spelt walnut cookies

I think the next time someone asks me what’s so great about blogging, I’m going to say it’s pretty simple: the same things that are great about life.

By that, of course I’ll partly mean the food and partly the beauty and along with that the writing and the opportunities to experience new places and, you know, tons of other things—but mostly?

Mostly I’ll mean the people. And by that, I mean you.


Honestly, I can’t tell you how nice it is, the day right before making a huge leap, to receive dozens and dozens of notifications in your inbox, one right after another, some from friends and some from people you’ve never met, some from people who became friends through this very blog, filled with excitement and advice and encouragement. Thank you guys. Thank you for rejoicing with me.

There were those of you who said you’ve done the same thing, those of you who said you want to, those of you who were just happy to cheer along from your own corner of the world and Internet. I feel sometimes like I say this a lot, but, listen: I appreciate it.

It doesn’t get old to hear encouraging words, to be strengthened, heartened, given a boost. Not to me.

You know what else doesn’t get old? Cookies. Fresh-baked, hot out of the oven, a tray of them waiting for you to help yourself: cookies are one of my favorite things to bake and probably always will be. Maybe that’s why bringing you this new recipe, riddled with finely chopped walnuts and gobs of dark chocolate, feels entirely appropriate today.

dunking cookies in milk

I first made them last week and have made them two more times since, during which time I have e-mailed the recipe to friends, mailed a fresh batch to Texas, eaten four or five cookies in one sitting. They’re sturdy and nutty, firm enough for dunking and so delicious you’d never guess they happen to be vegan. The key is the walnuts, chopped so fine in a nut grinder that they form a sort of walnut meal, which creates a texture nothing short of revolutionary, unlike anything I’ve had before.

And also, if you were here, they’re exactly what I’d give you, right after a big hug and one more gushing thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Two days in: Self-employment is off to a good start, and by that I mean I don’t miss the office and am finding tons of things to do at home, but the whole thing still feels pretty new. More to come!

This blog: One thing I definitely know is I am and will be cooking more, which means we’ll be talking more here! It’s about time.

Spelt Walnut Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies
Adapted from Sweet and Natural

As mentioned above, note that I chopped the walnuts really small in a nut grinder, so that they made almost a walnut meal instead of chopped walnuts, and that made the texture awesome. Definitely would always do it that way.

2 cups spelt flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup Sucanat
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
2/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 3.5-ounce bar of very dark chocolate, chopped into tiny pieces
2/3 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: spelt flour, baking powder, baking soda, Sucanat and sea salt. In a separate bowl, stir together the wet ingredients: maple syrup, molasses, vanilla extract and coconut oil. The coconut oil requires a little extra effort to mix in with the liquids, but it will mush right down. Then, add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the dark chocolate chips and finely chopped walnuts. Place spoonfuls of batter on cookie sheets (I like to sprinkle a little sea salt on top) and bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Makes 24 cookies.

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 29 Comments

  1. Nick (Macheesmo)

    I can’t wait to hear about your adventures. It’s all very exciting. I’m sure I’ll be seeing your writing pop up all over the place :)

    And you’re right… cookies definitely don’t get old.

  2. Evan@sweets

    Im so envious! I wish I could do what you’ve done right now :) SO exciting! I still need a few more years in the work force to get my stuff together and then I’m right there with you! Congratulations and those cookies look delicious..now I need to get into the kitchen to make some myself :)

  3. Whitney

    I wish I had a dozen of these cookies right now. I envy the fact that you don’t have to go to the office tomorrow!

    Are you going to develop a website for your freelance services and whatnot?

  4. Sues

    I agree! Blogging friends and cookies are 2 things that never ever get old :) Congrats on your leap to the freelance world! I did it 2.5 years ago, and while it’s not always easy, I always LOVE it. I feel sooo lucky and so happy to be doing this at age 27 and hope I can do it forever :)

  5. jessiev

    i need to come over and have a few cookies. these look amazing!

  6. allison [a for aubergine]

    I want to eat a batch of these cookies right off the screen. I bet the molasses gives it such a deep flavor! I love the use of walnuts and dark chocolate; two of my fave things. Maybe I’ll make these this weekend? Or Friday night!

  7. redmenace

    It is pretty great to hear such good news. Everything you say sums up a lovely change in your love. Even the sound of your written voice is more relaxed. I’m so happy for you. Also, delighted to find these cookies. They look AMAZING.

    PS. I agree. Blogging gets better and better!

  8. redmenace

    That was supposed to say, “change in your life.” Sorry!

