Someone pointed out that I haven’t done a recipe post in a really long time, so I thought it was about time that I did one. I’m no stranger to dietary restrictions. I’ve mentioned before that both my mom and my brother are gluten free. I have several friends whose children have allergies to everything ranging from tree nuts to soy or corn and I even have a friend who is allergic to avocados. When I’m entertaining or I have people over I hate for anyone to feel left out so I do my best to try and make sure that there is something that everyone can eat. My latest challenge was two-fold. Everyone was congregating at my parents’ house to watch football (Go Broncos!) and I wanted to make a dessert. As both my mom and my brother would be there gluten was already out of the question. Well, my sister-in-law recently gave up dairy because she is nursing and it was adversely affecting my niece. So whatever I made needed to be gluten and dairy free, which was totally doable. I thought I might make some pavlovas or macrons. Then David hit me with a zinger. He has cut out all white sugar.
Now before you tell me that there are a lot of great paleo desserts out there that meet all of these dietary restrictions, let me tell you that I have tried a lot of them. Usually I like them, but I don’t have a big sweet tooth. My husband and my children are a different story. They don’t usually like my “healthy” desserts and rarely tolerate them. Nothing like slaving away in the kitchen only to have a child take one bite and spit it out with a resounding “blech.” I needed something that they weren’t going to think was healthy.
Enter Gwyneth. I’ve made several of Gwyneth Paltrow’s recipes from both of her cookbooks and they’ve all been a hit with my family. Her second book really focuses on clean eating (the first one is pretty clean too) so I flipped immediately to the sweets section. There was a recipe for Almond Butter Cookies with Maldon Salt that I decided to take for a spin. They were extremely easy to throw together and I’m not exaggerating when I say that they were a huge hit. These puppies are gluten-free, dairy free, vegan and sugar free (though unfortunately not calorie free). I’m hoping that these will work like a gateway drug and get everyone on board with healthy (or at least healthier) desserts in the future. These were successful enough that I’ve already successfully worked out my first adaptation! This also makes phenomenal cookie dough, and the best part is that since there are no raw eggs you can eat the dough to your hearts content without ever having to worry about getting salmonella.
Almond Butter Cookies with Maldon Salt
From Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good
Makes about 2-3 dozen cookies
- 1 ½ cups gluten-free multi-purpose flour (I used King Arthur for these)
- ¾ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup natural almond butter (the only ingredient should be almonds)
- 1 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Maldon sea salt, to taste (the original recipe says ½ teaspoon, but I just sprinkled a little on top of each cookie. You can also sub your favorite coarse sea salt – this is the one I used)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
- Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- Whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, fine sea salt and baking powder together in a small bowl and set aside.
- In another, larger bowl combine almond butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract, mixing until combined.
- Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, combining thoroughly.
- Spoon the dough onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart (any amount will work, but I like the cookies best when I used about 1 Tablespoon) and press down on each cookie to flatten it into a small disc (you can wet your fingers if you want, but it isn’t really necessary).
- Sprinkle each cookie with a little Maldon salt.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit and allow them to cool before serving.
I’ll be back soon with more from our European adventure!