Cardamon Pepper Cookies (flour free)

 

These cardamon pepper cookies were created one evening when I had a serious cookie craving! I wanted a cookie that was so delicious it felt like a treat, but also semi-healthy i.e. no butter, flour or refined sugar. I’ve created cookie recipes in the past with similar intentions, such as these Ginger Coconut Cookies or these Christmas Spice Cookies, but I wanted to take these cookies one step further by forgoing flour completely and replacing it with ground almonds.

Almonds are a great source of vitamins A & E, phosphorus, potassium, essential fatty acids and fibre, and most importantly in this case, plant protein. When you’re eating something with sugar in it (because cookies need some form of sweetener otherwise they’re crackers!) it’s a good idea to combine it with some form of protein as this slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood stream, thus avoiding a blood sugar spike.

When I first made these cookies I used a combination of freshly ground almonds and store bought ground almonds because that’s all I had in my pantry. However, subsequent attempts of the same recipe using solely store bought ground almonds or solely freshly ground almonds, produced not so great results! I realised this was because the store bought ground almonds are much more finely ground that what you can achieve at home and were more similar to a traditional flour. Yet the addition of the slightly chunkier home-ground almonds gives the cookie more texture. So to ensure you get the BEST results for these cardamon & pepper cookies, I have specified this combination in the recipe below.

When choosing a sweetener to use in cookies and baking in general, I look to unrefined sugars such as coconut sugar or pure maple syrup as these have a lower glycemic index than refined sugar. Another benefit of unrefined sugars is they haven’t gone through an intensive refining process so they retain most of their minerals and antioxidants such as calcium, potassium, iron, manganese and zinc, unlike refined white sugar which is literally empty calories. An even better choice of sweetener, if you’re able to incorporate it into what you’re making, is a whole food sweetener such as dates or fruit. Whole food sweeteners are literally in their original “whole” form and therefore contain many more nutrients as well as dietary fibre, which is fantastic for slowing down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream. Both unrefined sugars and whole food sweeteners are still forms of sugar however, and as such should still be used in moderation. To get the texture I was after for these cookies the best choice of sweetener was coconut sugar because of its dry, granular form.

To keep things interesting I added a couple of spices by way of cardamon and pepper, and the result was pretty delicious! The pepper is very mild in these cookies so if you’re unsure I encourage you to give it a try. If pepper in a cookie sounds absolutely terrible to you then by all means leave it out and likewise with the cardamon as these cookies would work equally well with a teaspoon of vanilla powder. They can be whipped up in a matter of minutes and make 20 large, chewy or crunchy cookies (depending on cooking time) that should satisfy any cookie craving!

 

Did you like this post? Any questions or comments about this cardamon pepper cookie recipe? Leave me a comment in the section below, I love to hear from you!

 

Cardamon Pepper Cookies (flour free)Cardamon Pepper Cookies (flour free)Cardamon Pepper Cookies (flour free)

 

Cardamon Pepper Cookies

Makes:  20 cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes  Bake time: 15-20 minutes

100g almonds whole
100g ground almonds (store bought)
100g coconut sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cardamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp himalayan pink salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
80g coconut oil, melted
1 egg

Preheat the oven to 160ºC fan bake and line two baking sheets with silicone baking mats or baking paper.

To melt the coconut oil place it in a bowl set over a pan of steaming water. It doesn’t matter too much about keeping the temperature of the coconut oil low for this recipe as you’ll be baking the cookies in a hot oven.

Grind the whole almonds by placing them in a food processor and blend until they resemble bread crumbs, a few coarser bits are fine. If you don’t have a food processor then you can just buy all your almonds ready ground however, the results might be slighly different to the cookies pictured (as discussed in the blog post above).

Combine the two quantities of ground almonds, coconut sugar, cardamon, salt, pepper and baking powder in a bowl. Stir in the melted coconut oil followed by the egg.

Roll spoonfuls of cookie mixture into rough balls and place on the prepared baking trays about 10cm apart to allow for spreading. Press the balls down and form into a round cookie shape. Aim to get about 20 cookies.

Place the cookies into the centre of the oven and bake for 15 – 20 minutes. The cookies are ready when they have risen, form a soft crust and turn a slightly darker golden brown. They will be slightly soft to touch when you first take them out but should harden up as they cool, although will still remain chewy. If you prefer a softer cookie simply take them out a little early and they will stay soft & chewy.

These cardamon pepper cookies will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks in a sealed container.

 

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Cardamon & Pepper Cookies (flour free)

 

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