These cookies are some kind of wonderful. The best kind of wonderful, actually, because when chocolate is involved and it nourishes and energizes you instead of making you feel lethargic, groggy, and weighted-down, it’s pretty amazing.
I’ve been working on perfecting my grain-free naturally-sweetened chocolate chip cookie recipe for quite a while now, and I’ve tried all different variations. Some with a mashed banana base, some with a nut butter base. While they were all delicious, I wanted something that is as close as I could get it to a classic chocolate chip cookie flavor. No bananas welcome, and sorry nut butter, I still love you, but this isn’t the place for you, either.
A combo of almond and coconut flours work perfectly in these cookies, and I use the natural sweetness from maple syrup, molasses, and stevia (see the note below the recipe for more info on how much stevia to use). Molasses is an interesting natural sweetener that’s been around for a very long time; it’s derived from the process of turning refining sugarcane or sugar beets into sugar. Sugar is crystallized (through a boiling process) and removed, and syrupy molasses is what’s left.
Molasses has more nutrients than refined white sugar, including minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium. Interestingly enough, molasses is what’s added back into white sugar to make brown sugar. (You can read more about molasses on Wikipedia or Wise Geek.)
I couldn’t find a straight answer online as to whether molasses is paleo or not (I did find quite a few differing opinions though!). I’m leaning toward thinking it isn’t (but I am by no means an expert on the topic!), which is why I don’t consider these cookies paleo. If you prefer, you could skip the molasses and use an additional half tablespoon of maple syrup (not a full tablespoon because maple is sweeter than molasses), but I really like the flavor from molasses here. Classic chocolate chippers always have brown sugar, and the addition of molasses does a nice job of achieving that flavor in the finished product without using brown sugar (which is mostly white sugar, with a bit of molasses added back in).
About the texture of these cookies…after letting them cool on the tray, they are crisp outside and soft and chewy inside – perfect chocolate chipper texture! I prefer their texture on the same day (they tend to soften a bit by the second day), which is why I kept this batch on the smaller side. They are still find to eat on the second or even the third day, but any longer than that and I would put them in the fridge (not that I think they will last that long though!).
Bring on the milk.
- 1 cup (115 g) almond meal or flour (they are not the same thing, but either will work here)
- 3 tablespoons (20 g) coconut flour
- Scant ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1-3 packets stevia (see note below)
- 3 tablespoons (40 g) coconut oil, softened but not fully melted
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
- 1 large egg
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (115) dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat liners.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond meal, coconut flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and stevia; set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk the softened coconut oil until smooth, then whisk in the maple syrup and molasses; after that, whisk in the egg and vanilla extract.
- Use a wooden spoon to stir the dry ingredients into the wet all at once, then stir in the chocolate chips.
- Let the batter sit for 5 minutes (it will thicken), then use a 1½ tablespoon ice cream scoop to measure it onto the baking tray, leaving about 1 to 2 inches between each cookie. Wet your fingers with a little water, and slightly flatten each cookie.
- Bake until the cookies are set and golden on the bottom, about 12 to 14 minutes.
- Cool completely on the tray before removing with a metal spatula.