Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Happy holidays! Hoping everyone is having a beautiful day, where ever you are and whatever you are up to. We’re taking it easy, with no fancy plans, aside from maybe making a fresh batch of eggnog. I am so thankful to have a break from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the year — time to slow down, get outside (fingers crossed for some warmer weather later this week! 🤞), and even some creative recipe development without the time constraints of the normal work week (been working on lots of videos! Check out this one for homemade loose leaf chai! Also still trying to use up all of the spaghetti squash harvest from the garden). And, eating these gluten-free chocolate pecan thumbprint cookies!

These cookies.

Just almond flour, honey, butter, salt and baking soda combine to make a surprisingly soft but sturdy and satisfying cookie, something I discovered when I made these Paleo chocolate vanilla pinwheel cookies two years ago (2016 seems like so long ago! We had just moved into our house, I remember rolling out the cookie dough next to the wall between our kitchen and dining table. Just a few weeks later, we removed the wall and the house looks about 1,000x better! But I digress...)

Thumbprint cookies — a Swedish treat traditionally made with a raspberry filling - have always looked festive to me. When filled with raspberry jam, they gleam in the light like little gems. But raspberry is a very summery flavor, and my inner chocoholic screamed “ganache!!” and I gave in easily, filling each with a melted 85% Dark Chocolate Lindt Bar.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

The result is similar to those chocolate kiss-topped peanut butter cookies we’ve all had at many a Christmas party, but with more delicate flavors. Toasted pecans with chocolate is an unparalleled combo in desserts in my book, one that fills your kitchen with the smells of caramelly nuts and fruity cacao scent.

The cookie dough in this recipe is fairly flexible when it comes to flour. I tested using 1/2 cup gluten-free measure for measure flour (King Arthur flour) in place of 1/2 cup of almond flour and the result was almost the same as using all almond flour. That’s not to say I’ve tested everything! But I’m confident you’ll love these. The dough will crack a bit when you go to make the thumbprints, but that doesn’t impact the cookie much. We’re not going for perfect here — once you add the chocolate and the pecans, they’ll look (and be) absolutely delicious!

Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies
Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Gluten-Free Chocolate Pecan Thumbprint Cookies

Published December 25, 2018 by
   Print This Recipe

Yield: 15   |    Active Time: 40 minutes



Ingredients:

  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • For the filling:
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips (or a chopped up dark chocolate bar)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves, toasted

  • Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
    2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda and whisk briefly to combine.
    3. Add melted oil/butter, honey, and vanilla and stir dough with a spatula until a stiff dough forms.
    4. Shape cookies: scoop cookie dough by the tablespoonful into the palm of your hand. Shape into a sphere, and then place on a prepared cookie sheet. Using a smaller spoon or you thumb, make an indent in the center of the cookie. The dough may crack a bit around the edges, which is fine; if you like, you can carefully press it together with your fingers.
    5. Repeat step 4 until all of the dough is used. Leave at least 1/2 inch between each cookie on the baking sheet.
    6. Place cookies in oven on middle rack and bake for 10-13 minutes. Cookies should be golden and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
    7. While cookies cool, make the filling. Melt chocolate and 1 tablespoon butter/oil in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave by heating at 30-second intervals, stirring between each round, or in a double boiler.
    8. When cookies have cooled enough to be easily handled, carefully spoon chocolate into the center of each, and place a single pecan half in the center of each. Allow chocolate to set for 10-15 minutes, and then serve or store in an air-tight contain for a week.

    Comment

    Almond Flour Zucchini Bread Pancakes

    Almond Flour Zucchini Bread Pancakes

    It’s that season! Yes, the time of year when zucchini are the size of baseball bats, big enough to serve a crowd. Perhaps you’re swimming in zucchini, or maybe you found a really good deal on some oversized zukes at the farmers market — either way, zucchini bread pancakes are the way to go! 

    I’ve never heard anyone complain about pancakes for breakfast, and these pancakes are extra special. Just like zucchini bread, these pancakes are spiced with nutmeg and cinnamon, making them feel extra cozy, especially when slathered with butter and drizzled with maple syrup. 

    Almond Flour Zucchini Bread Pancakes
    Almond Flour Zucchini Bread Pancakes

    There are thousands of recipes for zucchini bread on the internet. Some call for walnuts, while others call for chocolate chips. But why choose? This recipe is absolutely delicious with both, bites of nutty crunch and melty chocolate. And yeah, it feels a little bit like dessert for breakfast but there is zucchini in there.

    This recipe uses for almond flour, which makes for a satisfying pancake but is also the reason why I highly recommend using a non-stick pan. I tried a few in a enameled cast iron (Le Creuset) because we own very few non-stick pans, and the results was no good. So, avoid frustration, and use a true non-stick pan! You'll be flipping pancakes like a pro. 

