I swore I wouldn’t post this recipe, but I gave in to persistent begging. I didn’t know the world needed another chocolate chip cookie recipe! But apparently many people could not live without this one. I will admit, these are quite, quite delicious and you can’t always say that about a grain-free, flourless cookie.
The reason I was reluctant to post this is because it is a very finicky recipe. I probably made these cookies 20-24 times and I had a couple of fails. Not inedible fails, but they didn’t look like the pictures you see here. Again, these are totally delicious in every way. Big chunks of melty dark chocolate and crispy flakes of sea salt are always a win in my book. The fact that these are also grain-free/flourless is just an added bonus, especially for all my GF and Paleo students, who seem to be growing in numbers. Although that might just be the post-holiday detox trend. I digress.
The two ingredients that affect the outcome of these cookies are the almond butter and the sugar. You cannot use a runny almond butter or one that is very oily. Once during a class, I had a new jar of room temperature Maranatha almond butter which I may not have stirred properly to incorporate the oil on top. I had oil dripping down my arms while I was rolling out the dough. I knew the cookies were going to be a disaster and they kind of were — very flat, oily and crumbly at the edges. Thankfully, this batter is a snap to make, so I just made another batch quickly with almond butter I had in the fridge. The next round was perfect.
These cookies are slightly softer than traditional chocolate chip cookies, unless you use brown sugar and then they do get a little crispy around the edges. The flavor is spot-on with just the right amount of sweetness. After 2 days, I store them in the fridge. They also freeze well.
Instead of giving you a blow-by-blow of all cookie escapades, let me summarize here:
- use cold, refrigerated almond butter;
- thicker almond butter is better than thinner;
- if your nut butter is thinner, you can add 1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut flour to the batter;
- you can make these with sunflower butter, but there will be a reaction between the sunflower butter and the baking soda which will tint the cookies green;
- mix by hand (with a wooden spoon) not a mixer;
- brown sugar, although a refined and not Pamela-approved sweetener, gave the best results — slightly crispy and chewy;
- muscovado sugar was the second best and coconut sugar came in third — see the images in the post to compare;
- do not use maple syrup, honey or another liquid sweetener;
- you must allow the cookies to cool completely on the pan, not a cooling rack;
- I always make 12 cookies, but you can make fewer and just make them bigger.
Ok, that’s all she wrote. Hit me with your questions and let me know if you make them!
- 1 cup unsweetened, unsalted almond butter (raw or roasted, make sure it is well-blended)*
- ½ cup coconut sugar, brown sugar or muscovado sugar
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon Maldon salt, divided
- ¾ cup chopped dark chocolate (about 4 ounces) or semi-sweet chocolate chips
- optional add-ins: 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder to make chocolate cookies or ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with unbleached parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix almond butter and sugar until well combined.
- Stir in baking soda, egg, vanilla and ½ teaspoon flaky salt until well combined.
- Stir in chocolate.
- Scoop a heaping tablespoon of dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle the cookies with remaining ½ teaspoon salt.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool completely on baking sheet before transferring to a rack. To keep longer than one or two days, store in the refrigerator.
Please read the suggestions outlined in the post.
Hi! Which brown sugar donu recommend? Light? Dark? Golden? What are the differences or how do I k in which one to use when they say brown sugar?
I tend to use light brown sugar in recipes. Dark brown sugar has a little more molasses, thus a slightly stronger flavor and more moisture. They are really interchangeable though.
Do you think you could substitute Swerve for the sugar in these for a low carb version? I’ve made these so many times with brown sugar and they’ve been wonderful, but now we have a family member who can’t have that much refined sugar.
Gosh, I have never worked with Swerve before, so I have no idea. I couldn’t even speculate. I would consult the Swerve website and see what the company says about how it subs for sugar. Let me know if you try it. Thanks!
These are great! I used half peanut butter and half raw almond butter (can’t believe I am even writing this but I was out of almond butter!) and the trader joe’s organic brown sugar. Another winner Pamela! Thank you!
Haha! I know, we go through almond butter like crazy. Good job adapting the recipe!
These are SO good! Thanks for posting the recipe! I made a half recipie using brown sugar and a whole egg. My batch turned out to me more on the fluffy cookie side vs thin and chewy. I can’t wait to make the recipie again and try a few variations. May even add some oat flour, just because I like the taste.
Yum! I have found that this recipe is definitely dependent on what kind of almond butter you use.
Which brand of almond butter do you prefer for this?
I prefer one that’s not too oily. Fresh nut butter from the machine at Whole Foods or Artisana or Maranatha. I know people like Justin’s in this recipe, but I don’t buy it because it’s in plastic.
These are amazing!! We use maple sugar for almost all recipes which call for sugar. Its by far my favorite baking substitute, with less stress on the immune system than refined cane sugar. I cant tell the difference between the two!
glad you loved the cookies! I think maple sugar is great, but I wish it weren’t so expensive.
What are your thoughts on freezing these? They turned out great when I made them and I added the coconut flour just to be safe!
Freeze away! They’ll be great 🙂
Are we supposed to flatten the dough? I kept them in balls but they didn’t fall flat like yours, I ended up with little pillows. Still delicious though!!!
No, I don’t flatten this dough and I’ve never had an issue with them thinning out. But, this dough is unfortunately temperamental based on the almond butter one uses. So if you make them again with the same almond butter, flatten them out a bit. I recently made this recipe with peanut butter instead of almond butter and they didn’t flatten even a smidge. They remained perfectly shaped balls. So for some reason with peanut butter they do have to be flattened.
Just made them tonight and substituted cashew butter because thats what I had added the chocolate and they are delicious and look picture perfect! Thanks for sharing I will admit to being skeptical at first that they would actually taste like a cookie.
I would never steer you towards a cookie imposter! So glad these turned out well for you and thanks for sharing your adaptation — always so helpful for everyone to know!
We are in the middle of a record breaking blizzard here in New Jersey, so I am baking your chocolate chunk cookies for a blizzard party! They are really delicious, especially with the sprinkle of salt flakes. Your hints were very helpful, particularly refrigerating the almond butter. I am certainly not going to wait for another blizzard to make these cookies again! Many thanks.
If I were in the middle of a blizzard, I would be having a bake-off right now, too! Enjoy 🙂
I made these tonight and they came out great!
Yippee!! I’m so glad you let me know. Thanks!
Thoughts on using peanut butter? Subbing nuts for chocolate chunks?
I am fairly certain peanut butter would work and I did try subbing peanuts once for chocolate and you just want to make sure you chop them. Whole peanuts don’t stay in the batter well. 🙂
I cannot find Maldon flakey sea salt or any flakey sea salt for that matter. Is my fine sea salt ok and would the measurements be the same?
No problem. Use 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt in the batter and omit salt from the top (it would be too salty.) You can find Maldon salt on amazon or thrivemarket.com. But I know you probably do want to have to wait for it to arrive!
This looks delicious! But Pamela – something is a miss with your posting! The view does not show the ingredient measurements… it is off the screen? Like someone cut off the page on the left side. Please try again!
Hmmmm….I’m not sure what to say. I just printed this from 2 different printers in my house and it worked it just fine. Would you like me to email you the recipe?
I love coarse salt sprinkled on top of cookies. These look divine! Adding this recipe to my arsenal!
So good, right?? So excited you are going to try these — let me know what you think!
These sound delicious, just wondering about the instructions for them, I only see the ingredients. Thank you!
Just saw the correction, thanks.
I cannot find the oven temperature and baking time. Thank you and love your website!
Whoops! I agree, the actual instructions would be helpful! Corrected. Thank you!