I love Valentine’s Day! I know it’s over commercialized, but I love finding ways to make it personal to me and Joel, and the other people in my life that I love. I believe it’s always a good thing to celebrate love and to share love with others.
A few years ago, I started making these truffle cookies. I tweaked this recipe to be gluten free, and have made them that way since the beginning. Because these have such a small amount of flour in them, exchanging that for almond flour is no biggie. This recipe is mostly chocolate, so the almond flour that is here is just to act as a slight binder and thickener, along with the eggs and sugar. Maybe you’ve quit celebrating Valentine’s Day a long time ago, or you’ve become a bit disillusioned with the whole thing. Well, what if we just focused on this day as a day of love? Of love for others, of celebrating non-traditional relationships and families, and recognizing love for our fellow humans?
If you want to use February 14th to celebrate the love of a partner or mate, but don’t want to buy into the Hallmark holiday, I’ve got some ideas for you:
- Celebrate in a different way then what everyone else is doing.
Go for a hike, go to a museum, go on a picnic, or visit a place that is meaningful for the two of you for whatever reason. Forget chocolate if you don’t like it, eat cheesecake or carrots. Just make it all about the two of you and tune out the rest of the world. Another way to celebrate differently is to remember other people in your life that you love. Aunts, Uncles, Moms, and Dads, send a message of love to your circle. And don’t forget any friends or relatives in non-traditional relationships or not in a relationship. Give them your love and recognize their love as well. (Galentine’s Day?)
- Celebrate each other on a different day, a day you pick, that isn’t an anniversary or birthday.
The point of Valentine’s Day originated out of an era of courtly love. So court each other! Go on a date in the middle of summer, or take a romantic spring break trip. Forget what the calendar says and do what’s right for you.
- Make a pact with each other not to buy anything, or not to go against your food values on this holiday.
This year we are making a special dinner at home, with in-season ingredients (i.e. no chocolate covered strawberries!) It’s so easy to get caught up in seeing images online or in stores and wanting to buy things that you don’t really need or want – just because you feel obligated to. Making a gift is another fun and cute way to show love for each other, or crafting cards or gifts with your family to send to others. In the case of our food values, we are always doing our best to buy the food that’s in season. Since we moved to Central Oregon, we now have a strawberry patch in our garden. After tasting strawberries from our backyard, perfectly sweet, there’s no way I can enjoy a strawberry grown in January in the same way that is half white in the center and mealy. So, instead of forcing the natural, I eat strawberries by the bowlfuls in June, and enjoy something else sweet now…like citrus (chocolate covered orange wedges!?) or like these chocolate truffle cookies.
So I hope that gives you some ideas to love this holiday even more! I like to think of it as taking the good out of it, and making it be about my partner and me. If you are not in a relationship, make these cookies alllll for you and practice some self love!
Seriously, these are like a truffle inside:
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups Ghiradelli 60% Baking Chips, for melting in to the dough
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup Ghiradelli 60% Baking Chips, for mixing into the dough
- Coarse salt, such as Maldon Flaked Sea Salt, for sprinkling on top
- In a double boiler, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Turn off the stove and let chocolate sit over warm water.
- In a small bowl, combine almond flour, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. In a medium bowl, mix together sugar and eggs thoroughly with a whisk and slowly add the warm chocolate mixture. Stir to combine. Add vanilla extract and almond flour and mix. Cool for a few minutes (if batter is warm, chocolate chips will melt). Stir in chocolate chips.
- Chill for 10-15 minutes.
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Scoop rounded tablespoons of batter and place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Sprinkle each cookie lightly with a pinch of sea salt. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 7-8 minutes until the outside looks slightly cracked. Be very careful not to over bake cookies because they will continue to bake as they cool once removed from the oven. Cookies should be soft and gooey in the center.
- Let set up on warm cookie sheet for one minute, then move to a rack to cool completely. Store in a covered container for up to one week.
- You can make this dough several days ahead of time and store in the fridge. To bake, allow the dough to come to room temperature first.