nutty chocolate chip cookies

Blame it on the beautiful weather outside, the weekend I took away from the computer, the fact that a headache dominated most of Tuesday—whatever the case, this has been a week where I’ve felt a lot more like reading blogs than writing them. Do you ever get that way?

I mean, it makes sense. If blogging’s a form of communication, why shouldn’t there be days where we feel more like listening than talking, reading than writing? Like in real life, sometimes I’m most happy to let someone else tell me stories, without needing to respond, without needing to join in. Sometimes I just like to sit back and observe, without interjecting. Sometimes I’m doing enough thinking and processing in my own head, the kind that hasn’t reached any real conclusion, that I just want to keep it in there until it’s ready to make some sense.

And that’s fine.

cookie dough on sheet

Or at least, it would be fine, if it weren’t for these cookies. You know how I feel about cookies, and that really, I rarely meet one I don’t like—but people. Oh, people. These babies are different than any kind of cookie I’ve had before. They’re nutty and crumbly and packed with coconut. My brother said they remind him of those Girl Scout Samoas (which were my favorite, but these are better!). And you must, must make them. Soon.

oh these cookies!

They use almond meal instead of flour, Sucanat and honey instead of sugar and are loaded with good-for-you fats like coconut oil, almond butter and chopped nuts. Fresh from the oven, they’re a little crumbly, but so, so good. They come from Mae Bird, a beautiful site where Amanda takes these incredible, incredible photos of camping and food and mountains, and on certain days when I want to take in more than I put out, it’s nice to just lose myself in her world a little bit.

lots of chocolate cookies

You can find the recipe for these nutty chocolate coconut cookies that will change your life here. And in the interest of letting us all lose ourselves in other people’s perspectives this coming weekend, here are a few other places that have been grabbing my attention lately. Feel free to share yours in the comments!

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 25 Comments

  1. Jacqui

    yes, i get that way a lot. and while i often feel guilty about it, of course you make it seem like a good thing, so thanks! here’s to listening, and to homemade cookies that taste like samoas (!). i love samoas. see you tonight — i promise this time! :)

  2. Jenious

    I’ve been feeling that way lately as well. To rid myself of the accompanying guilt, I chalk it up to a “search for inspiration.” It’s perfectly fine to take a step back and simply witness. That’s what we need to do (as writers) to recharge. And, having a stash of these cookies on hand while reading isn’t such a bad deal…

  3. redmenace

    I have lots of days and weeks like that. It’s hard to get inspired to blog sometimes. I totally understand. You should be proud, however. The cookies look amazing. The pictures are inspiring and your writing is, as always, lovely and heartfelt.

  4. Kim

    I second Jacqui – Just when I’m feeling all guilty about being a “bad blogger,” you make me realize that perhaps I’m being a GOOD blogger by simply sitting back for a few days and reading. :)

  5. Tim

    hm… so, what if you are hanging out with someone who also likes to sit back and observe? Do you ever feel awkward because of the silence? Just curious…

  6. Caitlin

    I think that’s how I’ve been for the past year – so many things happening, I’ve been too overwhelmed to sit down, bake something, and tell people about it. I’m hoping that in a couple months that will change and that I’ll be a bit more active in the blogging thing. Until then though, you brought cookies. So nice of you! :)

  7. Jacqui

    I go through periods like that too. Right now so much produce is coming in season and I love to see what others are up to in the kitchen. I saw these on Amanda site a couple days ago and knew I was going to have to make them! Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Sue

    I do love to read and listen for a change, too! Not that I blog a lot, but sometimes communication just gets generally tiring… A day or two away from it ALL sounds fabulous right now! :)

  9. Maddie

    I know how you feel…I’m an obsessive editor/perfectionist, so sometimes writing is stressful, rather than the creative release I’d meant it to be. But oh my, these cookies! Having had a very similar one in LA this weekend, I would love to recreate the experience. Just don’t make me write about it! :)

  10. Shannalee

    Jacqui, Seriously, as if I haven’t pushed them enough what with the blog post and the exclamations tonight, you have to try these. Amazing. And good calories!

    Jenious, Love the phrase “search for inspiration” and the comment about recharging. Yes, yes.

    Redmenace, How funny is it that we were commenting on each other’s blogs at exactly the same moment?! Thank you for the kind words!

    Kim, Ha! I fully support sitting back. We’ll all do it together!

    Tim, Oh it’s soooo awkward. I try to avoid it at all costs.

    Caitlin, What? You’ve been blogging! I remember a fancy cake just a few days ago! I totally get being overwhelmed though, and I find the best way to avoid it is to simplify. Whenever possible.

    Jacqui, Do it! Do it! I cannot wait to hear what you think!

