Oh how I wish the lady behind the checkout counter at the grocery store this morning could've felt the joy I did as I walked out the doors - eggs and butter cradled in my arms like a newborn child in the arms of mom - counting down the hours until its time for the baddest, realest, butteriest chocolate chip cookies ever.
I did take a brief stroll down the baking aisle to check the price of coconut oil, and gasped as I saw that a jar of that stuff is more than double what I paid for the organic butter. Psssshhhh. Not worth it.
About two years ago, when I visited my grandparents just after transitioning to a vegan diet my sophomore year of college, my grandpa saw me making a quick breakfast in the kitchen. When I told him it was sunflower seed butter and sliced banana on top of a sprouted grain tortilla, he wondered, "it's what?" His next question: "where's the butter?" The man worked for Land O' Lakes for the majority of his career, not to mention grew up in a time when sunflower seed butter and sprouted grains tortillas likely did not line grocery shelves. I sighed internally (to be polite), and did my best to patiently explain to him that as a vegan, I do not eat butter. The look on his face is one I won't ever forget and, not to be dramatic, still ties a little knot in my throat.
My dietary choices are mine and I make sure to keep them as uninfluenced by others (via external cues, social media, etc.) as possible. But, I've come to realize just how much I value the gravitational pull food can exert within a group of people, especially a close-knit family like ours that cherishes meals shared together. Again, I'm thankful for the calling and the courage from God to transition away from the vegan diet so that I can more fully enjoy food with loved ones.
Grandma and Grandma, I hope you read this, know that I'm smiling as I think of you both, and take note of the butter :)
Coconut oil is advertised as butter's "healthier" alternative, but right now, butter is healthier for me. Butter is more fun. Butter is bringing me joy and freedom and excitement than coconut oil ever has. Weird, huh?
There is a time and a place for coconut oil and flax eggs and almond flour. There is a time for sunflower seed butter and black beans and tofu. There is also a time for copious amounts of chocolate chips and butter. Irreplaceable butter. Guess which time it is right now?
Makes about 15 cookies
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the butter and coconut sugar. Whisk in the egg, vanilla extract, baking soda, and sea salt. Slowly stir in the flour until just combined (don't over-mix).
- Fold in the chocolate chips and refrigerate 20-30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Scoop spoonfuls of the dough onto the baking sheet about 2 inches apart from each other. Sprinkle sea salt on top of each, and bake for 12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
- Cool slightly before serving.