    Almond Flour Zucchini Bread Pancakes

    Almond Flour Zucchini Bread Pancakes

    Published July 19, 2018 by
       Print This Recipe

    Serves: 4   |    Active Time: 90 minutes



    Ingredients:

  • 9 ounces shredded zucchini
  • 1-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch (tapioca flour can also be used)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter, plus more for cooking and serving
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup plus more for serving
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips or finely diced walnuts (feel free to do half chocolate chips and half walnuts, too!)

  • Directions:

    1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine: almond flour, arrowroot starch, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, combine: 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 3/4 cup milk, 2 eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until frothy, and then fold in the shredded zucchini.
    2. Add half of the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stirring to combine, and then add in the other half of the dry mixture to create a loose batter. Fold in walnuts/chocolate chips.
    3. Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle on the stove over medium heat with 1 tablespoon of butter.
    4. Spoon batter into hot pan, making pancakes that are 4-5 inches wide. Cook on one side until you start to see bubbles on the top and edges begin to turn golden brown. Flip pancake to second side, and cook until golden. Move pancake to plate. Repeat until all of batter has been used.
    5. Serve hot with butter and maple syrup. Optionally, add additional walnuts on top for garnish.

    2 Comments

    Power Cookies

    Power Cookies

    Last night, the snow fell as over-sized flakes and we tried to catch them on our tongues, like we were 5 years old. Just two days ago, I was in a tank top looking for a mountain bike trail. This is Colorado springtime.

    These Power Cookies enjoy all sorts of outings and fare well through all sorts of weather: throw them in your day bag for a hike, or munch on them while riding the ski lift. They are jam-packed with ingredients to give you energy. Peanut butter, oats, chocolate chips (how could I not include chocolate chips?) pecans, and coconut. That's why they're perfect for the Trail Snacks recipe series I'm working on! 

    Why is it called a “Power Cookie?”

    This cookie recipe sits somewhere between granola bar and cookie. But if you've ever made granola bars you know that they call for a lot (a lot a lot) of sugar in the form of honey, maple syrup, or (usually) rice syrup. That syrup is all there is to hold everything together. And don't get me wrong -- it's delicious! And there are some genius recipes that don’t call for quite as much sugar. But many have so much sugar, they are far too sweet for me. THESE cookies get the help of an egg, peanut butter and some almond meal, which helps them stick together without half as much syrup. YES: more whole foods, less processed syrup. 🙌 So, it’s a power-bar slash cookie, making the final results a Power Cookie.

    Power Cookies

    I mentioned my friend Brian (Sports Nutritionist and author of Climbing Nutrition) in my first post in this Trail Snack series -- Mocha Almond Energy Bites - and he has some really well-explained and thoroughly researched articles on how to get the most out of your food while you're out climbing (or doing whatever it is you love to do). 

    But, these Power Cookies are really inspired by my dad, who was the first person I knew to make a "energy cookie." He had a recipe similar to this on top of his fridge, in an over-stuffed manila folder. When I started baking a lot on my own (some time in high school), Power Cookies were one of the things I would make. This recipe is different -- the original is lost to me - but similar enough to be given the name "Power Cookies." 

    Hope you enjoy, whether you take them on an adventure or eat them right here at your computer, while they're still warm! (They are good either way — you do not need to be out and about to enjoy these. They make a GREAT mid-afternoon power up when you start feeling that 3pm slump, and since they are not so syrup-heavy, they keep you going longer, with real nutrients).

    Power Cookies

    Power Cookies

    Published March 27, 2018 by
       |     Print This Recipe

    Serves: 24 cookies   |    Total Time: 20 minutes



    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup nut butter (try peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter)
    • 1/4 cup honey 
    • 1/4 cup melted butter
    • 2 eggs 
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional - the cinnamon flavor comes through, so if you do not like cinnamon, skip it!) 
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
    • 1 cup rolled oats 
    • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
    • 1/2 cup almond flour
    • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips 

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the nut butter, honey, butter, eggs, and vanilla using an electric mixer until smooth.
    3. Add optional cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the bowl, and beat into wet ingredients until incorporated.
    4. Now, add the rolled oats, coconut, almond flour, and mix until a stiff batter forms. Use a spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Fold the chocolate chips and pecans into the batter.
    5. Scoop the batter by the heaping tablespoonful onto a cookie sheet fitted with parchment or a Silpat (affiliate link!). Cookies will not spread as they bake, so flatten them slightly with the back of a spoon.
    6. Place in center wrack of oven and bake for 8-12 minutes. Cookies will be golden on the edges, but still soft—they will continue to set as they cool. Allow to cool 5-10 minutes before serving.

    Comment