chocolate spelt cookies

When you really get down to it, almost everything in life is temporary. Your car, your clothes, your schedule, your location, your age, your experiences, the conversation you’ll have on the phone tonight, the meal you’ll eat for dinner, the way you’ll put your gym shoes on and take them off again. These moments keep coming, quickly, passing through our fingers like shifting sand, and then are gone, replaced by something else, something which will also end.

chocolate cookies

Mentally, I know this. I know this. So I hate when I catch myself pushing, striving, demanding whatever temporary something seems very important in its moment, sacrificing faith, hope and love for the getting and grasping of that something Right Now. I hate that. Because while of course we need temporary places to live and temporary things to eat and temporary activities to pursue—that is not all we need. That is not most what we need. That is not what should govern my Everything Else. And I need to be reminded of this.

cookies

So that’s a good thing about food, you know? Food is extremely, necessarily temporal. The meals I made when I started this blog almost two years ago? Gone. The cookies I have posted (and posted! and posted! and am posting again today!)? Gone. The panini I made Saturday, the mango smoothie I blended Monday, the giant salad I thought I’d never finish at my work desk the other day? Every bit of it all: eaten and used and, gone.

Even today’s chocolate spelt cookies, riddled with chopped dark chocolate and topped by drizzled icing: all but three of them, already gone.

cookie in hand

And in fact, this is the chief problem many cite with cooking: you go through all that work, they think, and then you eat your cookies and have to do it all over again (kind of like taking a shower every day or going to sleep every night or sitting at the computer for hours at a time, but I digress).

I disagree. The way I see it, when I’m eating a bowl of blueberries or grabbing the last iced cookie from the fridge, I am experiencing built-in reminders—gifts, which provide opportunities to remember not just their inability to last, but my own.

iced spelt cookies

Maybe the real value of seeing the brevity of life lies in the perspective it offers. Nine times out of ten, whatever’s frustrating me at a given moment won’t matter a year from now, let alone 100. Of course we want to value our moments, which make up our lives, and we want to savor them, appreciate them, not take them for granted, but while doing that, shouldn’t we also stop sometimes and say, Man, this life is moving quickly. What am I doing with it?

It is my great conviction that we should ask these questions, that we should contemplate these things and make changes to our temporal day-to-day interactions and choices and relationships because of them, letting what is overarching in our beliefs determine what isn’t and not the other way around. For what it’s worth, these are things I think about when I’m doing all sorts of things, but especially lately, eating cookies.




Cookies N’ Cream Spelt Cookies
Adapted from Cuizoo

For more information on spelt flour, click here.

For the dark chocolate add-in, I finely chopped a half a 3.5-ounce bar from Trader Joe’s (the fair trade Swiss dark chocolate, which is quite nice), and I loved the tiny chunks of chocolate throughout the cookies. Feel free to add more or leave it out, based on your own preference.

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups spelt flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 sticks)
1/2 coconut oil
1/2 cup sucanat
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
just under 2 ounces dark chocolate, very finely chopped

Glaze (Optional):
1 cup organic powdered sugar
thinned with whole milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

In a medium bowl, combine spelt flour, cocoa, baking soda and sea salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl or in a stand mixer, cream butter with coconut oil until soft and fluffy. Add sucanat and honey, and cream for 1-2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time and blend well.

Gradually add the set-aside dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until just combined. Stir with a spatula to finish mixing and make sure the flour is completely incorporated. Fold in chopped chocolate.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 8-9 minutes, until just done. Let cool for one minute and remove to racks to cool completely.

Optional: While cookies are baking/cooling, mix glaze, adding enough milk to create a glaze consistency, and drizzle over cooled cookies. Let harden a bit and then store in a sealed container or in the freezer.

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 19 Comments

  1. heather

    oh i want! that would help me get through this morning at work. several of those, in fact. i have whole spelt berries at home — do you think my food processor would rebel if i tried to make flour out of them?

    cheers,

    *heather*

  2. Jacqui

    Well said. I’ve been catching myself thinking the same thing lately. Life really is moving too fast to worry about the small things and I’ve been trying to savor the best of the everyday little things. Cookies are definitely a pleasure well worth savoring. I’ve never used spelt flour, but I’ve been wanting to pick some up from the store every time I go. Maybe these cookies will be the first made with it!

  3. Alicia

    I think it’s pretty sweet that you talk about how cooking and baking takes so much time and effort, but it’s temporary, and then the food is gone. Because HELLO you help make the food permanent! Even though your hard work gets eaten up and is temporary, your work gets written down in recipes and blogs that aren’t temporary. They are around for as long as you want them to be, thank goodness, because then I can go back and make recipes that you used a long time ago.

  4. Susan

    I LOVE this post. And I love Alicia’s comment about how your recipes live forever through this blog. What you learn from all of those fleeting experiences stick – at least if it’s worthwhile.

  5. Maddie

    As much as I love cooking and baking, I often catch myself going through the motions with a grumble, thinking, “Why do I have to do this so darn often?” I’m guilty of getting caught up in routine items as if they were the big picture. This post is a really beautiful reminder that when time marches forward, the scenery’s changing whether you’re admiring it or just staring down at your shoes. Thanks so much for this!

