I made these for my friend, Vanessa, because she has a handful of food sensitives which leaves her unable to make a lot of my recipes. Sad face. My goal in making these was to keep out all the stuff she can't have, and throw together all the stuff she loves! Happy face. The visual inspiration came from a treat I saw in the dessert display shelf at Gorilla Food a couple days ago when I was there with Vanessa.

If you're getting tired of all these sweet recipes - especially after I've promised numerous times I'll be making more savoury stuff - please don't leave me yet! NEVER LEAVE MEEEE. I swear some non-desserts are on their way. *Cough cough raw vegan poutine cough* Having said that, you guys are giving me some great dessert ideas to rawify like tiramisu, ferrero rochers, chocolate croissants, baklava... so those should be expected too.

I think I'm in the midst of winter blues or something like it. I've been feeling pretty low lately. It's nothing physical - I'm as healthy as can be so don't ya worry about that. Nevertheless, emotionally I feel at rock bottom. Maybe it's because of what is going on in my life as far as relationships and personal struggles go, maybe it's because we haven't gotten sun in days and my body is telling me I need some vitamin D, maybe I'm just bored because school is done for a few weeks. Probably, it's a conglomeration of all those factors. All I know is that for the past two days (maybe more) I haven't wanted to see anyone, talk to anyone, or do anything besides burn smoky incense, cry for no reason and lay in bed listening to Joy Division, Swans, New Order, My Bloody Valentine, Radiohead, King Krule and Arcade Fire.

I know in years, I'm young (20 is considered young, right? I don't know anything anymore...)  but I can't help sensing that this gloomy feeling will never go away completely, but only be diminished temporarily by distractions like friends, romantic partners, school, movies, exercise, food, etc. It seems like the only things that aren't distractions are getting lost in great music and meditating. I've talked about this subject before: I usually feel utterly alone and lost in the world. I don't even feel human most of the time. I think I was meant to be a tree, or a sloth... or a moth.

Life is too emotionally overwhelming for me to cope with, and the fact that I feel that no one can understand what I go through every day only makes it more depressing. I mean even with my closest friends and family... they have never really seen what I am, and I don't know how to show them. But in any case, I don't particularly care about showing them. What's the point? Ya know? I hope some of you read this and can connect with my situation. Otherwise you are probably thinking, "Okay - this girl is crazy, naive AND mega depressing... I'm getting outta here."

Please don't go though! I made you cookies!

I certainly don't want to turn this into a pity party. I have an AMAZING LIFE. I am surrounded by loving, beautiful, devoted individuals who constantly make me feel great about who I am - that includes you! Thank you! I am young, healthy, getting a great education, financially stable (if that matters), living a gorgeous city, finding great success in work I absolutely love doing (this blog)... I mean I basically have my own dream life and couldn't possibly ask for more. The world seems to be on my side, blessing me with everything I could ever want; while my own mind is against me, never letting me be permanently content. This anguish has nothing to do with my life circumstances, it just seems to be part of my inherent nature. Once I described it as "being so happy, I have to be sad." Does that make an ounce of sense?

Ah, I dunno. Let's eat healthy food and worry about this later. I sincerely apologize if this post bummed you out. It's not like I'm faking it when I act happy - I can BE the happiest person I know! I'm just saying that it seems like my natural, default setting is sad... and I wish it was otherwise.

UPDATE: Okay so I wrote the post above about 2 days ago and I am relieved to say that since then, my spirits have been lifted substantially. A really good friend came over and made me feel loads better. Today I am ready to return to my positive and productive self. It's not like I am fixed forever; I know I'll be sad again at some point. But for now I am appreciating this renewed joy for all it is. I like to see happiness and sadness as intertwined and equally valuable, I work to find balance in all aspects of my life; and a balance between happiness and sadness is included in that.



Almond cacao cookies:
1 cup almonds
1 cup dates
2 heaping tablespoons cacao powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Salted maca caramel:
1 cup dates
2 tablespoons maca powder
Himalayan pink crystal salt, to taste
3/4 cup water, more or less as needed 

Topping (optional):
Pecan halves, walnut halves and/or almonds

To make the cookies: pulse the almonds into flour in a food processor, then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until it all sticks together. Press into the bottom of a lined baking pan and put in the fridge. 

To make the caramel: blend all the ingredients until smooth and thick like whipped cream. Put this in the fridge for about 2 hours. 

Use a cookie cutter to make your cookies, then scoop a spoonful of caramel on top of each one. Press a walnut, almond or pecan onto the dollop of caramel. Refrigerate overnight or at least for a few hours... then enjoy with fresh almond milk!