Almond Coconut Cookies (Gluten-free and Butter-free)

For the past 3 years, I’ve been making my husband’s favorite almond cookies, but I’m trying to move away from using butter in his baked goods. Minimalist Baker has a fantastic almond meal cookie recipe that uses no butter! I didn’t have any dark chocolate, so I used a combination of half-milk chocolate and half-semisweet chocolate chips instead. Also, I added 1/4 tsp almond extract to the mix. In my kitchen adventures I have discovered that accidentally adding that amount of almond extract to any cookie batch makes the almond taste stand out much more. My poor KitchenAid mixer was not happy when I combined the dry ingredients with the chocolate chips, so next time I will add the chocolate in at the end. This would also be nice with some crunchy walnuts, pecans, or slivered almonds.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups almond meal (or flour)
  • 1/4 cups chopped dark chocolate (or cacao nibs)–I used 1/8 cup milk chocolate chips and 1/8 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 3 T coconut oil, melted (zap it in the microwave for 10 seconds if it is solid)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • My addition: 1/4 tsp almond extract
  • 1 egg

Directions:

Combine almond meal, chocolate chips (I will add these at the very end next time, along with any nuts), coconut flakes, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg for a few seconds until light and frothy. Add the melted coconut oil and vanilla and almond extracts. Beat for 30 seconds or 1 minute. Add the dry mix and beat for 1 more minute.

The original recipe suggested the dough be chilled for 30 minutes or overnight, but I was short on time, and I baked them right away. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet 1.5 inches apart. Flatten each dough ball a bit.

Bake until the edges are brown, 7-10 minutes. In my oven it took about 12-13 minutes, but I also made the dough balls a bit larger than 1 inch. The recipe yields 20 cookies, 78 calories per cookie. I ended up with 11.

These were fantastic and will continue to be a presence in our household!

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