This is not a sinful cookie for the holidays. This is an everyday cookie that you can feel good about eating and serving to your children for a snack. The recipe for these cookies was sent to me by my friend Stephanie several years ago; since then, it is both of our absolute favorite cookie. Like me, she is a health-nut and loves baked goods that have some nutritional value and not an obnoxious about of sugar and fat. They are even supposedly macrobiotic, I honestly do not even know exactly what that means. I am assuming it is because they do not contain any eggs or butter. But that just makes it more surprising that these cookies turn-out so well and are so delicious. If you love nuts and an almond flavor, these will readily become your favorite.
They are a cinch to put together and pretty adaptable, as you will see in the recipe below. Both Stephanie and I throw these together with whatever is at hand and they always turn-out. Because there is no waiting for butter to soften, you can do what Stephanie does and whip some up after lunch to satisfy her sweet tooth (she can make these without even looking at a recipe). Although the batter will make you skeptical, resist the urge to just eat the batter (because you can and you will want to! there are no eggs! this is a great cookie to make with the kids!). Although these cookies usually don’t hang around long at our house because all four of us love them, they do have a very long shelf life. As they age they tend to soften a bit, but, that only makes them a bit easier for young children to eat. In terms of a snack for children, they are a great alternative to the prepackaged granola and protein bars marketed to children. Just stick one or two in a small tupperware after you make them, jam it in your purse and it will be just as convenient as the prepackaged “treats”.
Special Equipment: A food processor would be very convenient to chop the nuts and blend the dough, however, I have chopped the nuts and mixed by hand and the dough still comes together fine.
Do-Ahead Strategies: I often whip the dough up, form it into balls and store them in the fridge, wrapped with plastic, until it is convenient for me to bake them. (Did you know that all cookie dough supposedly benefits from a 24-36 hour rest in the refrigerator? Just make sure you form the dough into balls before the chilled rest period.)
Makes about 12 cookies on one baking sheet (They do not spread much. You can make them smaller and bake in two batches.)
1 cup almonds (either slivered, sliced or whole-you could use toasted or raw)
1 cup white or whole-wheat flour (You could use regular or pastry flour. You could also substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour or barley flour)
1 cup oat or barley flakes or mueslix (a blend of flakes with nuts and dried fruit)
1/2 cup olive oil (I have used every oil in my pantry for these cookies: olive, walnut, canola, sunflower or a combination. This is a great place to try substituting a fancy nut oil, like hazelnut, almond or walnut for some of the olive oil. It it is expensive, just substitute a 1/4 of the olive oil)
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup (I mix this up too; either/or/both)
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon high-quality almond extract
optional ingredients: 1/4 cup flax seeds, a handful of chopped dried fruit like cherries, apricots, or raisins, zest of one orange, a few drops of orange flower water, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 cup grated and chopped carrot (dried slightly on a paper towel).
Preheat oven 350 degrees.
1. Place almonds in food processor, if using, and pulse a few times. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse about 5-8 times or until everything has come together. It should almost look like a very chunky peanut butter.
2. Scoop out dough into about 12 cookies directly onto baking sheet or onto a plate and store covered in the refrigerator up to 36 hours. (If you store and chill the cookies, be sure to flatten them slightly before you bake them.)
3. Bake about 12-18 minutes, or until they are browning evenly.
4. These are not like chocolate chip cookies, let them cool completely before you start sampling. After they cool for 10-15 minutes, transfer them to a wire cooling rack to ensure that the bottom crisps. As with all cookies, let them cool for about 12 hours before you store them in a sealed container for longer-term storage. They will start to soften once they are sealed. To maintain crispness, you may want to leave your container ajar.
If you like these cookies, try these Teff Peanut-Butter Cookie, another of our family’s favorites.