Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Vegan)

If we cannot make waves at least we can make ripples. 
Leah Lavelle

For someone who talks a lot about the art of slow living, I've been moving pretty quickly lately. I can always tell when I start to spiral into a crazy stream of unconscious acts by the way I breathe. A large sigh says a lot. To me, it means my body is trying to catch up with my mind, which has been racing circles so quickly around it's millions of thoughts that somehow breathing has been left out of the picture. When I'm in a room with at least one other person, and I let out that large huuuuuh, heavy breath, someone always has something to say. Mostly, there's a question about whether I'm ok, to which I respond: Yes, I was just catching my breath.

I'm desperate to get back to living intentionally, feeling present, and simply breathing again. So here I am, sitting on my sofa watching the steam rise from my cup of hot matcha tea while I do my best to focus on the single task I have given myself for this moment. This blog post. And while the timer for my laundry has just rung, and I can feel my stomach starting to rumble for a snack, I am going to pause. Breathe. Watch the steam disintegrate into thin air. Remember that I am here to write and everything else can wait. Their time will come.

I find it most useful to write down my goals for slow living, opposed to thinking up ideas that I will fade from my memory. Lately, my lists have been composed of things like this:

- read my book during my lunch breaks
- leave early for things, be the first one there
- park my car farther away, walk and observe my surroundings
- light incense and candles
- take time to care for myself
- take time to care for others
- lay in the grass and look up at the sky
- cook meals more often, sit down, eat slowly
- stop worrying about the future, live in the now

A lot of my baking is done on a whim. Unless of course, I have a planned order for a specific item. I never intended to bake chocolate chip cookies on the third Sunday in January. I just made them because sometimes you feel like eating a warm, gooey chocolate chip cookie. I think this sort of spontaneity is important when it comes to living in the moment and paying attention to what my body and mind are telling me. If it's Sunday afternoon and they're begging for the perfect cookie, then why not take the time to do something for myself, to make the best batch of salted chocolate chip cookies my tastebuds could ever ask for? There are a handful of activities I do that I am able to sink 100% of my attention into, where I can forget about everything else surrounding me, and baking is one of them. Despite the enormity of my exhaustion from 4am alarms and general feelings of holy-moly-this-life-we-live-isn't-easy, I can still feel joyous when flour and sugar meet and transform into sweet chocolate melodies that put all of those feelings at ease. 

Instead of butter or earth balance, these cookies are made using coconut oil and coconut milk, making them chewy and simply delightful. They're simple, sweet, and chocolatey enough to sooth you're worries and bring you back down to earth. So take some deep breaths, and eat a cookie or two, slowly and mindfully.

Salted Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies 
yield: 24 cookies
lightly adapted from: bakerbynature

- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder  
- 1/2 teaspoon salt 
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, solid 
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup cane sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
- 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk 
- 1/4 cup applesauce 
- 2 cups chopped dark chocolate
- sea salt 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir and set aside. 
  3. In a separate, large mixing bowl, whisk the coconut oil, sugars, and vanilla extract. Add the coconut milk and applesauce and whisk until well combined. 
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until combined into a batter. Stir in 1 3/4 cup of the chopped chocolate. 
  5. Scoop 2 tablespoon-sized cookies, about an inch apart, on the prepared sheet pan. Press remaining chocolate pieces onto the top of each cookie. Set the pan of cookies in the fridge for 5-10 minutes. 
  6. Bake chilled cookies for 9-11 minutes, or until the edges are golden. 
Little Baker Jess

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Maira Gall