Dessert

Almond Flour Chocolate Cookies

September 24, 2019
bowl of almond flour chocolate cookies with napkin and tea cup in background

Almond flour is one of my new ingredient loves. It’s quite easy to find here in Paris, as it is used in many French desserts, including tarte amandine, galette de rois, and of course, macarons. I love the subtle, nutty flavor it brings to baked goods. And, if you are gluten-free or just looking to live a more low-carb lifestyle, almond flour can be a great replacement for regular flour in cakes and cookies. Gluten-free baking is complicated, so I love when you can just make an easy flour swap and end up with a gluten-free recipe as tasty as these Almond Flour Chocolate Cookies. Or really, Almond Flour Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies, because everything is better with chocolate chips.

About these delicious double chocolate cookies—you’ll love them even if you don’t care that they are gluten-free or grain-free. They have a deep chocolate flavor with a slight nuttiness and a somewhat fudgy texture. Also, this cookie recipe is easy to make and does not even require a mixer. And, you can make the cookie dough in advance and freeze it. That way you can have almond flour chocolate cookies at a moment’s notice!

How do I make Almond Flour Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies?

First, you’ll melt dark chocolate and butter together in a saucepan over medium-low heat. This will take about 3-5 minutes. Please stir frequently with a rubber spatula to make sure your chocolate doesn’t burn. When the chocolate and butter are fully melted, scrape the mixture into a large bowl with the spatula. Whisk in 1/4 cup sugar.

Be careful that your melted chocolate/butter mixture is not too hot at this point. If you have melted your chocolate and butter over medium-low heat and transferred to a new bowl, the temperature should be fine. But if the mixture is very hot to the touch, let it sit for a minute after adding the sugar. This will prevent any cooking of the egg before it is stirred in. Whisk in egg and continue whisking for about a minute, until fully incorporated and glossy. Whisk in vanilla extract. Then, with a wooden spoon, stir in almond flour, baking powder, salt, and mini chocolate chips.

batter for almond flour chocolate cookies

Refrigerate for 45 minutes, or until dough firms up enough to roll into balls. This is a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. If you scoop the dough out onto your baking sheet without waiting for the dough to firm up, you will get flat cookies that burn if you cook them for the suggested time.

When you are ready to bake, scoop out one generous tablespoon of filling at a time, and roll with your hands to make a ball. Your hands will get a bit chocolatey during this process, but don’t worry. You can wash them when you’re done. Fill a small bowl with sparkling sugar (raw turbinado sugar can be used instead if you don’t have sparkling sugar). Then press the top of each cookie ball into the sugar, and place onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. 

almond flour chocolate cookie cookie balls being dipped in sparkling sugar and placed on sheet pan

Bake for 10-12 min at 350 degrees. You will begin to smell chocolate, and the cookie tops will crack. They will still look very soft when you take them out, but they will firm up as they sit. The bottoms will burn easily, so err on the side of underdone until you know what time works for your oven. Place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack and let sit for 3 minutes. Then remove cookies and place directly on cooling rack. 

almond flour chocolate cookies after baking

Can you freeze Almond Flour Chocolate Cookies?

Yes! You can freeze both the dough and the cookies. If you want to freeze the dough, follow the recipe up through the point of rolling the dough into balls and pressing into sparkling sugar.

almond flour chocolate cookie dough ball with sparkling sugar before baking

Then, put the balls into a ziplock freezer bag and freeze them. You can bake them directly from frozen. Bake frozen cookies at 325 degrees instead of 350, because they can burn before fully cooking. You’ll also need to add 3-5 minutes to your baking time.

Once you have baked your cookies, you can freeze them as well. Wait for them to cool completely, then put them in a ziplock freezer bag or freezer-safe container. Separating them with parchment or waxed paper can prevent them from sticking together. When you’re ready to eat them, just defrost in the refrigerator 12 hours in advance. Both cookie dough and baked cookies will last up to three months in the freezer. 

What is the difference between almond meal and almond flour?

Almond meal and almond flour are terms that both mean finely ground almonds. The majority of almond flour products are made by finely grinding blanched almonds (almonds where the skins have been removed). Almond meal can mean finely ground blanched or unblanched almonds. Almond meal is also often a coarser grind than almond flour. As a result, I usually recommend almond flour for baking recipes because its texture is most similar to regular flour.

almond flour in small bowl and next to its bag

How do I substitute almond flour for regular flour for gluten-free baking?

Substitution for regular flour really depends on the recipe. In some cases you can replace all-purpose flour with almond flour on a 1:1 basis. (So, if the recipe called for 1 cup of all-purpose flour, replace with 1 cup of almond flour.) However, for other recipes, a 1:2 ratio is better—using twice as much almond flour as all-purpose flour. This is because almond flour will absorb more liquid than regular flour, so you may need to add more almond flour to get the same consistency in your dough. Many almond flour recipes also increase the number of eggs used. Eggs can help bind the ingredients together and create the structure that gluten usually provides.

