I cannot believe I haven’t shared the recipe for these cookies yet. This was one of the first recipes I “developed.” I use that term lightly, as basically this recipe casually evolved to what it is over the course of many, many batches of cookies I made during law school years ago. My quest to make the perfect healthy oatmeal chocolate chip cookie was a welcome diversion from tort law and other law-school-y things.
Have I mentioned before that I went to law school and became a lawyer? Guilty as charged (ugh I don’t blame you if you stop reading after that lame lawyer joke…or just skip to the recipe). It already seems like a lifetime ago, but really it was less than a year ago that I left my corporate law firm job to focus on my daughter Rose and start pursuing my passions. It was a terrifying step, veering off the well-beaten path towards “success.” Or at least the conventional idea of success, to which I had ascribed before the birth of Rose. For so long, I marched along on this path, suppressing my creative impulses and my desire to create something of my own. Ignoring where my passions lay, because they did not fit the conventional mold of success, i.e. “prestigious” job with a big paycheck.
Rose prompted me to wake up. Life was slipping through my fingers like grains of sand, and I was never fully in the moment. I was plagued by stress and unhappiness in my career choice. Success began to take on a new definition. I began to think of success as achieving some semblance of balance among the major categories in life – work, family and self – and achieving relative happiness in each of those categories. I also saw that ideally these categories are not mutually exclusive, that time spent on one does not have to detract from the others. That the categories can exist in a sort of harmonious Venn diagram. Within this framework, I saw the importance of finding an outlet for your passions, if not in the “work” category, then in the “self” category. I previously made the mistake of thinking success was a function of career, when it should be the whole picture – achieving happiness in work, family and self.
Privilege check! Like, hello, most of us can’t leave our jobs!? I was reluctant to even write about all this, because I know I am in the fortunate position of being able to leave a steady paycheck to spend time with my daughter and pursue my passions (which hopefully will lead to a regular paycheck…eeeek). This is an unbelievable luxury that the majority of people do not have. By the way, it was by no means easy for us – we certainly had to cut back a lot and I still second-guess it sometimes. But the universal lesson is to carve out any time you have to listen to the little voice inside your head, telling you what your passion is, and acknowledge its importance and give it a little time in your life, whether on the weekends, on your commute or after you put your kids to bed. During law school, dreaming up recipes like these cookies was that small outlet for me.
So back to the cookies. This cookie is one of my favorite treats, not only because of the flavor and texture (both are on point!), but also because this cookie is readily adaptable to the ingredients you have on hand. One might call this a “kitchen sink” type of cookie.
Let’s break this cookie down. It is made with a base of digestion-friendly spelt flour (I use sprouted spelt flour from Thrive Market) and gluten-free oats. In terms of the flour, really any whole wheat or whole grain flour should work nicely here. I’ve also used almond flour for a gluten-free option, which was delicious. Equal parts almond butter and coconut oil provide nourishing good fats and give this cookie a soft, chewy texture. Any nut butter will do. The cookie is sweetened with coconut sugar, so is refined-sugar-free (although there may be a small amount in your chocolate, depending on the type you use). Now come the goods – I pack this cookie full of chia seeds, shredded coconut, unsweetened dried fruit and chocolate chips. This is where you can get creative. Feel free to omit the fruit and up the chocolate. Or make an oatmeal raisin cookie by leaving out the chocolate, using raisins, and increasing the cinnamon. In this version, I use dried unsweetened cherries, which pair nicely with the cinnamon and cardamon. Go crazy and make it your own!
I hope you enjoy these cookies and, more importantly, find even just a few minutes today to do something you are passionate about and makes you happy. Even if today your passion is Netflix. Or making these cookies. You deserve it.