Ditching Sugar: Tell Me Lies, Tell Me Sweet Little Lies

Oookay, so it appears I may have lied. I should’ve been specific about my no-sugar pledge. Because apparently I took advantage of a loophole that really meant “giving up cookies.” That would’ve been slightly more accurate and yet… still a lie.

I defiantly and somewhat petulantly housed a chocolate chip cookie at around 9:45pm on December 31st.

From that point in, I honestly did pretty well until about the second week in January. No sugar in my coffee, not even those Fage yogurts, which, as it turns out, have about a billion metric tons of sugar in them. I didn’t stop eating things like fruit, which, of course, contain natural sugars, or pasta which turns into maltose. Because life is too short and because a life spent scrutinizing labels is not a life I care to live and because that’s highly valuable time I could spend catching up on Millionaire Matchmaker. (The one with Jill Zarin’s daughter!!!) But I was very good about eliminating foods with added sugars.

What I cut out of my diet in the sugar department I more than made up for by majoring in the Eating Whatever Else The Fuck I Want diet.

I noticed very little physical difference, probably because I hate denying myself much of anything, so what I cut out of my diet in the sugar department I more than made up for by majoring in the Eating Whatever Else The Fuck I Want diet, with a Minor in Everything and a concentration in Carbohydrates.

Things were going great! Pizza! Handmade pasta, and an almost ungodly volume of soba because… winter.

Then, around January 17th, I threw my back out (don’t even get me started on CrossFit, but that’s another story for another time, and it’s a story about giving up and sticking to it because fuck that terrible shit eternally). I threw myself a pity party which only I attended. After days spent going back and forth to physical therapy in addition to some professional-grade moping and some world-class pain, I had a pain et chocolate because it was there and so I was I. I guess that’s called fate or a meet-cute or called breaking a promise. It was… not at all satisfying. I immediately felt guilty, but only in the way that you feel guilty breaking a promise I knew I wasn’t gonna keep in the first place.

The pain et chocolate incident begat additional self-pity, and three weeks of deprivation oddly induced a rare urge to bake.

So, on January 25, I made Nutella chocolate chip sea salt cookies for no other reason than because it’s a free country and I do what I fucking want. I told myself I would make them without eating them and just give them to friends, but then again, I am a liar. I ate probably… six cookies’ worth of batter and six cookies. When I fall hard I like to fall spectacularly.

Then, one night, at the very coldest end of January, after an especially embarrassing dalliance with the Cobble Hill burrito place I told myself I’d never go back to but did (because I’m a liar!), I found myself in sweats (some errant pieces of burrito rice dotting my lap, natch), hate-watching “Donnie Loves Jenny” on A&E, when I fell down a hole of fuck-this-I’m-a-grown-woman-I-can-do-whatever-I-want just like Beyoncé and ate a frozen coconut bar that’d been in my freezer since late 2014. Grams of sugar: 15.

The end!

Oh, and P.S.: How are your resolutions going?

P.P.S.: Here’s my sister Mya Anitai’s Nutella chocolate chip cookie recipe as served at her restaurant, Dinamo in Richmond, Virginia:

  • 4 eggs (2 full eggs, 2 yolks)
  • 4 cups flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt or sour cream (I used sour cream)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 lb (four sticks) of butter
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup regular white sugar
  • 1 jar of Nutella (can be small)
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli — they were SO good!)
  • Sprinkle of sea salt to add at the end

In one bowl, combine the 4 cups of flour, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, mix them all together.

In another bowl, combine the brown and white sugar, mix together.

Brown the pound of butter over the stove, stir until it’s liquid. Once it’s browned, add to the bowl of sugar. Loosely mix.

In another bowl, add the 2 tablespoons of yogurt or sour cream and the vanilla with 2 eggs and 2 yolks. Mix everything together with a fork, then add all of this mix to the sugar and butter mix, and mix together. (I did it by hand, but you can use a hand mixer if you have one.)

Fold in the flour and salt mix, mix to form your dough.

Add chocolate chips.

Form the cookies roughly into little balls and put a scoop of Nutella in each, close up the balls like you would a dumpling. Put everything into the freezer or a few hours (overnight is fine, too). You can bake them right away because the Nutella will run everywhere if you put them straight into the oven without cooling.

When you take them out of the freezer, mush them back into cookie/ patty shapes before you bake. Bake at 425 degrees for about 5 – 6 minutes, then take them out, sprinkle sea salt on top, then bake them again for another 5 minutes or so (or however long depending how you like them). I like them really soft mushy. These came out mushy with a harder bottom, which was awesome.

I also baked them on parchment paper, which kept them from burning on the bottom due to all of the butter.


Check out part one of Tamar’s 30-Day Challenge here.

Find out how the rest of our participants did:

(Photo: Lara604/Flickr.com)

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4 Responses

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