I seem to be on a healthy baking kick these days. Healthy is always great, but baking in weather like this (beastly hot) either means that you have a screw loose or you are VERY dedicated. I choose to believe the latter. My attempts at healthy baking this week have included Orange Poppy Seed Scones, Breakfast Crepes and Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies. All of the recipes (from Elana’s Pantry) have been gluten-free (no grains) and very low sugar. My results have been mixed, but I’ve learned some important things along the way:
#1. The quality of your almond flour matters. Although I have used Bob’s Red Mill products for years, I’ve learned that with almond flour the fineness of the grind makes a big difference. Finer grinds will provide a superior result. You can purchase finely ground almond flour on several online sites. (Elana gives a helpful list of online retailers here.) As a bonus, you’ll find that the online prices are cheaper than what you see in the stores. To that end, I have a shipment of very finely ground almond flour coming from Nuts.com tomorrow.
#2. Eggs create a cakey-er end product.
#3. Almond flour is flavorful and rich, so you may be able to cut back on the amount of added fat.
- 2 cups blanched almond flour (Joana’s Note: I added 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour to see if I could give the cookies more body)
- ½ teaspoon celtic sea salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup butter, room temperature (Joana’s Note: My cookies turned out a little more oily than I’d like. Perhaps the butter could be reduced?)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract (Joana’s Note: This seemed like a lot of extract to me. Since the dough turned out quite wet, perhaps this amount could also be reduced?)
- ½ cup maple syrup (Joana’s Note: I used 1/4 cup Agave Nectar + 1/4 cup Maple syrup to cut down on the glycemic index)
- ½ cup chocolate chips (Joana’s Note: I also added about a 1/4 cup chopped crystallized ginger)
- In a food processor , combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda
- Pulse in butter, vanilla, and maple syrup until dough forms
- Remove blade from processor and stir in chocolate chunks by hand
- Scoop dough one level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment lined baking sheet (Joana’s Note: These cookies spread so take the “one level tablespoon” directions to heart!)
- Press balls of dough down gently
- Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes
- Cool for 15 minutes (do not handle prior or cookies will break)
If you like crystallized ginger, I highly recommend it as an addition to these cookies. Ginger pairs beautifully with dark chocolate and notches up the taste sophistication level in these cookies.
As you’ll see from this photo, my batter using Bob’s Red Mill almond flour + the addition of 1 Tablespoon of Coconut Flour is still rather wet: