never heard of it.

  5. Small can be very powerful.

    Sweet potato "fries", cut that sucker into french fry size strips, spritz with a tiny bit of oil and bake. They are good, or at least, i like them.

    1. I love sweet potato fries! Just need about 10 more people to eat them with me, they definitely don't make good leftovers.


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