If there’s one thing we could use more of, it’s cookies and kindness. Let’s start with these almond flour chocolate chip cookies!
Just The Food Stuff:
These almond flour chocolate chip cookies are soft and gooey and for being gluten-free, they hold together really well. The sugar in this recipe is very low, so they’re only mildly sweet, especially if you use extra dark chocolate chunks. Both the texture and mild sweetness make these almond flour chocolate chip cookies excellent for homemade ice cream sandwiches.
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten-Free)
This recipe was adapted ever so slightly from the recipe on the packaging for Baker Josef’s Blanched Almond Flour.
Yield: Approx. 30 cookies
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg + 1 egg white
2 1/2 cups extra fine almond flour (I used Trader Josef’s, aka Trader Joe’s)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped extra dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips
1/2-1 cup chopped pecans, to taste
salt for garnishing (I used black lava salt)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the butter, coconut sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract together in a large bowl. Mix in the eggs until well combined.
Stir in the almond flour, baking soda and salt, and mix well.
Gently fold in the dark chocolate chunks and chopped pecans.
Drop approximate tablespoon-sized dough onto baking sheets two inches apart.
Bake for 12-15 minutes. Halfway through, flatten the cookie spheres with a spatula, and sprinkle them with salt. Return to oven and bake until the edges are crisp and the cookies are lightly browned on top. Transfer to a cooling rack.
Just the Personal Stuff: Returning to Playful Creation
I’ve long been obsessed with time and productivity, including how to plan weekends wisely, but if there’s one silver lining to social distancing, it’s a very stripped-back, honest look at time and fulfillment. How often do I turn to Netflix aimlessly? How often do I pick up my phone to fill a void of companionship? How could I fill my life with more joyful creation?
I’ve been sitting with these questions and trying to find creative answers. Again and again, I return to wise words from my friend Lisa Grazan, “We talk of filling the void, but instead we should talk about nourishing the void.” Netflix and my phone are fillers, which is fine from time to time, but what does nourishment look like for me?
Nourishment has looked like taking good care of myself. It looks like a morning routine of yoga and guided meditation. It looks like making sure I drink enough water and go to bed with gratitude (These are part of my Quarantine Tips.)
Nourishment has looked like long walks, what I think of as “discovery walks.” Julep and I have explored so many different little neighborhoods within a two mile radius of home. I’ve opened my eyes to buildings and city vistas I’ve never seen before. I’ve stopped and plunged my nose into flowering trees trying to soak up the brief period of pure spring fragrance. We’ve walked into the woods to clip spring blooms to brighten up our home. We’ve heard our footsteps and birds because the world is uniquely quiet right now.
Nourishment has looked like picking up a ukulele just to have fun and be a beginner. How often have I thought I don’t have time or “someday” I’ll try that, or “this is hard.” Last night, I found an online tutorial, and I just played to play, and by the end, I had the tinkerings of “You Are My Sunshine” (dedicated to Julep, of course). I felt so uplifted by the pure fun of it.
Nourishment has looked like painting just to paint. Much like a little kiddo, I had no objective, nothing I was striving to portray. I just sloppily layered paint on top of a scrap piece of cardboard, and the best part was what remained on the paper underneath it – a loose frame with colors I love.
These times can be lonely, but they can also help us to realign our priorities. I’m focusing on that silver lining, on finding ways to return to joyful creation. We only get one, wild life, even if that life involves social distancing, quarantines, and if we’re really lucky, cookies.
Just The Julep Stuff:
Be well, my friends!