For the past couple months, I’ve been playing around with making healthier treats. This came about for a lot of reasons. One is that I’ve been getting a lot of requests from friends to develop gluten-free and vegan recipes. And since I consider myself an equal opportunity baker – I’m happy to oblige. But, if I’m being honest, the biggest reason I’ve been doing this is because this style of baking is new to me and I’ve never been one to turn down a challenge. At first, I thought it might be a pain developing recipes without dairy and gluten…….and don’t get me wrong – it’s definitely not the easiest thing in the world. But what I didn’t expect was how much fun it would be.
I’ve been having the best time (man that sounds cheesy….) trying other people’s recipes and working on developing my own. It almost feels like I’m learning a new skill, which is never a bad thing and I have a lot of very appreciative friends willing to be taste testers. The idea for these Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Flour Cookies actually came about when a friend asked if I could create a cookie for her to use as fuel during her ultra races. I had been making a version of them for a while, but it was more of a standard healthy chocolate chip cookie. It was good, but nothing special. So when my friend approached me I knew I had a good base for the cookie, but also knew we’d need to crank it up a notch.
Since she’s using them for race fuel, I wanted to be deliberate about what we added into the cookie. The first thing I thought of was tart cherries. Not only would they pair perfectly with the dark chocolate, but cherries are also known to be beneficial in helping fight inflammation. Next I decided to add in some cacao nibs. Mainly for the crunch and texture element, but also because they’re rich in potassium and magnesium – both of which are key for runners! For a little extra boost and some additional anti-inflammatory properties, I threw in a pinch of cinnamon at the end. The cookies turned out perfect…….crazy delicious and something you can feel good about eating.
These Dark Chocolate Cherry Cookies have become a weekly staple in my kitchen. The husband seriously cannot get enough of them. I have a feeling they’re going to be our new go-to hiking snack once summer rolls around! And since they’re vegan, gluten-free, and low in sugar – they’re also a great allergy friendly option. So if you’re looking for a healthier cookie or just want an excuse to play around in the kitchen – you should definitely give these a try!
Dark Chocolate Cherry Almond Flour Cookies (Vegan and Gluten-Free)
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 8 - 10 minutes
- Total Time: 18 minutes
- Yield: Makes approximately 12 cookies
- 1 ¾ cup almond flour
- ½ cup arrowroot flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of cinnamon
- ⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon cacao nibs
- ½ cup dried tart cherries
- 1 ounce dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (anywhere in the 72% – 88% range)
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot flour, kosher salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
Add in the coconut oil, maple syrup, almond milk, and vanilla extract and stir until everything comes together in a thick dough. Then fold in the cacao nibs, dried cherries, and chopped dark chocolate.
Take roughly 2 tablespoons worth of dough, roll into a ball, place on your lined baking sheet and then gently flatten into a disc shape. Repeat this process with the remaining dough.
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until the cookies are lightly golden brown and look just set. Place the baking sheet on a wire rack and let the cookies cool for at least 10 minutes.