Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookies
Grain-free, Dairy-free, Refined Sugar-free
Is there anything better than a warm chocolate chip cookie? That gooey center, melted chocolate chips oozing from the center and the delicious vanilla-caramel flavor. I dare you to think of something better.
I will say that the perfect chocolate chip cookie can be elusive and the recipe for one can be equally hard to snag.
Sometimes I feel like a woman obsessed when it comes to the chocolate chip cookie recipe. I have researched other recipes, tried all sort of different variations and I was never totally satisfied. And that was when I was just trying to make a gluten-free version of the classic favorite. When it came to making a paleo version of this beauty, I have tried many things.
Let’s talk about the fat. I have tried a couple different versions of fat for this recipe. I tried all almond butter, almond butter with a little bit of olive oil, and vegan butter. Lastly I tried the winning combo: almond butter and coconut oil.
This was a tough one for me. I do not like coconut oil very much. Coconut oil is a bit of a controversial ingredient: is it good or bad for you? There is evidence for both sides for sure. In my opinion and for me, I do not cook or bake with it often because coconut is something that does not always agree with my stomach. HOWEVER, when I was testing out different fats for this recipe, coconut oil was the only way that gave me the texture and flavor I wanted. Can I say why? I like to use all unrefined ingredients so I made sure to use organic virgin coconut oil (not refined). I did so because I wanted a slight coconut flavor from the unrefined coconut oil. Coconut extract is one of those little secret weapons for adding a little extra something-something to baked goods. You can certainly use refined coconut oil if that is what you prefer.
I found that coconut oil on its own was a little too oily so I needed another fat source to balance things out: hello almond butter. I think I go through about 3 giant jars of almond butter over a week. Almond butter gives a nutty flavor that is similar to browned butter and has a good amount of fat, but not as much as the straight coconut oil. I have only tested this recipe with smooth, unsweetened almond butter, but you could certainly try a seed butter or cashew butter.
Now, the next important ingredient: a kitchen scale.
I know, not an ingredient, but it is important. If there is one appliance or tool that I cannot recommend more it is a digital kitchen scale. I love it for a few reasons: first of all, there are less dishes too clean up. No more cleaning measuring cups over and over again when baking. Second, if I want to halve or double a recipe, it is so much easier to do if I measure ingredients by weight than volume. There are weights that roughly equal volumes. I think about it like this: 1/2 cup of butter (one stick) is 4 ounces or 113g. If want to swap out almond butter for butter, I measure out 4oz of almond butter. Baking is essentially all about ratios of fats, sugars, learners and flours and once you figure out a ratio that works, you can play around with variations.
Kitchen scales are not insanely expensive either. I have a OXO digital kitchen scale that I love and use daily.
Alright enough about the why of this recipe, let’s get to the recipe and get baking.
2oz virgin coconut oil, solid
3 oz smooth almond butter (unsweetened please!)
4 oz (1/2 cup) coconut sugar
1 tsp gluten-free vanilla extract
1 large pasture raised egg
3.5 oz (3/4 cup) almond flour
1 oz (1/4 cup) tapioca flour (not tapioca starch)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground Himalayan pink salt (or fine sea salt)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/3 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips (or use a chopped up chocolate bar)
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Make sure to get out any lumps in the almond flour.
In a large bowl, set on top of a zeroed kitchen scale, measure out 2 ounces of coconut oil and 3 ounces of almond butter. Once measured, throw in the microwave for 45 seconds to 1 minute to melt the coconut oil.
Once the coconut oil is melted, add the coconut sugar and the vanilla and whisk together until smooth. Add the egg and mix again until fully incorporated.
Using a spatula, fold in the almond flour mixture. Once fully incorporated, stir in the chocolate chips until evenly dispersed. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough onto the baking sheet, leaving about an inch and a half between each cookie.
Bake for 11 to 13 minutes; the edge with be golden brown and the centers will still look a little gooey; it is better to slightly under bake than over bake these.
Let cool for 15 minutes before topping your dairy-free ice cream with a cookie or smear some more almond butter on top, you know, for protein.