  6. Kim

    Wonderfully put. And now I want cookies. It is interesting to think about, though, how everything (everything! even the internet, I’m sure!) is temporary. Nothing lasts forever. Not even us. Sigh. Now I’m back to thinking about that whole not-existing/lacking-consciousness thing. Instead, I shall think about cookies.

  7. Shannalee

    Heather, Let me know if you try it! I’ve heard good things about homemade flours, but only with mills (is that the right term?). Love your ambition!

    Jacqui, Well I hope so! These were actually my second attempt at spelt cookies and SO MUCH BETTER this time around. Turns out the recipe makes a big difference!

    Alicia, Ha! Well you’re right that blogs are a way of captivating and remembering (something I like!), but even the Internet won’t last forever forever. Or if this little piece of it did, I’m pretty sure people would forget about it eventually. :)

    Tim, Glad you approve! It was white spelt flour from Bob’s Red Mill.

    Susan, Thanks and you’re very sweet. Blogs are definitely good for remembering, you’re both right about that.

    Maddie, I know, right? Exactly what I think. You get it.

    Kim, Thanks, friend! Nothing lasts forever, not even us – exactly. Of course that makes me think about this verse in 2 Timothy that talks about how God’s destroyed the power of death and about what things will last forever… but I digress. You know how I like to do that. :)

  8. Stephanie

    The cookies are calling out to me, I have never used spelt flour but if it is a part of something this delicious than I am all for it.
    And your words resonate with me in so many ways. One of my favorite songs to enjoy and ponder is called “lovely ride” by the also lovely James Taylor. In it he shares that “the secret to life is enjoying the
    passage of time, any fool can do it, there aint nothin to it.” In this dreamy, seductive song he covers the temporary nature of life in the most simple and lyrical way. Take a listen and maybe it will become your theme song like it’s becomes mine when I need to take a breath and be in the moment…

  9. Angela@spinachtiger

    I like the perspective here on what is temporary. Spelt cookies I’ve never had, but I just had spelt pasta and it was so much better than whole wheat pasta. We have an excellent local pasta maker that sells it at our farmer’s market.

  10. jessiev

    the best part of food is the memory of it – because, really, we taste it once, and love it, and then remember loving that taste for the rest of our lives. you know? so when i crab about working so long on a meal that gets eaten so quickly, i need to remind myself that it is being and EATING together that is what counts. oh, and eating great food, of course!

    these cookies sound yummy!!

  11. Becky

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, about how I constantly put value in temporary things that will inevitably fail me. I know from experience that these things will fail me, yet I continue to fall into the same trap. I’m trying to always be mindful of the only One who deserves my praise and will never fail me, so thank you for the reminder. Oh, and I would devour these cookies if I could. I might just have to make a vegan version. :)

  12. Vicki

    As always, great post! I think Thanksgiving dinner (or any holiday dinner) is a great example of how one spends weeks planning and preparing this wonderful meal that gets consumed within an hour. Yet now that I have five of them under my belt, all that time invested in preparing for the meal has left me with wonderful memories of gathering two families and sometimes friends around the table. Those are memories I will cherish forever. Now if only I could learn to live in the moment outside of the kitchen as I do in the kitchen, I’d be all set!

  13. Danielle

    It’s funny you should raise these questions as I’ve spent the past week pondering about the temporality of life while sifting through emotions on the back of a nasty incident with a supposed friend. Emotions do a good job of clouding the bigger picture, so your reminder to take two steps back and to be present in the moment, is a timely one.

  14. Shannalee

    Stephanie, For me, the big draw with spelt flour is that it’s easier for your body to digest – that’s a huge thing! And I’m listening to that James Taylor song right now, thanks to you!

    Angela, Thanks! And I’m jealous of your farmers’ market! Most of ours don’t even start for a few more weeks. Hope you all are staying safe and dry down there!

    JessieV, Memory is definitely a gift, not just in regards to food but so many things. But even memory eventually fades – crazy to think about!

    Becky, I LOVE that you commented here. Made my day. And your thoughts here are excellent. Looking to that same One with you.

    Vicki, Ha! I think a lot of what we learn in the kitchen transitions into the rest of life. So I wouldn’t be surprised to know you’re already cherishing moments more than you’d think.

    Danielle, Oh I’m sorry to hear about the nasty incident with a friend. I have experienced enough of those (and caused enough, to be honest) to know how much they can hurt. You are wise to recognize emotion, as well as to find the ability to step back. Here’s to the grace that a larger perspective offers.

  15. molly

    Funny, I’ve long thought I love preparing food most BECAUSE it is temporary. Coming from a long line of fraught artists, all caught up in the end result, I appreciate food’s fleeting nature, the fact that it will all be gone tomorrow (or Thursday, or soon, anyway), whether it was a disaster or a delight. Something very freeing, there. That said? I love your gift idea, very much. Elevates the whole business by many levels. Thank you for that.

  16. The Leftoverist

    When I’m really stuck or frustrated, sometimes I say to myself, “This, too, shall pass.” When I don’t want something to end, sometimes I say to myself, “The definition of something good isn’t that it lasts forever.” You said those thing beautifully here.

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