by Laura Hazelton, Contributing Writer
Everyone needs a cookie once in a while, and wouldn’t it be nice if that cookie wasn’t so bad for you? Well, these aren’t. They are full of healthy fats and protein and free of grains, gluten, dairy and processed sugar.
Birthday Party Dilemmas
We don’t have sweet treats at our house on a daily basis but it is important to me to have options when we need them. Birthday parties, family gatherings, or even play dates are all potential “cookie zones.” My kids have allergies so they can’t eat the treats at most gatherings but even if they didn’t have this restriction I really wouldn’t want them to. Processed flours, refined sugars and artificial colors are a recipe for the perfect storm, toddler-style.
While my daughter is old enough to understand why she can’t have the cake, cookies or ice cream being served, I certainly don’t want her to sit and watch everyone else partake while she can’t have any. My younger son is definitely not to this stage yet, so it is imperative that I have a substitute for these situations. With that in mind I’m perfectly happy to bring along a special treat to share.
Almond flour is my favorite gluten-free flour to work with. It doesn’t require any binders and has an amazing flavor for baked goods. We aren’t exclusively gluten-free, but since there is no soaking or sprouting needed (which is needed to properly prepare wheat), it is often the easiest choice. If you are new to gluten-free baking, almond flour is a great place to start.
The ingredient list is pretty short for these: almond flour, sea salt, baking soda, honey, oil, a lemon, almonds, and dried cranberries.
It’s important to use quality ingredients here. That means skip the craisins, which are full of refined sugar. A great real food alternative is the dried organic cranberries from Eden Organics. They are sweetened with organic apple juice and don’t contain any natural or artificial flavors. You will also want to use an organic lemon since you’ll be grating the peel.
Combine your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. I like to use my standing mixer for this. Give it a whirl to combine everything.
Whisk your wet ingredients together and add them in to the flour mixture.
Slowly add the dried cranberries and almonds. Your dough should stick together and feel a little oily. If it is sticking to your hands, add a little flour.
Using your hands, roll the dough into a little ball. These cookies are best kept small for even baking.
I like to make all of my cookie balls before pressing them out. Use your fingers to flatten them out so they are all about the same thickness.
Bake at 350 for 12 minutes. Your cute little cookies should be just starting to brown. I had plenty of help keeping an eye on them.
Let them cool for a few and then enjoy!
Try to eat only a sensible amount of these. I’ll leave the interpretation of “sensible” up to you.
In case you were wondering, these got the seal of approval from my brood.