Yesterday involved too much mac and cheese and a thunderous BOOM. The mac and cheese necessitated an afternoon nap on the couch and the explosion that rattled my apartment announced a raging gas fire right across the street.
Now, the morning after, Cookie and I are back on the couch, under a blanket, while news helicopters circle overhead. There are chocolate chip cookies calling my name from the coffee table, claiming that they can cure me of this insufferable writer’s block. Maybe I’ll have another.
These cookies have a lot going for them. For starters, they are absolutely delicious and everything that a chocolate chip cookie should be: chewy around the edges, soft in the middle, and full of rich chocolate and caramel-like flavors. They also happen to be gluten free, thanks to a simple combination of two flours (almond and coconut flours). They’re naturally sweetened with maple syrup, which lends a brown sugar-like sweetness. They’re eggless, too, which means that the recipe is easily veganized and that the cookie dough carries no risk of salmonella poisoning. These cookies are about as healthy as cookies can be.
My friend Tessa introduced me to these cookies a few weeks ago. We were sipping wine and watching Magic Mike during girls’ night when she set them on her coffee table. I took one bite and knew I had to share the recipe with you all—mostly because they are so very tasty, but also because I know that many of you are on the hunt for gluten-free and naturally sweetened recipes. I don’t try to avoid gluten myself, but my friend Tessa has cured herself of debilitating migraines by following a gluten-free, low-sugar diet. Isn’t that wonderful? I’m so glad she’s found what works for her.
I’ve made three batches of these cookies since that night, and I have some baking notes to share. The original recipe calls for almond flour, but I used almond meal from Trader Joe’s all three times and each batch turned out great anyway. I found Bob’s Red Mill coconut flour in the baking section at the local health food store. Coconut flour is essential to this recipe because its high fiber content soaks up the extra moisture from the liquid sweetener, ensuring that the cookies don’t spread out too much on the pan (more on that later).
The cookies taste fantastic whether you use maple syrup or honey, but I think maple syrup tastes more like brown sugar and yields a more traditionally flavored cookie. I also tried using coconut oil instead of butter, which, as you might expect, produced a cookie with a more pronounced coconut flavor. I’m partial to the butter version. I’m not quite sure why, but the coconut oil cookies were thinner and seemed ever-so-slightly brittle the next day. Lastly, I chose to chop up dark chocolate instead of using chocolate chips, so maybe I shouldn’t call these chocolate chip cookies after all. Whether you choose chips or chunks or chop your own chocolate, just make sure it’s good quality.
- ¾ cup almond flour or almond meal, very firmly packed (about 3 ounces or 100 grams)
- ¼ cup coconut flour, very firmly packed (about 1½ ounces or 43 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- dash cinnamon (optional)
- ½ cup butter or coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup real maple syrup (preferably grade B) or honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped, or 1 cup chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Pour in the melted butter (or coconut oil), maple syrup (or honey) and vanilla extract, and mix thoroughly. Stir in the chocolate.
- Let the dough rest for 5 minutes in the refrigerator so the coconut flour can absorb some of the excess moisture (or let the dough chill in the fridge for 10+ minutes if you want fat cookies, like those shown here). Scoop dough, one tablespoon at a time, in mounds onto the baking sheet, leaving a couple inches around each cookie.
- Bake for about 11 minutes, until golden brown. Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then slide the parchment paper onto a cooling rack to finish cooling. The cookies will be fragile when they are warm but will firm up as they cool.
Yields 24 small cookies.
Make it vegan: Just use the coconut oil instead of the butter, and choose maple syrup as your natural sweetener instead of the honey.