Thursday, April 28, 2011

"I Wish You Well" Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

I’m not a big fan of goodbyes. I’m a “hello” person; that’s what I do best. I would prefer a greeting embrace to a farewell kiss any day. Even “See you later” is better than goodbye.

 I believe Charles M. Schultz summed it up rather nicely:
"Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together?  I guess that wouldn't work.  Someone would leave.  Someone always leaves.  Then we would have to say good-bye.  I hate good-byes.  I know what I need.  I need more hellos."

So when it comes to me and goodbyes… I’m not a big fan.


It’s possible that people don’t really like the concept because that indicates a change in their lives. People can say goodbye to people, to ideas, to places, to beliefs. We hold on to things that are comfortable, and when it’s time to let go, sometimes we’re not ready.

I’ve also noticed I am more sentimental in my goodbyes when I don’t know someone particularly well or recently got to know them. You know these people; they’re in your life right now. They are blurred in the beginning, merely part of the background. But then, something brings them into focus, and you’re wondering why in the world you never noticed such a cool person before. And then… then they have to go. Their absence can be as short as a few hours. Their absence can be as long as eternity. Maybe they have a different class schedule. Maybe they are in a different country or continent. Maybe they’ve passed.

A goodbye is a goodbye is a goodbye. Regardless of the flavor, the majority of the time it isn’t pleasant.

But that’s not to say you can make it easier on yourself and on the other person (or place or thing). When I learned a classmate in my community conflict resolution class was being deployed, I was saddened. He was the second person to tell me that within thirty-six hours. Despite the politics and the conflicts with the war the U.S. and the Middle East are in, real people are suffering. Real people are having to say more goodbyes than one should in a lifetime. Sometimes, it’s a permanent one.

I don’t think anything is going to happen to my new friend, but I was still rather distraught to hear him leaving. He has that charm that makes everyone around him smile, and he is very easy to talk with. We talked about the Sufism and Mu'tazila philosophies and how it was possible to follow both. We talked about Islamophobia and what he did in the military. He's a talker, this one.

But that's what I like about him, and I look forward to his safe return.

“May the sun shine, all day long,
everything go right, and nothing wrong.
May those you love bring love back to you,
and may all the wishes you wish come true!”
~Irish Blessing

In fact, to ease the goodbye process (for me) I told him I wanted to make him something and asked him what he would like. He, knowing about my gluten free lifestyle as well as this blog, told me he wanted cookies.

“What kind of cookies?” I asked. 

“Chocolate,” his reply.

So I looked to Ruhlman’s book, not necessarily reading the fine print about how this was a shortbread cookie recipe and it didn’t spread. Meaning, the first batch were rolled into balls, thinking that they would. About one-third in on the cooking time I pulled them out of the oven and smooshed them down with a spoon. 

The result? Meh…

I tasted them and realized they were much too dry, likely from the cocoa powder. I didn’t want to give him a mediocre cookie. I wanted to give him something that he would enjoy, not just the sentiment behind it. So the next batch I tried unsweetened baking chocolate... and pressing them down before putting them into the oven. ;)

The result? Totally “See you later” worthy.

(I also want to give a shout-out to my awesome Daddy-O for getting me an electric mixer for Christmas. It really helped make these cookies spectacular and look forward to future recipes using it.)

"I Wish You Well" Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

2 oz Agave nectar
2 oz Coconut oil, room temperature
2 oz Baking chocolate
1 Egg
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1 oz Peanut butter
1 oz Quinoa flour
1 oz Amaranth flour
1 oz Arrowroot
1 oz Buckwheat
1 oz Millet

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Combine the agave, the coconut oil, the egg, the peanut butter and the baker’s chocolate until thoroughly mixed.
Fold in the dry ingredients gradually and mix until a uniform dough is combined (note: the dough will be rather sticky, but will easily form).
Using a tablespoon-sized measuring spoon, roll the dough into balls and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, and press them down to the thickness you want. 
Bake until cooked through, about 15 minutes or so (note: because there is relatively little fat, these cookies will not spread out as they bake and will have a satisfying crunch).

Makes 12 cookies.

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