Friday, July 29, 2011

Chewy Cinnamon Almond Cookies (gluten- and grain-free)

Mmmm, chewy and moist with a hint of cinnamon.  These cookies are a great treat!  They are delicious by themselves, and they also make a great base for a homemade ice cream sandwich. 

Chewy Cinnamon Almond Cookies
Makes 18 large cookies
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 5 Tb honey
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract, preferably organic
  • 2&1/2 cups almond flour, preferably from crispy almonds*
  • 1/2 tsp celtic sea salt 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda**
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.  Turn off heat, and stir in the honey and vanilla extract.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.  
  3. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix well.
  4. Use a 1 to 2 Tb scoop or spoon to drop cookies onto a stoneware or greased sheet pan.  Don't flatten them as they will spread well on their own during baking. 
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 7-12 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.
  6. Allow the cookies to cool before moving them.
*Crispy almonds are almonds that have been soaked in water with a little salt for 12-24 hours and then dried in the dehydrator until crispy (which usually takes about 24 hours at 155 degrees F in my Nesco dehydrator). Soaking the nuts neutralizes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Phytic acid blocks mineral absorption of calcium and magnesium; enzyme inhibitors make nuts hard to digest. You could just make a large batch of crispy nuts to have on hand, and they are also much tastier for snacking that way, too. If the weather is nice, you can put the dehydrator on the back porch during the day to cut down on the heat and noise in the house.
**These cookies are are not technically GAPS-legal because the recipe includes baking soda, but they are SCD-legal.  Baking soda is not allowed on GAPS because it has a very strong alkalizing effect on the body (and most GAPS people already have low stomach acid, so strong alkalizers could be detrimental). We haven't had any problem with a little baking soda now and then, though.

This recipe is part of Handmade Christmas Gift Carnival, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Grain-Free Carnival, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet, Real Food Wednesday with Kelly the Kitchen Kop, Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist and Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade!

47 comments:

Maria said...

Yummy....I am so looking forward to making my first almond flour batch and trying all your recipes. Thank you for sharing,

Maria

Carol@easytobeglutenfree said...

These look great! I love using almond flour.

AprilShowers said...

These were great!! Although I did add 1/2 a cup of Enjoy Life mini choc. chips, so I cheated a little. Used my homemade almond meal,and my 4 boys & I gobbled these all up!

Sarah Smith said...

AprilShowers - Thanks for letting me know how they turned out! I'm glad your family liked them, and I bet they were great with chocolate chips!

Tara said...

Do you think coconut oil would work in place of the butter?

Sarah Smith said...

Yes, coconut oil should work well. If you try it, please let me know how they turn out!

Ubermom said...

This looks fabulous! My book club is meeting at my house this Saturday and I will definitely have to give this baby a go!

Laura said...

This look so good!! I am going to make them tomorrow night :)

Edie said...

We made these and they were great- fast, easy and delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

Bonny said...

These are so delicious! I made them twice in preparation for the hurricane that just came through (so the kids would have some yummy snacks on hand when the power went out). I thought Dr. Natasha said that pure bicarbonate of soda was fine (in the most recent edition that came out).

Sarah Smith said...

Great, Bonny! I actually don't have the most recent version of the GAPS book, so I was just going by what her website says. I just did another quick search and am not finding anywhere that baking soda is allowed on GAPS. Nonetheless, we haven't had any problems with using it occasionally.

Bonny said...

Thanks for your response, Sarah! On page 164 of the newest edition (published 2010), she puts on the "Foods to Avoid" list "Baking powder and raising agents of all kind apart from pure bicarbonate of soda". Which is what pure baking soda is, right? I remember when I saw that for the first time I was so excited! And in recipes that call for baking powder, I have found that baking soda and a little squeeze of lemon juice work wonderfully. My kids are absolutely loving this recipe. I'm about to go make some more right now to send with my son to school as a snack!

Katie @ This Chick Cooks said...

What a wonderful sounding recipe. I'm trying to cut back on grains and this sounds like a nice treat that my family would still enjoy (despite the lack of grains)
I can't wait to give this a try :)

Natalia said...

I am new to all this grain-free cooking. Can I use a ready store bought almond flour such as FunFresh Foods Gluten Free California Almond Flour
(http://www.vitacost.com/FunFresh-Foods-Gluten-Free-California-Almond-Flour)

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Natalia,
Yes, you can use almond flour from the store. I prefer to make my own using crispy nuts and nut flour because it is much healthier and easier to digest. Specifically, soaking the nuts reduces the amount of phytic acid in the nuts (phytic acid blocks absorption of minerals like calcium and magnesium in the digestive track). Of course, if you only eat a little bit of nuts, this is not an issue. We tend to eat more nuts on a grain-free diet, though, so I try to use crispy nuts whenever possible.

Laura said...

Okay so I finally got around to making these last night. I wish I had made them much sooner cuz they are sooooo good!!! The only bad thing is its hard to stop eating them!

Sarah Smith said...

Yay, Laura! I'm glad you like them!

Mellissa said...

WOW! I found your link on Frugally Sustainable, and I thought I would try this out. Our family has been gluten free for 18 months, and we ditched grains about 5 months ago. I was nervous to try these. I am not a *huge* honey fan (most of the recipes I have tried are so heavy on the honey, our family almost gets sick from the taste!) and I was a bit surprised about the lack of egg... however, I thought I would try these out. WOW! They are amazing! Thank you SO much for sharing this! These came out chewy, delicious, lightly sweet, and perfectly cinnamon-licious! Thanks!!!

Sarah Smith said...

