The cup sat on the edge of the table in such a way that light flooded in from behind highlighting little peaks of the frothed leaf that sat suspended on the latte. I took its picture not because I was overwhelmed by its beauty or because I thought it’d make a compelling image but because I was procrastinating. I had gone there to write but found myself doing whatever I could to avoid facing the blank screen.
“At its root, perfectionism isn’t really about a deep love of being meticulous. It’s about fear. Fear of making a mistake. Fear of disappointing others. Fear of failure. Fear of success.”
― Michael Law
I don’t know who Michael Law is. I’ve never read any of his books. Truth be told I found this quote on GoodReads after doing a google search, “quotes on perfectionism”.
Regardless of where it came from he made the connection of perfectionism to fear that I was seeking for in my own understanding. I had always thought a perfectionist was one who was impeccable and tidy. I’m not those things, but I am often paralyzed by the fear of failed expectations. Those high expectations and fear of putting anything out into the world that doesn’t meet those expectations can often keep me from creating and that scares me most of all.
Can you do me a favor? Can we all agree that this space isn’t perfect? Nor should it be. That would help me out a lot.
In my last post I said that there is nothing more inspiring than seeing someone with great passion actually putting their dream into action. It’s the opposite of this that makes me terribly sad. When other creative types (of which I have many in my life) speak of their own insecurities and when I sense a paralysis in their creating process because of it, my heart breaks. I flood them with praise and nearly beg them to get out of their own head as it’s a waste of time and will do nothing except hinder their creativity. I realize the irony of this.
In the book of Ecclesiastes it talks about the problem of waiting on the perfect moment. If I wait until I’ve crafted the perfect blog post I will never hit “publish”. If I wait until I’m completely satisfied with my images I will never let them be seen. If I wait to share my food until it’s perfectly seasoned then I will never have the joy of sitting around the table with friends. If I wait on the perfect moment, I will spend forever waiting.
The recipe I have for you today can not and will not wait forever. Regardless of the fumbled words or the images I’m not completely satisfied with, I want you to have these cookies now.
The three o’clock urge for something sweet inspired this recipe. My sweet cravings inevitably lead to cookies – more specifically these cookies. But I feel that making the same thing repeatedly is a missed opportunity for something new. So I reworked the recipe, played around with flours, took out the eggs, added flax and tucked in a few new flavors. They may not be perfect, as nothing ever is, but they’re pretty darn close and that’s enough for me.
Cherry, Almond Chocolate Chip Cookies
There are a few ingredients listed below that may not be pantry staples but the extra trip to the store will be rewarded. These cookies were born out of a desire for cookies while also a desire to add a bit more intrigue and healthy bits to my sweet fix. And to be perfectly honest the reason why there are no eggs in this recipe is because I ran out of eggs at home but now I’m completely in love with flax so it all worked out.
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup Turbinado sugar (sugar in the raw – you could also use demerara sugar)
1 teaspoon instant espresso
1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds (I used whole flax seeds that I ground in my spice grinder).
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup almond meal, toasted (350* for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden)
¾ cup white whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup dried cherries
1 cup chopped dark chocolate (I used Theo’s 70% with cocoa nibs that they had sent me recently – you can add a couple tablespoons cocoa nibs for a bit of earthy crunch if you’d like).
Pre-heat your oven to 350*.
Combine the flax and water in a small bowl and set aside.
Cream the butter and the sugar until smooth and light in color. Stir in the espresso powder. Add the flax mixture along with the vanilla extract. Stir until well combined.
In a separate bowl whisk together the toasted almond meal, flour, baking soda and salt. Add this to the wet ingredients. Just before the mixture all comes together add the dried cherries and chocolate. Stir until well combined.
Bake at 350* for 12 to 15 minutes or until just golden around the edges and the center still unset. Cool on a wire rack.