I make note of the people who decline a cookie on Cookie Mondays. Some just don't like sweets, and they can go eat some chicken or something because I'm all about sweets. But some people decline due to dietary restrictions - vegan, gluten-free, or - most recently - paleo. I've made gluten-free and vegan options in the past but had not yet attempted anything paleo. For those who do not know, the paleo diet is a new trendy diet that is actually pretty good. I can't do it, since there's a big emphasis on meat, but it sticks to the whole idea of "clean eating" and is not a bad thing at all. That being said, refined flours and sugars do not fit into the tenets of the paleo diet.
When my friend told me he had converted to paleoism, I made it a goal to find a cookie that he could eat. Because paleo avoids flour and dairy, it also meant the cookie could appeal to my gluten-free and vegan coworkers. I looked all over the place for a decent recipe, but most sounded pretty gross (to me). Then I came across this blog post from BakerGal, where the writer tested six different paleo cookies and used her experience from that to create one delicious paleo cookie. Obviously since it was tested so thoroughly, I decided to try out this composite recipe.
So. I made a small batch. I substituted coconut oil for the macadamia nut oil because that is what I had, and I found "very finely ground almond flour" at Wegmans (at 1am). I already had the coconut oil and agave nectar in my house, for reasons unbeknownst to me.
I thought they were gross. My gentleman ate one and said, "Babe. You can't. You can't give these out to people for Cookie Monday. These are not good. I'm sorry." He thought they were the main cookie I was giving out and didn't realize it was a paleo recipe. Once I explained it, he understood. But because of our reactions to it, I was very nervous serving them to my coworkers.
As it turns out, I shouldn't have been. My gentleman and I clearly just love the sugar and flour and butter too much and our palates are not cleansed to appreciate healthier baked goods. I actually got nothing but positive reactions to these cookies. That was really surprising but very exciting! It's excellent to know that I have a go-to recipe to use for friends with dietary restrictions. Yay!
Delicious Paleo Chocolate Chip Cookie
5 oz (1 1/4 cups) very finely ground blanched almond flour
1/4 teaspoon salt (optional, but recommended)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
1/8 cup macademia nut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
A scant 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Heat oven to 325.
Mix almond flour, salt, and baking soda well. In a small bowl, mix agave nectar, Macadamia nut oil, and vanilla. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing well. Add dark chocolate chips. Batter should be thick enough that you can roll a small ball between your palms and set it on the cookie sheet without it drooping or losing shape.
Make 16 - 20 small balls of paleo chocolate chip cookie dough and space them evenly on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press the cookies down as flat as possible with the palm of your hand. This is important! The cookies will NOT spread out on their own.
Bake about 6 minutes. Watch closely and remove when the edges start to brown.
Yield: 16-20 cookies