Please forgive me. As of late, I’ve become a neurotic, cookie baking, non-sleeping fool.
More on that. But first.
Two random notes.
1) Parenthood is totally saving my life.
I’m not talking about parenthood. I’m talking about Parenthood, the tv show. I’m only on season 1, but many a night, I’ll put the kids in bed & cozy up to a bowl of popcorn & watch an episode or two on Netflix.
It’s a comfort to know that I’m not alone in relishing the quirks, the ups & downs of family life, which the show does a good job of showing in a beautiful, fresh, & creative way. I always laugh, I always cry (a little bit). Plus, I love Lauren Graham. I’ve been a fan ever since Gilmore Girls. I love how at the end of each episode it’s all about family. No matter what, they’re a family. So good.
2) Did I mention I only have Hyrum & Salem with me this week?
Asher & Mali are off on a trip with my mom visiting family for a week. So it’s just me & two kids. Kinda weird, if you ask me. But so much easier. Boy, the difference between two kids & four kids is HUGE. Especially since I have Hyrum who is remarkably responsible, reasonable & adult-like. Sure, he has his whiny moments, but having him around, is like having a friend.
It’s weird when your kids hit that point. When they can converse with you, they get jokes, they ask intelligent, grown-up questions questions. (Like, whoa, Hyrum asked me the other day while we we driving in the car how babies come out. Ummm, I haven’t answered him yet. Didn’t see that coming yet.)
There’s a dialouge, rather than just babbling. It’s a rewarding moment when you realize: hey, I made this little, talking, human being who is funny! Who has thoughts about the world & shares them. That’s neat.
Now back to the cookies.
The other day I got it into my head that I needed to make a treat to take to my in-law’s weekly family dinner. Too bad this thought came to me two hours before said dinner.
I got on my pinterest boards, looking for something quick & do-able. I wanted to make these (perfect for fall), but then I realized I had to let them set overnight, so they wouldn’t work for what I was looking for.
Finally, I settled down on this recipe. Turns out, though, I didn’t have some of the ingredients. No matter.
Improvise, improvise. That is what I did.
Add sliced almonds, use chocolate, instead of carob chips. Replace some of the shredded coconut with almond meal. Add a bit of agave. Use coconut oil instead of butter.
The dough tasted good enough, as cookie dough goes. I was pretty excited to see what would turn out.
But truthfully, I can’t say I was pleased when the cookies came out of the oven.
I was late for the the family dinner. Salem was cranky & clingy. The cookies looked under cooked & crumbly.
And, our trusty mini-van would not start (I think we’re at the end of it’s life, so long dear one, you’ve done your duty). I left the cookies on the counter to cool & came to terms with the fact that I would not, despite my best efforts, bring any sweet treats to share because the cookies didn’t seemed fully cooked. I took my dad’s car & we went off to family dinner.
When we came back home later that night, I was happy to see that my cookies, after sitting on the cookie rack for a few hours, had firmed up. Still a little crumbly (gf cookies have a way of doing that), but soft & firm(er). And upon tasting, passed the test–chocolate, coconut & a hint of almond, with no hint of cake-iness.
You can subsitute applesauce for the coconut oil, but I’m just going to say this: when I eat a cookie, I want it to taste like a cookie.
I do not want it to taste like a brownie, or a cupcake. I want it to have a firm, dense texture.
So, if you substitute, just know that the applesauce will make it more cake-like. And for the record, I have not tried this recipe with applesauce, so I cannot vouch for it’s use in this recipe.
Chocolate, coconut, almonds, & oats give these cookies lots of flavor & depth.
- 1 c. unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 c. old-fashioned oats (gluten-free, optional)
- 1 c. almond meal (or additional shredded coconut)
- 1/2 c. coconut oil
- 2 TBS. ground flaxseed + 6 TBS. water
- 1/4 c. agave nectar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 2 pinches salt
- 1 c. non-dairy chocolate chips
- 1/2 c. sliced almonds (optional)
- Get your oven ready by turning it to 350 F.
- Combine coconut, almond meal, & oats & toast over medium low heat in a dry skillet. Use a wooden spoon to turn frequently. You should start to smell the coconut, which will start to turn a light golden brown. Set aside.
- Cream together coconut oil, flax + water, agave, & vanilla extract.
- Add toasted ingredients, sliced almonds, & chocolate chips. The chocolate chips will melt, which is what they are supposed to do. This will give the cookies a overall chocolately flavor rather than just isolated chocolate chips.
- For firmer, easier to handle dough, chill the dough for at least 1/2 hour. I skipped this step (remember, I was in a hurry), but if you have time, do it. It will make for better cookies.
- Pack dough tightly in a medium or small cookie scoop. Gently press down the tops of the mounds slightly. Bake for 10-14 minutes (if your cookies are on the smaller side, 10-11 minutes should be fine, for bigger cookies, 13-14 minutes is about right). Wait a few minutes before transferring cookies to rack. The cookies will be very fragile right out of the oven. Don't let this worry you. Once they've completely cooled, they will firm up. Store in the fridge.
Additional Nutrition Info: Per cookie: 3 g protein, 15 g carb, 2 g fiber, 45 mg sodium. For an oil-less cookie, you can try replacing the oil with applesauce--be forewarned, I haven't tried using applesauce in the is recipe, so I can't guarantee results!
Want more healthy recipes? Check out Ricki Heller’s Wellness Weekend at Diet, Dessert, & Dogs, where you can find this, & many other great recipes.
Do you have a favorite tv show, movie, podcast, or magazine that you like to watch/read to help you unwind & laugh/cry/feel?