Seriously chunky, rustic, and all around amazing – these grain free chocolate walnut cookies need to make it into your kitchen.
Do you have your go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe? For the longest time, sadly, I didn’t. (What?!?!) But, to be honest, only until recently did this bother me. My oldest baby, Ms. Sweet Potato, is a mere month away from starting kindergarten. Thinking about the beginning of this new chapter has filled me with every emotion possible, but it has also made me think of one of the most influential people in my life – my yoga teacher. Many years ago, she shared with me that she served her son, who’s now all grown up, chocolate chip cookies on the first day of each school year. I was struck by how beautiful and simple of a tradition this was. And a tradition like this tends to get out there – over the years the number of kids she was feeding chocolate goodness on that first day grew and grew. So, now that the count was on for my own little one, I was feeling the pressure.
In tackling my chocolate cookie problem, I knew I would go with my heavy baking hitters – coconut, almond, and/or teff flour. And in coming up with the winning recipe, I knew that I wanted to keep it to one flour and one starch. Years ago when I cut gluten out of my diet and went searching for alternatives to my favorite zucchini and banana breads, all I could find were recipes with 17 different flours. Yes, I’m exaggerating on the number, but it was honestly discouraging. I had all this enthusiasm to shift my lifestyle, but I felt like just to have a seat at the gluten-free table, I needed to go to a health food store and drop $50+ on flours made out of grass, chickpeas, potatoes and who know’s what else.
But here’s the deal – you don’t have to. Yes, the textures are a little better in the baked goods that come from a mixture of 17 flours, but all you really need is a one flour and one starch. That’s it. Because, let’s be real, when I wake up on a lazy Sunday morning and have the urge to make a baked good, with a minimalists approach to an ingredient list, the chances of me having to run to the store in my pajamas, coffee cup in hand and hair in a rat’s nest above my head are less likely. (This is better for
everyone others.) So, there you have it.
I have tried many o’ versions of these cookies and I have reached my favorite. Where do I even start with my love for these cookies? Only a bullet list can handle my feelings:
- Two flours. No more. And both not only gluten, but grain free as well.
- Relatively low on sugar … in cookie land that is.
- Free of the cake-batter texture result that many coconut flour recipes can have.
- Absolutely FULL, BURSTING with chocolate chunk and walnut goodness.
- Can easily be made vegan.
- Did I mention melted chocolaty goodness?
- Substitutions are easy.
Hope you love them.
- Arrowroot Starch – Also called arrowroot flour, is made from the root of the tropical plant Maranta arundinacea. I use it primarily in gluten-free baking (which always needs a starch component mixed in with the nut flour, coconut flour or teff flour) and I prefer it over potato starch as it’s more nutrient dense. These are the brands I buy – Organic and Non Organic. If you don’t have arrowroot but have tapioca starch, a 1:1 substitution typically works just fine!
- Chocolate Chips – The only Paleo-legal (free of grains, soy and dairy) chocolate chips are the Enjoy Life brand. If you can tolerate dairy, Green&Black’s is the brand I buy most often. It’s free of grains and soy, but is still processed on a facility with those ingredients.
- Coconut Butter – Coconut butter is the meat and oil of the coconut. Similar to a nut butter, when warmed it will separate into two layers – oil on top with the meat below. If this happens to yours, simply put the whole jar in a warm bowl of water until it is soft and then mix is all together again. Also, if after using most of your coconut butter, you get to the bottom of the jar and find that it’s hard as a rock, again, place the jar in a bowl of warm water until the meat is soft, add some coconut oil and then mix it all together. Here’s the brand I prefer.
- Coconut Flour – Here’s the brand I use.
Grain Free Chocolate Chunk Cookies with Coconut Flour
- 1/3 cup coconut flour
- 1/4 cup arrowroot starch can substitute tapioca starch, but NOT potato
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 eggs can substitute 2 flax eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil melted (can substitute butter or ghee)
- 1/3 cup coconut butter melted (can substitute almond butter, sunflower butter or tahini) *
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract can substitute 1/2 vanilla bean
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar can substitute beet sugar or cane sugar
- 1/2 chocolate chunks chunks roughly chopped from dark chocolate bar (65% or higher cacao)
- 1/3 cup walnuts roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 350.
While the oven is preheating, place the solid coconut oil and butter in the oven to melt it. I put them in a large a large measuring cup. Be careful.
Mix the dry ingredients together in one small bowl - coconut flour, arrowroot starch, salt and baking powder.
In a large bowl mix the liquid ingredients - eggs, coconut oil, coconut butter, vanilla extract - as well as the sugar. Mix until sugar starts to dissolve.
Add dry ingredients into the large bowl and mix until well combined.
Fold in the chocolate chunks and walnuts.
Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out a small amount at a time onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. (If using a normal-sized ice cream scoop, you'll want to fill the scoop about half full.) This batter is unlike a typical cookie. You will need to use your fingers to gently shape the cookies. They do not expand or change shape that much when cooked, and, I believe, are best presented in a rustic, imperfect shape.
Bake for 12-14 minutes or until edges are turning a light brown.
Allow the cookies to cool completely in the refrigerator (this helps the coconut oil set) before serving.
* The coconut butter helps majorly with the texture of these cookies. Almond butter and sunflower butter will also work, but the taste will be quite different.