Nutty chocolate chip cookies {Gluten-free, paleo}

We have been experimenting with some grain-free or gluten-free recipes over the last several months. My hubby caught a parasite when we were in Haiti last summer and we were advised a natural way to get rid of it would be to stop feeding it sugars and grains - even natural ones. Long story short, Ericlee tried out a grain-free diet (also called a paleo diet) and got rid of the parasite. Paleo is all the rage right now with the CrossFit community.

Serving up grain-free eats seemed impossible to me at first. I do like to bake and using some of the alternative flours like coconut flour and almond flour was frustrating. The flours did not behave the way I was used to.

I was determined to find a chocolate chip cookie that tasted decent. My friend Jen turned me on to this recipe by BakerGal and then I ventured out to create my own. My hubby goes nuts (pun intended) about these chewy cookies. I love that they are protein-packed and have that familiar nutty-melty-chocolatey flavor. You won't feel guilty about downing a plate of these babies!

We are not eating 100% paleo or gluten-free now but we do see a lot of benefits of this style of eating. I love that I have this dessert option to share with friends who are paleo or gluten-free. And my kids are choosing these over regular chocolate chip cookies so I'd say they are winner in our household. My kids were fighting me yesterday for a scoop of cookie dough even before they were baked up!

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

-2 1/2 cups finely ground blanched almond flour*
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 cup raw honey
-1/4 cup raw virgin coconut oil, melted
-1 teaspoon vanilla
-1 cup chocolate chips (gluten-free)
-1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped (optional)

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Combine flour, sea salt, baking soda, honey, coconut oil and vanilla. Stir gently just to incorporate. You don't want to overwork the dough.
3. Mix in chocolate chips and nuts if desired.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Scoop tablespoons of dough onto cookie sheet.
5. Bake approximately 8-10 minutes until edges are just golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool a least 15 minutes without touching them. IF you try to take the cookies off the pan early, they will not set and turn out a gooey mess.

Makes 1 dozen.

*My favorite almond flour can be found in the nut section at Trader Joe's. This flour is more reasonably priced than other brands and is very finely ground for a smoother texture in the cookie.

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