I’ve put off writing this for various reasons. Partly because our travels have kept us insanely busy, but mostly because this post marks the end of our four month European adventure. And despite the fact that I’m a very logical person who understands that avoiding doing something doesn’t make the inevitable disappear, I thought for certain that the longer I hesitated – the longer I covered my ears with my hands and shouted NO NO NO anytime Thom reminded me of our impending departure – the less real it would feel. So here I am, lying in bed at 4 o’clock in the afternoon in attempts to recover from last night’s bad decisions (which included one too many drinks and a solo doughnut feast at 2AM) (sea salt potato chip and hazelnut doughnut feast, I should add) and I figured there was no better time to face reality than now.
We leave Europe in four days and my heart is heavy. So heavy. Heavier than I thought it would be considering just one month ago, when I was so cracked out on synthetic hormones it was doing some seriously crazy shit to my body (numb legs, hella hair loss, insatiable hunger, etc), there was nothing I wanted more than to be back home with my fancy mixer and memory foam mattress and all that other stupid shit I used to think we required to be happy.
Truth is, I’ve never been happier than where I am right now. Living out of a 60L backpack and sleeping in beds that aren’t nearly as comfortable as my own/smell kind of funny because some Europeans have a tendency to leave things in the washer overnight before they hang them out to dry. And as much as I hate the smell, or as much as I would prefer to be able to take a shower longer than five minutes so I can shave my legs without missing spots or cutting the knobby parts around my knees, I am so unbelievably happy here. So happy that last night, before the bad decision making really progressed, I half jokingly told Thom, We could just stay here forever, you know.
He laughed and reminded me that we have an apartment and unfinished business and people who deserve a proper farewell. So instead we made a pact at a tiny table in the back of a dive-y bar in the Gothic quarter of Barcelona. With our hearts and our mouths and our pinkies, we made a promise to each other that in a couple of years – when things are far less eventful and chaotic than they are at this particular moment in time – we’ll return with a master plan and heavy boxes packed with only our most essential belongings. Kind of like we did for this trip, but with the intention of settling down and calling this place home. Because if there’s one thing I’ve learned during this four month adventure, it’s that I deserve to be happy.
We all deserve to be happy.
Notes: You can replace the coconut oil and milk with 1/2 cup of vegan butter, if desired. Or shortening – that will make them super melt in your mouth. Make sure you fluff the flours before making this recipe – adding even a tablespoon too much coconut flour can result in super dry cookies because coconut soaks up a lot of liquid. The dough is delicate so work carefully. You can use coconut milk in the carton or full fat from the can – full fat is best because of its flavor. But you can also substitute almond milk, soy milk, etc.
COCONUT HORCHATA POLVORONES
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil, liquid
3 tbsp coconut milk, warmed
1/2 tsp fresh ground cinnamon
1/2 cup powdered cane sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
6 tbsp coconut flour
1/3 cup almond meal
Small pinch fine sea salt
Preheat oven to 300˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper; set aside. In small mixing bowl, combine the oil, milk, and cinnamon; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours, almond meal, and salt. Create a well in the center and add the wet ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon just until combined. If the dough feels a bit dry, and an extra tablespoon of coconut milk; if it feels a little moist – that’s perfect. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Line a flat surface with parchment paper and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Roll out the dough until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Using a 2″ cookie cutter, cut rounds from the dough. Repeat process with the scraps until you have 18-20 cookies. You don’t have to space them too far apart because they don’t spread at all. Bake at 300˚F for 8-9 minutes. If you prefer thicker cookies, you’ll want to bake them for 8-12 minutes, just until the tops start to crack. For thicker cookies (or round balls) bake for 10-12 minutes at 325˚F. Dust with powdered sugar.
Yield: 20 2″ cookies