Last week was Spring Break. I was SO excited that a week off had finally appeared, and Bobatt and I jetted off on a whim to Victoria. It was a great little trip. Unfortunately, we came home on Wednesday to a very sick kitty and had to take Joey to the vet for the last time on Saturday. My initial start to Spring Break was so awesome, but it ended on a really, really sad note.
Saturday was by far the hardest and worst day of my life so far. Joey was our very first pet as adults; we actually shared Joey with our landlord (okay, he was 100% hers and we just babysat) but loved him like he was our own. He was my second best friend, next to Bobatt. Joey was also the first pet we’ve been with to the very end.
To say we are sad doesn’t even begin to describe how we feel. Our loss is immense; we are devastated. He was like our child, our other roommate, more like a dog than a cat. Overbearingly friendly, always up for a cuddle, and had a purr that almost never stopped. He followed us around, went outside with us for walks to the garbage in the alley, and slept with us at night. Joey loved to be the center of attention in all situations, he got into a fair amount of trouble, and had us wrapped around his little cat pinky.
I miss him so much. I know he was just a cat, but he was honestly more important to me than just some pet. He waited for me at the door when I got home from work, he sought me out so we could cuddle (and so I could feed him), he slept with me at nap time everyday, and at night he cuddled under the blankets with me while I read or tried to fall asleep. Those are the times I miss him the most. This week has been tough knowing he isn’t there to greet me.
On my last day with Joey, he was uninterested in everything. He wouldn’t eat and wouldn’t cuddle. Knowing what was still to come was making me crazy. So I found myself a make-work project. I baked. Then I gave away my baking to Bobatt’s work friends. These cookies are special – comforting chocolate chip, but with pretzels and peanut butter. I wanted to feel like everything would be all right, and that our decision was the right one. I also wanted to try something different to feel creative and think about things other than the sad. So here is a special cookie recipe in honour of my special cat. I’ve also included a photo of my other cat, Snowy. We’ve been spending extra time together since we both miss Joey very much.
Pretzel Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yield: 4 dozen small cookies
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 10 minutes for each dozen
1 cup lactose-free butter or vegan margarine
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (most semi-sweet chocolate is already lactose-free)
1 cup pretzels, chopped
3 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp icing sugar
Note: If you’re not lactose-intolerant, use 1/2 cup peanut butter chips instead of making your own. I’m sure it will be easier and less time-consuming – unless you’re wanting to take the time!
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F with rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a slipat. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter and icing sugar. Drop the mixture in small pieces onto a plate. Refrigerate until needed. (Skip this step if able to use peanut butter chips)
3. In the bowl of your stand mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter or margarine with the paddle attachment.
4. Add both the white and brown sugars. Cream for about 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
5. Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure the beat well after each egg.
6. Add the vanilla and blend.
7. In a separate bowl, add all the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
8. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until all flour is incorporated.
9. Add the chocolate chips, peanut butter and pretzels and mix just until they’re spread evenly throughout the dough. If the dough at this point is very soft, put in the fridge until firm – about 30 minutes.
10. Using a 1 tbsp or a small ice cream scoop, drop cookies on to the lined baking sheets. Roll the cookies if you’d like a prettier cookie. Using a measuring utensil here will help you make cookies that are more uniform. Make the cookies as big or as little as you like.
11. Bake cookies for about 8 – 14 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. Cool on a wire rack – if you can wait!
Note: Cooking time will vary for a number of reasons – smaller cookies take less time than larger cookies. I’ve also found that lactose-free margarine causes baking to take longer to cook. Always watch your cookies, and take them out when you feel they’re done. A timer doesn’t always have the right answer!
(Adapted from my boyfriend’s personal recipe collection book, and I don’t know where he got it.)