Speaking of gluten, almond flour won’t develop gluten as all-purpose flour will. So, if you’re looking to make a chewy gluten-free bread, almond flour is not a great substitute. To go deeper into gluten-free baking, check out a gluten-free baking blog like this one for great information on how to get the texture you are looking for when using gluten-free ingredients for cakes, cookies, breads, and more.  

How do I make my own almond flour?

Almond flour can be expensive, but you can save money by making it yourself. Look for blanched almonds in the grocery store (you can often find these as blanched, slivered almonds). Blitz them in a food processor until finely ground. Just make sure you stop as soon as you see the texture you want. If you grind for too long, your almond flour will turn into almond butter. 

What are the benefits of using almond flour in my recipes? 

Almond flour, made entirely from raw almonds, is quite healthy for you. Almonds are low in carbs and high in fiber, protein, manganese, magnesium, and Vitamin E. They are also high in omega-3 fatty acids. Adding almond flour to a recipe adds fat, which adds richness to a recipe and can extend the shelf life of your cookies. 

What else can I use almond flour for?

As mentioned above, you can use almond flour for many French desserts. Try making macarons or making a frangipane base for a tart. You can also use almond flour as a replacement for flour (or for some of the flour) in other cake or cookie recipes (see above). Almond meal can also make a delicious crumble topping for a fruit crisp, crumble, or tart. Try it with my Peach Blueberry Crisp recipe, replacing some or all of the regular flour in the topping. Finally, you can replace breadcrumbs with almond flour when you are making breaded chicken or fish. Watch closely though because almond flour will burn more quickly than traditional breadcrumbs. 

If you’re looking for other delicious dessert recipes like this one, be sure to check out my French Yogurt Cake with Almonds and Ultimate Blondies with Chocolate Chips recipes.

For other gluten-free recipe ideas, try these:

Almond Flour Chocolate Cookies

Almond Flour Chocolate Cookies

Yield: 20-24 cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

These Almond Flour Chocolate Cookies have a deep dark chocolate flavor and a slight nuttiness. Entirely gluten-free and so easy-to-make—no mixer required.

Ingredients

  • 7 oz semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate (200g)
  • 3 T. unsalted butter (45g)
  • 1/4 c. sugar (55g)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. almond flour (100g)
  • 3/4 t. baking powder
  • 1/4 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. mini chocolate chips (85g)
  • 1/4 c. sparkling sugar

Instructions

    1. Melt dark chocolate and butter together in saucepan over medium-low heat, about 3-5 minutes. Stir frequently with a rubber spatula to make sure chocolate doesn’t burn. When fully melted, scrape into a large bowl with the spatula.
    2. Whisk in sugar. Be careful that your melted chocolate/butter mixture is not too hot before the next step. If you have melted over medium-low heat and transferred to a new bowl, the temperature should be fine, but if the mixture is very hot to the touch, let it sit for a minute after you add the sugar. This will prevent the egg you add in the next step from cooking before it is incorporated into the batter.
    3. Whisk in egg and continue whisking for about a minute, until fully incorporated and glossy.
    4. Whisk in vanilla extract.
    5. Then, with a wooden spoon, stir in almond flour, baking powder, salt, and mini chocolate chips.
    6. Refrigerate for 45 minutes, or until dough firms up enough to roll into balls.
    7. When you are ready to bake, scoop out one generous tablespoon of filling at a time, and roll with your hands to make a ball. Fill a small bowl with sparkling sugar, and press the top of each cookie ball into the sugar, then place onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
    8. Bake for 10-12 min at 350 degrees. You will begin to smell chocolate, and the cookie tops will crack. They will still look very soft when you take them out, but they will firm up as they sit.
    9. Place the cookie sheet on a cooling rack and let sit for 3 minutes, then remove cookies and place directly on cooling rack.

Notes

If you can’t find sparkling sugar, raw turbinado sugar is a good substitute.

To freeze cookies before baking, make them into balls and press them in the sparkling sugar. Then freeze in a ziplock freezer bag. Bake frozen cookie balls at 325 instead of 350, because they can burn before fully cooking. You'll also need to add 3-5 minutes to your baking time.

You can also freeze baked cookies. Both cookie balls and baked cookies will last up to 3 months in the freezer.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 2
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 312 Total Fat: 23g Saturated Fat: 11g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 11g Cholesterol: 28mg Sodium: 108mg Carbohydrates: 24g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 16g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 6g
Nutrition information is provided as a general reference for users courtesy of the online nutrition calculator Nutritionix.


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