Not too long ago I was having a conversation with a friend. We talked about a lot of things, but the one that struck me the most was wondering aloud whether we were fun people any longer. We both had this thought separately despite the fact that while we have some similarities, we are quite different.
For her, this is probably a bigger blow than me because she had always been a fun, somewhat carefree person. She’s had lots of friends and done lots of things … college, work, clubs, dance parties, traveling to places all over the world. She has done so many things my anxious brain can’t even begin to imagine doing.
For me, there have been previous phases during which I was anything but fun. I stayed home, avoided people, and when I did go out, I spent sometimes days regretting things I had done or said to the point I became paralyzed by fear.
But then the tide changed and I slowly but surely had carefree moments that I enjoyed so much I didn’t regret them. I saw musicals, concerts, and sporting events. I went to fashion shows, ate raw meat and fish, and partied until one in the morning.
Then the pandemic happened and it became the great equalizer. No travel for her. No Dear Evan Hansen for me. No late night dancing for either of us. Sure, hope remained for awhile, but now, even as things in some ways feel more normal, and are most definitely more open and available to do, we are both left wondering if we want to do those things. If we can do them with happiness instead of fear. If we even like them anymore.
If the pandemic has changed us so much that we lost the fun sides of ourselves and now rely on Netflix and trying new recipes as main sources of fun.
It was a somewhat sad conversation and it has stuck with me as a continuing sad thought. Can we have fun again? Regularly? Without wondering if it will just be taken away again? Only time will tell, and in the meantime, I’ll keep making fun recipes for the enjoyment of my friends and family and I hope all of you as well.
This is a pretty fun recipe because these rich cookies have a fudgy center. This is actually the first time I have been able to successfully make a fudge with carob. It always always ALWAYS seizes on me. But I was patient and fearless and kept adding almond milk and water until it came together so silky smooth I couldn’t believe it.
Because you probably won’t be working with carob, click the link at the bottom of the recipe to head over to Half Baked Harvest to see how Tieghan makes her hot fudge. But if you want to give it a try with carob, I can confidently say this version is delicious, as are these decadent cookies with a kick of coffee and a hint of salt.
Maybe I’m not fun anymore, but these fun cookies, just might change that a little.Print
Decadent cookies with a kick of a espresso and a rich fudge center. Grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free.
¼ cup carob powder
2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 ½ cups carob chips
2 tablespoons coconut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
Additional ¼ – ½ cup almond milk and ¼ – ½ cup water
¾ cup coconut oil, room temperature
¼ cup olive oil
¾ cup coconut sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla bean powder
1 tablespoon espresso powder
2 ¼ cups paleo flour blend (2 cups almond flour, 1 ¼ cups tapioca starch, ¾ cup coconut flour)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt, for rolling
2 teaspoons espresso powder, for rolling
2 teaspoons coconut sugar, for rolling
Pinch vanilla bean powder, for rolling
Make the fudge. Place carob powder, milk, carob chips, and coconut butter in a large microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. It will probably seize up. Grab a whisk and slowly whisk in milk and/or water until it smooths out. It will happen! Whisk in the vanilla and refrigerate until firm and cold.
Once the fudge has chilled, form it into balls and freeze until solid, overnight is best.
Make the cookies. In a large bowl, cream the oils and sugar until smooth and lightened in color and texture. This is totally doable by hand but a mixer will work too. Beat in the eggs, vanilla, and espresso. Stir in the flour and baking soda. Remove 3 frozen fudge balls from the freezer and chop them up. Stir them into the cookie dough. Refrigerate 24-48 hours.
Assemble and bake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Take about two tablespoons of dough, place a fudge ball on top, and cover with about another tablespoon of dough. Repeat until all the cookie dough is used. Leftover fudge is great for snacking!
Stir together the sea salt, espresso, sugar, and vanilla for rolling. Coat each cookie generously, place well spaced on the tray and gently press down to flatten slightly. Bake 13-16 minutes until set around the edge but still soft in the center. Serve warm or cool on the tray.
Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave 30-60 seconds.
Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest