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Cashew Sandies {Grain-free, Sugar-free, Egg and Dairy-free}

Grain-free Cashew Sandies

Grain-free Cashew Sandies

 

These Cashew Sandies are my take on a traditional Pecan Sandie that I often baked at the holidays. The cashews do a wonderful job of standing in for the sweetness of pecans in this recipe, and it’s a good thing I made them small, as they are quite rich! It’s a lightly sweet cookie, much like a shortbread.

There are times when recipes take lots of tweaking and fussing, and other times where they are the result of happy experimentation… this is the latter  😉  I was using lovely raw cashews to make cashew butter for a brownie recipe (that I will be posting soon), and after processing about a cup of raw cashews to the point of being finely ground, I added 1Tb of Nutiva coconut oil and continued to process until the mixture came together as a “nut butter”. One thing that I noticed right away, was that the texture of the cashew butter was smooth and very similar to the finished dough for pecan sandies… so I added a few more ingredients to add bulk, lift and flavor, and the following recipe is the result. I’ll be adding them to my holiday baking this year, and I hope you do too!

Note: I would normally sift powdered sugar over the top of a pecan sandie, but I didn’t have any powdered Swerve or erythritol on hand, so I just sprinkled a little granulated Swerve on top. Next time I make them, they will definitely look more festive!

Cashew Sandies

  • 1C raw cashews finely ground into nut butter
    with 1Tb coconut oil added for smoothness
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3Tb Swerve sweetener (or your choice to taste) plus more for sprinkling
  • 4Tb almond flour
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1Tb Nutiva virgin coconut oil (can use refined or butter in its place)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a food processor, combine all ingredients until a soft dough forms. (I made the cashew butter in the food processor and then added the remaining ingredients.) Form into 1” balls, and flatten slightly on baking parchment. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the cookies are just starting to brown delicately at the edges (I turn pan once during baking.) Remove to a rack to cool. Sprinkle sweetener over the top or sift with powdered sweetener. Do not try to lift cookies from parchment until they have cooled and become more sturdy. Makes about 24 cookies.

Cashew butter made from raw cashews and coconut oil

Cashew butter made from raw cashews and coconut oil.

Slightly flattened 1" balls on baking parchment

Slightly flattened 1″ balls on baking parchment

Cooled and delicious Cashew Sandies

Cooled and delicious Cashew Sandies

Cashew Sandies: Perfect after-school treat for my hungry teen!

Cashew Sandies: Perfect after-school treat for my hungry teen!

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Cinnamon Almond Snack Cookies {Grain Free, Vegan, Low Carb}

You know those roasted cinnamon almonds you find at festivals? The ones that make your mouth water just smelling them… but you know they are loaded with sugar and carbs, so you just pretend that smelling them is enough?

Well, you don’t have to fake it anymore! When these cookies were baking, my kitchen smelled just like cinnamon almonds, mmmm. They are made with almond butter and almond flour, as well as sugar substitutes to keep the carbs low. In fact, the carbs are SO low, that I added 70% dark chocolate, and they are still only 2.6g net carbs per cookie. No guilt or grain here!

I found that the dough was a bit sticky feeling, and slightly oily as I shaped the balls, but it turned out nicely. I tested a few different types in the batch I just made… one plain, cross-hatched like peanut butter cookies, one with chocolate pressed into the center, and one with chocolate and toasted almonds. No surprise that I liked that last version the most! I also sprinkled just a little large-flake kosher salt on them at the very end to set the chocolate off. If you like a mildly sweet cookie, I would start with the lower amounts of sweeteners, if you like it sweeter, adjust to your taste. I like mine a little less-sweet, as my tastes have changed over the past months. This is a slightly chewy, medium-dense cookie, pretty filling.

I’d also like to note that this is the first recipe that I have made with the blanched almond flour that I just bought at our local bulk store (Countryview for those in my area!) and so far I like it! The grind seems similar to the flour from Nuts.com, and the price is $4.79 per pound.

Cinnamon Almond Snack Cookies

  • 1/2 C almond butter
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tb coconut oil (or butter if you prefer)
  • 2-3 Tb Truvia (I used 2)
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 C almond flour
  • 2-3 Tb powdered erythritol (I used 2)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 5 Dark chocolate squares (optional) or vegan chocolate
  • toasted almonds (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients and mix well.
  2. Sift together almond flour, erythritol, baking soda and salt, and add to almond butter mixture.
  3. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto cookie sheet lined with baking parchment.
  4. Flatten balls into discs with your fingers. Wet fingers slightly if the dough is too sticky.
  5. If using chocolate squares, chop each square into 4 quarters, and press one piece into each cookie.
  6. Bake for 3 minutes, and then remove from oven if using toasted almonds.
  7. Place nuts on top of the chocolate, rotate pan, and return to oven for 5-8 minutes for a total cooking time of 8-11 minutes.
  8. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
    Makes about 20 cookies. 1.6g net carbs per cookie plain, 2.6 per cookie with chocolate pieces.

 

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Chocolate Chip Cookies with Almond Flour {Grain free and Low Carb!}

Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Even those of us enjoying a grain-free and low-carb lifestyle have a hankering for a classic treat from time to time! The trick is to minimize the damaging ingredients (such as grains and sugar) and maximize the flavors. Almond flour is a natural fit for this recipe, as the nuttiness matches well to the dark chocolate. To keep the carbs low, be sure to get chips with as high of a cocoa content as possible, aiming for 85% (you may even want to buy a dark chocolate bar and break into small pieces.)  As many of us also have children and teens in the house (not to mention husbands!) it’s helpful to be able to provide “sweets” that make them feel a little more normal, while knowing that we are supporting good health at the same time!

I adapted this from a recipe from the extremely talented Elana, and you can find it here on her blog. The changes I made were to switch away from grapeseed oil, as it’s not compliant with the Wheat Belly eating plan, and to switch out the agave syrup as well, for the same reason. Hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Baked on ParchmentAlmond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/2 C blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C healthy oil (I used half butter and half virgin coconut oil)
  • 1 Tb vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C powdered erythritol
  • 1/2 C dark chocolate chips
  • 1/4 chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together wet ingredients. If you are using butter and/or coconut oil, be sure they are melted into liquid form.
  3. Mix the wet into the dry, combine completely. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts (if using.)
  4. Place in flattened circles on a parchment-lined sheet, using about 1 Tb per cookie.
  5. Bake for about 7 minutes, or until the edges are browned. The original recipe suggests 7-10 min, but they get dark very quickly, so do keep an eye on them.
  6. Remove whole sheet of parchment to a wire rack to cool, or set the entire pan in a safe place to cool. If the cookies are moved before they cool 10-15 minutes, they will crumble and fall apart. They firm up as they cool though. Makes 18 cookies.

Note: Made with 60% cocoa Ghirardelli chocolate chips, there are about 4.4 net carbs per cookie. If you use a higher cocoa chocolate chip, you can get that number even lower.
***Adding an egg is optional, if you would like. It does help the cookie hold together a little easier, but I think it makes it a little softer. Great either way!

Gooey Goodness

 

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