It’s been one of those yo-yo weeks. You know the kind – one minute you’re incredibly excited about the future, and the next finds you jumping out of your skin. Oh, life. It is such a roller coaster ride. Transitions are hard – even the really, really good ones – and even though I know change is necessary, and actually kinda crave it, it can be difficult sometimes to stay balanced among all the flux. Saturday hit me like a ton of bricks, when the cloud I’d been walking on for several days dissipated, and I found myself huddled on the couch with a cozy blanket and two sweet cats, unable and/or unwilling to make any decisions, even minor ones. Somewhere around midday I decided to take a walk, and it took me about an hour to actually get out the door. “What will I wear? Is it going to rain? Should I take a raincoat? Well, if I’m leaving the house I should probably take these books back to the library. Maybe I should stop by the market and grab something for dinner, but I’ll have to change clothes since these tights I’m trying to pass off as pants don’t have a pocket for my debit card…” and so on.
Let’s start from the top, people. I’m a pretty happy lady most of the time. I try to meet each day with a smile, and I don’t get too bummed out when things don’t go my way. I don’t pout very often, and I always try to look on the bright side of things. But sometimes I get sad, or scared, or both, and I have to honor those feelings too. So, I go ahead and change out of the tights and put on pants that have pockets. I take the rain coat just in case, and get my ass out of the house before I change my mind. Walking is one of several forms of therapy that I utilize often. Fresh air is the best mojo for my rattled emotions, and even if I don’t solve all the world’s problems during my hour-long walk, at least I gain a few morsels of clarity, and come home in a somewhat better mood. While I am out, I go ahead and stop by the market. I purchase all the fresh vegetables, some organic quinoa, a nice piece of fish…and then I come home, sit all my well-intended purchases down, and head straight into the kitchen to bake cookies. Because, c’mon…vegetables are great, but who doesn’t feel instantly better when they take the first bite of a fresh-from-the-oven, warm, chocolatey cookie? If that person exists, I sure haven’t met them.
Let me be quite honest, here. I’m not much of a baker. I do beautiful things with vegetables, but baking and me have never quite gotten along. I’m a pinch of this, pinch of that kind of person, and the preciseness that comes along with baking has never made me jump for joy. But if you have as many dietary restrictions as I do, going out to purchase baked goods that won’t make you sick is a real challenge, even in a progressive city like Portland. So…I bake, and every now and then I hit the nail on the head.
This is the first paleo cookie I’ve made that actually tastes like a cookie. It doesn’t taste as healthy as it is, it isn’t loaded with nut flour (all that almond flour does a number on my digestive system), and it has the perfect crumb. Every single person I shared these cookies with fell in love. A couple of folks could not believe the cookies were free of dairy, “but they taste SO buttery!”. One friend thought they tasted like molasses, and another vowed that this creation broke the stereotype that all gluten-free cookies taste “grainy, sandy, or metallic”. Believe me, these cookies are out-of-this-world delicious, and they soothed my heart and soul in a profound way. It was great to share them with others, and I am thankful for the ingenious baker that did all the leg work to conceptualize this recipe. I took the liberty of substituting a few ingredients to fit my own dietary needs, but I have given credit where credit is due at the top of the ingredients list.
One thing for certain is that the world around you will never stop changing. There will be sunny days and cloudy days, and hopefully, there will always be fresh-baked cookies to help everything turn out a-okay in the end. Go make these cookies for yourself. You will not be disappointed.
Mesquite Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Adapted from a recipe by Alanna Taylor-Tobin on FOOD52
NOTE: Mesquite flour can be super clumpy, so be sure to sift it!