    Sue, It really does get tiring! But I have to say, I love reading about your lives with Elyse and Emily, so I hope you’ll keep feeling like communicating from time to time. 😉 Miss you!

    Maddie, Right? That’s exactly it – the editor/perfectionist side of me (hard to believe, what with all my typos, I know, but it’s true) prevents the enjoyment/creativity that I should be having. Ha about your last comment. I say some trips are just for enjoying, not sharing. :)

  11. Jane

    Shannalee, I know just what you mean. Sometimes I’ll have all the photos and recipe info ready for a new post, but I won’t have the inspiration to even write a meaningful blurb to go with them. So, I wait. And wait. And, usually, words come when they want to.

    Of course, a good cookie can help unlock inspiration, too.

    :) Jane

  12. Susan

    I LOVE samoas! I have to make them. And I know exactly how you feel – I did a lot more reading this week than writing.

  13. Vicki

    I have had an awesome idea for a blog that I have been trying to start for the last few years. I even had the idea to “promote” Chris’ and mine social media outlets (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) in an insert inside Christmas cards last year and included a “link” to my “blog” with the phrase “coming soon” thinking that would motivate me. Almost four months later and still no blog. Anyway, I enjoy being a social media observer. I don’t check Facebook and Twitter every day but I do make a point to go back to the last time I logged in and catch up on the feeds.

  14. jessiev

    yum, yum, yum. i write every day, i DO get tired of it. luckily, we live on a lake and when it is nice outside, i can go out and sit, or hop in the kayak. YEP.

  15. hootenannie

    I come to you for pure goodness of every blissful and beautiful thing.

    You come to me for words like “crotch” and “thong.”

    Fair trade. :)

  16. Shannalee

    Jane, Thanks for the empathy! So true that words come when they want to. So true.

    Vicki, My first reaction is, You’re going to start a blog? I want to read it! But then I think, hello? That’s the point, she doesn’t want to start one yet. Just know that when you do, I’d love to read.

    JessieV, Living on a lake sounds like a dream come true, especially with writing every day, sitting outside, kayaking… Jealous.

    Hootenannie, HA! Well when you put it like that, I’m even more sure that you’re the one getting the short end of the stick here. FYI I may or may not have read the thong post out loud to my friend.

  17. Angela@spinachtiger

    Yes, I feel this way at times. Sometimes, I just need to do nothing, browse sites freely without agenda of even learning something. Just being free. Some food bloggers put out a post every single day or 5 a week, but I wonder how and if they ever “listen” back. Not to say they don’t, but it can be the trap of a one way street.

  18. Terry

    If it’s blogs you like reading check out and

    P.S. I am making those cookies right now! Seriously great pics.

  19. Shannalee

    Angela, You make such a good point. I never really thought about that, but it would be so hard to post that often and still read/take in. Interesting.

    Terry, HA! Well you should know I’m already a big fan of both of those sites, in fact. And hope you like the cookies!

  20. Lisa

    Oh I comepletely agree. This is exactly how I’ve been feeling for the past two weeks. I think it’s because they have been such a ridiculously busy two weeks, between school work, a couple house crises, and crew regattas the last thing I feel like doing is blogging. I’ve barely even had time to cook let alone photograph and write about it. Yet, I feel kind of pressured to put out a post and at the same time I want to have something interesting to say. I don’t want to just turn out posts for the sake of it. You know what? As I’m sitting here writing this comment I believe I’ve just been inspired. HaHa. I already posted today and it wasn’t very interesting but I’ve just in this very moment come up with an idea of what I want to say.

    You’re cookies look delicious, I just bought 3lbs of almond meal from trader joes so this is just what I need. (except for the fact that I really need to cut back on baking for a bit haha ah well easier said than done I guess).

  21. Shannalee

    Lisa, I know! I hate it when blogging starts to feel like another thing to check off my to-do list, like it’s something I *have to* do. There’s a tricky balance to achieve in there… happy this got you inspired, though! That’s the best feeling. :) And hey, if you’re going to bake, bake these, I say. They’re practically good for you!

  22. Amanda Mae

    You’re right!!! They DO taste like Samoas!!! So glad you made them and liked them, aren’t they SO RICH!! :)

  23. Pingback: in case of silence | buckwheat buttermilk waffles | Food Loves Writing

  24. Alicia

    How important would you say the almond meal is in this recipe? I want to make these for Mother’s Day but I don’t have that… could I just use whole grain pastry flour do you think?

  25. Shannalee

    Alicia, It’s honestly hard for me to say because I haven’t tried these with the wheat pastry flour, but I would guess it WILL make a significant difference. Mostly because the nuttiness of the almond meal gives it such a good texture/flavor. The original recipe suggested coconut flour, so that’s another option, too. If you do try wheat, please let me know how it goes!

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