I don't think of myself as particular; I'm flexible when I need to be. I've been traveling for the past two weeks, and I'll happily embrace new routines when I'm away. Bedtimes vary, I eat what meals are put in front of me, and exercise might mean briefly flailing my legs about in the resort hot tub and calling it cardio.
But when I'm back at home, I become again a creature of habit. I like the comfort of small, daily routines. I eat my soup every day at lunch out of the same white Harvard Magazine mug with a hairline chip on the edge. It belonged to my dad, and it feels more right for soup than my other mugs. I go to the same coffee shop each morning. Same order. Same time.
At 3 PM, I walk into the park to meet my sister. Same place. Same route.
Each night: the same pajamas, the same wool blanket, the same glass of wine. The day doesn't feel complete without some of these things: a trip to Fairway, a cup of English Breakfast tea, the clean smell of Nivea lotion after a hot shower.
And for almost my entire life, dinner wasn't over without something sugar-y to follow. Now as an adult, I've learned to break the routine sometimes. Do I have to have a cookie after every meal? No. But there's something comforting in knowing exactly what's waiting for you ahead (and exactly what to look forward to).
If you, like me, prefer to end your meals on a sweeter note, these cookies are ideal. The cream cheese gives them a tang that keeps them just on this side of too sweet, and they have a wonderfully crinkly and chewy texture.
Best of all, with only 5 ingredients, they couldn't be simpler to pull together.
Cream Cheese Cookies
Adapted from Food52
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar until light and fluffy. This should take about 5 minutes...don't skimp here! Consider it an arm workout (or use a stand mixer).
Add the flour, salt, and vanilla (if using). Mix just to combine.
Drop spoonfuls of the batter on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Leave a bit of space as they will spread a little.
Bake for 10-15 minutes (mine usually take about 11 minutes, but it depends on the size of the cookies...I prefer mine slightly underbaked!). The cookies should be JUST turning golden brown around the edges.
Let cool slightly, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling. The cookies freeze very well.