Please note: This post was created in collaboration with Chase Freedom Unlimited. All opinions, images and content are my own.

It’s been a few weeks since I kicked off my “be a better baker challenge” in collaboration with my friends at Chase Freedom Unlimited, and I’m due for a check-in on my progress! When starting any new goal, I always find the hardest part is just that: getting started! I tend to get caught up in planning and researching and prepping, but kickstarting a goal always works best with action, which means I have to get in the kitchen and get baking!To help me get rolling on my baking goals, Chase Freedom Unlimited challenged me — because right now Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards new cardmembers with 3% cash back for their first year, up to $20,000 — to showcase the impact that 3% can have on achieving my goals. Three percent of your day is just 43 minutes, and such a good way to think about making little bits of progress by committing a small time to the goal. If I can carve out those little pockets of time to work on this project, I’ll be making progress (and cookies!) in no time.I was recently at a charming bookstore in Rhode Island for a book-signing event and was sifting through the baking cookbooks for some inspiration on where to get started with this challenge, and I came across a beautiful cookbook on cookies. The bookstore owner gave it her seal of approval as I was flipping through it, and I used my Chase Freedom Unlimited cash back credit card to buy it for my research!Taking a break from my normal healthy food, I’ve been digging into the delicious cookie recipes and decided to start with the basics – a classic chocolate chip cookie, sprinkled with sea salt flakes, certainly a recipe I could tackle with 3% of my day, and one that made Jane, my little cookie-monster, VERY excited. Baking has always been a challenge for me because I’m not someone who is great at precise measuring. Chocolate chip cookies are a good starter for this series because little tweaks in the recipe don’t make or break the outcome – it just produces minor changes in the texture. In fact, I had a good time reading through the cookbook I purchased to see how the author made several variations of chocolate chip cookies and how the ingredient ratios impacted the outcome. 

These came out super tasty, and I even got to do my “little bit of this, little bit of that” cooking technique when it came to adding sea salt at the end. It’s a good first foray into my baking practice and committing 3% of my day to focus on it got me energized to start thinking about my next bake!