I know Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I should have something heart shaped for you, but right now I have to confess I’m thinking more about my neighbor than I am about my sweetie. Let me explain…
When we moved here 6 years ago, there were a variety of features of our property that didn’t register as they probably should have. For example, I might have expected that a house on “Slate Hill Pl.” might not offer the most friable garden soil in the region. I might have investigated how difficult it would be to remove a urinal. I also really could have taken a moment to notice how VERY VERY long my driveway is.
Out of cheapness and a determination to prove my ruggedness, I forbade Mr. Little Sis to purchase some kind of machine to help us with the snow that might arrive on this driveway. For years my stubbornness bore few consequences, with the exception of one very long weekend of 4 feet of snow assisted by very kind and forgiving friends.
Enter the winter of 2013-2014. I’m reasonably certain we’ve had more individual snowfalls this year than we had over the last 3 years combined. The good news is that last year my resolve diminished during a holiday sale and we obtained machinery to help deal with precipitation on our VERY VERY long driveway. Ironically, my neighbor (who has an EVEN LONGER driveway) obtained an even larger, and faster snow moving machine.
So where are we going with all this (and WHEN DO WE GET THE COOKIES)? My wonderful neighbor, if he begins his task first, comes and does our driveway with his super fast machine, “to get us started.” His boost amounts to a good 75% of the work, and so Mr. Little Sis is freed up to go help another neighbor, who is a tough old bird, but will for some reason, let Mr. Little Sis (and no other neighbor) clear her drive. What happened when Mr. Little Sis was away during a storm? My neighbor plowed my drive, and another neighbor snuck out pre-dawn and shoveled out Ms. Mary. And the kids and I made cookies for everyone. Sometimes a little snow brings out the best in all of us.
So make ’em for your favorite neighbor, make ’em for your sweetie, make ’em for yourself. These are lower in sugar than the average cookie, although they are admittedly higher in chocolate than most chocolate chip cookies. These are a true treat – one will do and will be a real thank you to whoever deserves it the most.
Good Neighbor Chocolate Chip Cookies (DF) – makes enough to share
- 3/4 c coconut oil
- 1/2 c applesauce
- 2 c turbinado or coconut sugar
- 4 flax eggs (4 Tbs flax meal + 12 Tbs water)
- 4 t vanilla
- 1 t baking soda
- 1/2 t salt
- 4 c whole wheat pastry flour
- 3 c semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
- 1/2 c chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 375. In a medium bowl, combine baking soda, salt, and pastry flour. Set aside. In stand mixer bowl or large bowl, mix together coconut oil, applesauce, and sugar. Beat until thoroughly combined. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add dry ingredients and continue to mix until it looks like cookie batter. Add mix ins and combine.
Drop in cookie sized gobs (I use a cookie batter scoop) onto a greased cookie sheet or one lined with parchment. Bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 2 minutes ON the cookie sheet and then remove to wire racks.
WOW. Okay, that’s not the healthiest thing I’ve ever made, but daggone they are good. Happy Valentine’s Day. Happy Snow Day. Happy Neighborhood.