  9. Maddie

    Glad you’ve been hanging out more in the kitchen! If it means you’ll be sending more cookie photos our way, I’m all for it. (Seriously. I want one of those.)

    Also: I love when you find a vegan or otherwise “healthy” dessert that just tastes good, without explanation of how virtuous it is. I’m sure the walnut meal helped out in that regard…yum!

  10. Shannalee

    Nick, Well thank you for that vote of confidence, Nick! I love seeing all the smart ways you’re using blogging, by the way. It’s inspiring!

    Evan, Pay your time, and then maybe you can do it, too! That was totally how I looked at it. And also, there’s always good to be found, in an office or not. : )

    Whitney, I am! It’s currently under construction, but I’m happy to send it over to anyone who’s interested!

    Sues, So nice to hear that – and good for you on making it happen while you’re young! That’s fantastic.

    JessieV, These days, there’s always a fresh batch around! Come on over!

    Allison, You know, it’s funny you say that because in the original recipe, the blogger had said she would do it without molasses next time, as it’s such a small amount. I liked it, though. What def DID dramatically change the flour was when I used sorghum instead of maple syrup on the third batch – not bad, but totally different taste. So interesting! And PS – make them! The sooner the better!

    Redmenace, That was so cute. Like I e-mailed you, I think “change in love” is pretty accurate, too. Loving this new lifestyle already!

    Maddie, Thank you, sweet girl! And I couldn’t agree more about healthy recipes you don’t have to apologize for. This is one to hang onto!

  11. Jen

    what an exciting adventure, may you have great success! no doubt these gorgeous cookies will bring you luck. looking forward to reading more. xoxo

  12. Lisa at CC&T

    Loving all the ‘healthy’ cookie recipes you’re posting! I haven’t tried the buckwheat flour yet (and now I will add spelt to the list) but I recently made some Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies with a mix of AP and whole wheat flours – delicious! Enjoy the extra time cooking!

  13. Shannalee

    Jen, Thank you for your sweet words!

    Lisa, I’m loving all the cookies I’ve been eating! : ) Zucchini chocolate chip cookies sound so interesting – and I’ve heard a lot of good results come from mixing AP and wheat flours. Way to experiment!

  14. Caroline

    These look so delicious! I’m intrigued by the coconut oil, does it add a coconut flavor to the cookies?

    1. Shannalee

      Caroline – in this recipe, I didn’t even notice the coconut! It seems the more you cook with it, the less pronounced the flavor becomes, so it could be me…. But either way it’s not very strong. Try it!

  15. Stephanie

    Congratulations on your big leap. You’ll do great – and the cookies look terrific!

  16. Shannalee

    Stephanie, Thanks for that! I do hope you’re right!

  17. Joanna

    So, we devoured these in 2-1/2 days. We can’t decide if it’s the nuttiness of the spelt, the nuttiness of the nuts, the maple syrup, or the chocolate that makes them so addictive. I only wish I had doubled it!

  18. Shannalee

    Oh, Joanna. Reading your comment made me want these all over again!

  19. lindseyleona

    i just found this on pinterest and i am so excited i stumbled on you in my one word search for spelt:) i just started a big food adventure with my family and i will definitely be following you:) thank you so much for the insp! lovely lovely blog.

    1. Shannalee

      Lindsey, What an exciting comment—starting a big food adventure! Rooting for you. Let me know if I can do anything to help!

  20. Sue Ann Gleason

    Can’t wait to try these, Shanalee. ANYTHING that comes out of your kitchen inspires me. So glad you’ll be able to spend a little more time in that kitchen now that you’re enjoying self-employment. Wishing you an abundant transition!

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Thank you, Sue Ann! I became self-employed a few years ago, but reading through this old post from the early days reminds me how much I have to be thankful for in this season!

  21. Kathy Hoffman

    Hi Shanalee, I just discovered your blog a couple days ago through a Facebook post that I follow, and am new to alternative and gluten free cooking. I purchased the ingredients and made these cookies today but had to fudge a couple times because I didn’t end up with 2 full cups of spelt flour from the bulk bin at HEB and my maple syrup bottle wasn’t as full as I thought it was… The GREAT news is they were good even with my mini substitutions and my husband LIKES them!
    I plan to browse around and find more recipes :-)
    Thank you for all your hard work with this page

    1. Shanna Mallon

      I’m so glad, Kathy! Tim and I made these Monday night and cannot stop eating them! : )

  22. Sue Ann Gleason

    Oh my! I totally missed the date on this post. LOL Where does the time go?

    1. Shanna Mallon

      No worries, Sue! When I read through it again, I felt like it was happening now, and I’m the one living it, haha. : )

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