People ask me all the time, “don’t you miss … [insert pasta, bread, rice etc.]??” which the answer is always no. I was never a big sandwich for lunch kid, tuna or grilled cheeses will always have a special place in my heart between my Dad and me, but it’s not something I had every day. Nor where we a big pasta or rice for dinner people, we’re an Irish family with someone who’s allergic to potatoes (go figure) so our side was usually mashed yams with our meat and veggies. But cookies … now we’re talking because I LOVE cookies. You can keep your dry cakes, your disgusting crusted pies, cupcakes I can take or leave them, but I could never resist a good warm chocolate chip cookie. I’m that person, if I had a craving, I would be in my pjs at 9 pm stirring batter by hand just so I could have one or two … or four. Why is it that the fourth cookie always put you over the edge? Am I the only one who would have three cookies and really crave that fourth one despite knowing it was a bad idea?
So when I went primal, those 9 pm bake offs were out of the question. For anyone who’s tried baking primal cookies they will understand, for me it seems to be the hardest to pull off right. We’ve mastered the almond flour waffle, the delicious chocolate cake, yet finding a cookie with the same distinct texture and gooiness seems to elude us; in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, there’s some good recipes out there that give me that slight remembrance I need to get me past any cravings, but I could never give them to some die hard flour fan and tell them not to know something is up.
So when the annual Food Blogger’s Cookie swap notice came around I jumped at the chance to join especially since I’ve skipped the last two years. I wanted to see what other people, who bake gluten-free, would make to get some new ideas into my repertoire. Yet that idea back fired on me. You see out of X amount of Canadians that signed up, I was the only one who asked for gluten-free – oops! So instead of being a guinea pig for almond/coconut flour treats with coconut oil or sugar, I told my matches not to worry. Did I also mention I was asked to participate in a potluck cookie swap… ? Yeah suffice to say I’ve been endowed with large amounts of cookies ranging from delicious grain-free chocolate and peanut butter to wild ones like rosemary and olive oil shortbread. (Thank you to my three matches that sent me cookies!)
Despite all the cookies, I’m going to toot my own horn and say these were the best. I’ve been on a huge white chocolate and peppermint kick this year, thanks to the chocolate shop. These cookies nail that addiction on the head. The white chocolate chunks are mellow, but with a soft sweet decadence to them. Smashed candy canes add extra crunch to the cookie especially when you add them to the batter because you forget to put the chocolate into your cookies and realize it 30 seconds after your cookies are in the oven… *whistles*. The key to these cookies are the peppermint extract added to the batter, it adds a nice overall peppermint note that will make you keep grabbing for more. These grain-free ones made with almond flour are not a substitute for regular flour base ones, but when you haven’t had a cookie in a year they are to die for. Just be careful of that dreaded fourth cookie!
Note – The following recipe was not the same cookies I sent out to my three matches. Almond flour can get ridiculously expensive for three dozen cookies, not to mention fragile due to the lack of gluten, a binding agent. Because the cookies were being mailed, tossed around and who knows what else, I opted to make regular flour and white sugar cookies. For people interested in the flavours I used, but not wanting/willing to try the below recipe using almond flour, just take your traditional chocolate chip recipe and replace the chips with white chocolate chunks and add peppermint extract to the batter.
- ½ cups almond flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ melted coconut oil
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ½-1 tsp peppermint extract
- ½ white chocolate chunks
- 2-3 mini candy canes, crushed
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- In a mixing bowl, mix your dry ingredients. Mix in your egg, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Add in your peppermint extract, starting with a lower amount and then adding more as you taste. Don't be afraid to taste the raw batter, you will need to to determine the strength of your peppermint. Once the smell hits your nose, it will be really hard to determine by taste a taste tester is always handy. Stir. Add in your white chocolate chunks.
- Using an ice cream scoop (best invention for cookies ever!) or a spoon, spoon out your cookies in even amounts onto a baking sheet. I press my cookies a little bit, they won't really change shape in the oven. Sprinkle a little bit of candy cane on top.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until the bottom gets golden brown. Take out of the oven and let them cool a bit before moving to a cooling rack. They will be very soft right out of the oven so you won't want to move them right away.
- Eat and enjoy!