Wonderful, Mellissa! I'm glad you liked them!

Kimmy said...

These are amazing!! I used coconut oil instead of butter (paleo diet) and they turned out superb! I made a dessert with these , frozen raspberries, 3 cookies broken into pieces drizzled with pure maple syrup - like fruit crumble but even better!!

Sarah Smith said...

Great Kimmy! That fruit crumble sounds delicious.

Amanda said...

Looks awesome! But are almond meal and almond flour interchangeable?

Sarah Smith said...

Hi Amanda,
It is preferred to use soaked, dried nuts and make your own almond flour because this helps to neutralize the antinutrients in the almonds (such as phytic acid). If you are going to buy pre-ground almonds, I think blanched almond flour is preferred as the skins are removed (and the skins contain most of the antinutrients). Almond meal still contains the skins.

Anonymous said...

Hehehe...I just tried to make them, but I had no parchment paper, so I figured, "eh, I can probably just pry them off!" Well...I didn't get cookies, but I did get some delicious grain-free granola!

Sarah Smith said...

Hahahaha!!!

Anonymous said...

Could you tell me how you make almond flour? Is is 1/4 lb almonds equal 1 cup flour? Thanks so much.

R~

Sarah Smith said...

I make almond flour by grinding crispy almonds (which are almonds that have been soaked in salty water and then dehydrated) in my food processor. I'm not sure of the amounts as I've ever weighed mine.

Jen said...

These look great. I have a friend who makes something similar and I have been dying for the recipe. I think I will try these instead. :) Yum

Caroline said...

Made these today and they're delicious!! I added raisins. My husband and 20 month old daughter love them, too. Thanks!!

Lani said...

I just made these - they taste good but are soft not chewy and didnt spread at all so I had to flatten them halfway through baking - any suggestions???

Sarah Smith said...

Hmmm, mine spread lots. Did you use homemade almond flour, or storebought? I think the homemade kind makes more chewy cookies since the flour is not very fine.

Natalia said...

Did I miss something or this recipe doesn't have eggs? I made these last night and they just fell apart, crumbled. I used crispy almond for the flour. I did make a slightly modified version before with 2 eggs and coconut flakes and those were fine

Sarah Smith said...

How strange. Mine do not fall apart at all (and I know of others who have made them with no problems as well). Did you make sure to let them cool before you scooped them off the baking tray? Putting the remaining ones in the fridge would probably help them stay together better...

Anonymous said...

I just made some of these and they are quite crumbly too. Itt's hard to resist pulling off bits and nibbling on them haha.

Natalia said...

I did cool them completely before attempting to get them from the tray, but they would just fall apart. I will give them one more try though because they are very yummy:)

amindfulparent said...

These turn out perfect every time for me! They are fantastic and we do them with coconut milk ice-cream in between as ice-cream sandwiches!! The kids love them!

deborah bier said...

These are yummy! I was surprised to see no eggs -- most grain free baking I've seen is heavy on the eggs. Thanks for the recipe.

Alessia Rosa said...

Yeah..It's Mother's Day, I'm on GAPS, and trying to find something to make for my mother. This place saved my life.

John Lederer said...

You use honey, but can we replace that with something else? (I don't care for honey, as it IMO is not much healthier than table sugar. It raises your blood sugar just as high). The cookies look DELICIOUS though!

Sarah Smith said...

I've never tried making them with anything besides honey, but I bet you could use maple syrup if you like. If you try to use a dry sweetener instead, you'll probably have to add something to make up for the missing wetness.

Susan C. said...

What happened? I didn't have any almonds to make my own flour, so used store bought. Other than that, I followed all directions. The "dough" was a only a bowl almond flour with a bit of moisture to make it crumbly. So I squeezed a bit together for each cookie. All I got was some hard, baked mounds of almond flour; no flattening into cookies. Disappointment. Being allergic to all grains, I was really looking forward to being able to eat a cookie of some kind.

Anonymous said...

I wasted a lot of fairly expensive ingredients on these. Like other commenters I ended up with basically almond flour rocks after baking.

I think you really need to specify a WEIGHT for your almond flour since grinding your own probably results in a much coarser version of almond flour compared to store-bought. Anyone using store-bought almond flour in this recipe while using the measurements you provide will most likely end up with rocks because the amount of flour is too great in comparison to the other ingredients because the flour is so much finer.

I really wanted these to work and kept tweaking them after cookie after cookie failed until I had used an entire pound of coconut flour and untold cups of butter only to end up throwing it all in the trash.

Lisa =) said...

Thanks so much for this YUMMY recipe! We made these this afternoon and they are SO scrumptious that its hard to believe that they are good for you =)
We didn't have almond flour, but I heard that one can substitute almond flour with ground sunflower seeds, which we did and it was amazing!! I doubled the recipe and used half coconut oil and half butter. This recipe is a keeper!!

Sarah Smith said...

Yay, I'm glad this recipe worked well for you!

Unknown said...

Just made these! Added 1/4 cup of sliced almonds and 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chunks. My batch made 35 cookies, which I baked for the full 12 minutes - crispy on the outside and ooey-gooey on the inside. So easy to make and SO very delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe, I love it!

Yvette Rodi said...

I have made these several times. It always comes out beautifully. I also only cook half of the recipe and roll up the remainder of the dough and freeze it. Then when I fel like a cookie I cut a few slices and place in the oven in frozen state. I have to say it still cooks up perfectly and tastes and looks the same as freshly baked. Love it. This way we never overeat as I can simply bale four cookies at a time. Thank you for this great recipe.

Sabrina Giliberti said...

These look great! Whats are the macros of one cookie?