Being misunderstood especially towards the end of my adolescence is something I found difficult to contend with. Even now, I sometimes struggle to understand why. I remember at the beginning of University when we had Orientation Camp, my peers would comment that I looked like a clubber. Nothing wrong with clubbing only they made me seem like some wild child who started their day with a shot of vodka and chain-smoked after brushing my teeth. Funny thing is that on ‘clubbing night’, they were the ones gyrating to the music while I awkwardly spun myself around and headed out the door because I felt so uncomfortable. One guy who later decided he liked me said that he thought I looked quite ‘bitchy’ at first and was surprised to find out how easy to talk to I was when he got to know me.

I did actually find myself getting on with my camp mates but once Uni commenced, the girls in my group broke off into a little clique of their own without me, and the boys would hang out with me only for so long as they thought they had a slither of a chance to end up as my boyfriend. Not all. Some. That’s not to say I didn’t have any friends whatsoever. I had a few and perhaps on my part, I never felt a desire to develop them much further than at surface level because I decided that they would never last post-graduation anyway.

Perhaps it’s the case of resting bitch face, or perhaps I may seem like quite a tough cookie on the outside, but the fact is, I’m really quite a softie on the inside – just like these Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake bars.

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At first glance, it’s easy to mistake these bars as a little naughty because OOoOoohhh… there’re chocolate chips in there! And Oh. Em. Gee. Cookies are little bites of sin that make your pants a little tighter. But sink your teeth in and you reach the creamy, gooey cheesecake middle that will make you think, well… looks like there’s more to this bar that meets the eye. Sure, it’s no angel but it’s worth getting to know because there’s a richness inside that I wouldn’t have thought was there to begin with!

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And as you continue on your journey munching through these bars, you’ll get inflections of vanilla studded with dark chocolate chips, titillating butteriness that sinks into luxurious creaminess, and small bursts of caramel undertones from the brown sugar to keep you from getting bored. It’s no one dimensional cookie bar, that’s for sure!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Bars (9×9″ Square):

Cookie Layer:
170g Butter, melted and cooled
250g Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
Vanilla
250g Plain Flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
50g Chocolate Chips (or more!)

Cheesecake Layer:
250g Cream Cheese, Room Temperature
40g Sugar
1 Egg
Vanilla

For Cookie Layer:

  1. Whisk melted butter with sugar.
  2. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Incorporate flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Place half the mixture into prepared baking tin and level out as evenly as possible.

For Cheesecake Layer:

  1. Beat cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add sugar and cream together.
  3. Add egg and vanilla. Blend until mixture is smooth.
  4. Spread cheesecake mixture on top of the cookie layer.
  5. Spoon the rest of the cookie batter on top of the cheesecake layer. Don’t worry if not all the cheesecake is covered.
  6. Bake for 25-30min or until the cookie layer on top is a nice golden brown.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Then chill in fridge for 4 hours (or overnight) before slicing.

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So have I made peace with the fact that I’m special and full of goodness on the inside whether people see it or not? On the whole, I believe so but there are moments where I would be sharing with Flo about my thoughts and my past only to have my emotions surface.

In a way though, my ED has enabled me to cherish the friends that have stood steadfastly next to me through all my ups and downs and in part, I have to blame myself as well for not wanting to nurture some friendships that I did have in Uni because growing up and constantly moving schools/countries made me feel that most friendships, no matter how strong they appear to be, are fleeting. These days, I make more of an effort to stay in touch and meet up with friends.

Perhaps in some way too, I may have haphazardly appeared nonchalant towards opening up to deeper friendships without realising it. Regardless, it’s not the quantity but the quality of friendship that counts and while like all relationships, maintaining friendships is hard work too especially as we get older and have partners and start our own family, the ones that continue to stand the test of time are truly friends who are worth having!

 

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