World’s Easiest Cookies

I was prepared to hate these cookies.

And yes, I’m aware that is not really a great thing to say about a recipe from someone I respect and admire.

I have made Elizabeth Barbone’s Five Ingredient Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cookies more than once and they were delicious.  They are basically peanut butter and sugar and they are amazing… and I eat them because I like them.. not because they are gluten free.

But… But.. these cookies are.. PALEO.

I was on the Paleo bandwagon for a while and I totally did it wrong.  I did in the same way I did the Atkins Diet which was EAT ALL THE BACON.  Instead of the “Paleo is really just a plant based diet with some meat thrown in” way… which is really the right way to do Paleo.

I really struggled with Paleo.  And I made more than my fair share of “Paleo treats” which tasted like cardboard but obviously tasted good to someone…but mostly I found the recipes I tried disappointing.

Oh, and I gained like.. 30 lbs (which might actually have more to do with the depression I was dealing with at the time and maybe all of the pig fat I was shoving in my facehole.. but it was PASTURED pig fat so it was ok.)

ANYWAY

Hey! That cake looks GOOD

Hey! That cake looks GOOD

Now I try to eat the veggies and the beans (which are verboten on Paleo) and less meat and fewer treats, but dammit when I want something it’s going to be WORTH the calories.  (Which I’m also counting because dammit that seems to be actually working)

When Elizabeth said she was working on a Paleo Baking book I was optimistic because, she knows her stuff you guys.. for realz.

I can totally get behind the no-refined sugars thing. I’ve taken the white sugar out of recipes and stuck in honey or molasses or maple syrup but it’s not like you can just switch them out.

Baking is SCIENCE and some are sweeter than others and they all have different consistencies.

Also, I enjoy the flavor of honey or maple syrup where white sugar just tastes… white?

LooksBlueTastesRed

 

But…  PALEO.

I gave it a shot anyway.. I had everything in the pantry and the recipe is stupid easy AND it has my second favorite sweetener, maple syrup.  (Honey is my favorite; we go way back.)

Worlds Easiest Paleo cookies

This is really all that goes into these cookies

I’m also not at all embarrassed to say I buy maple syrup by the half gallon.

And although this recipe is the “World’s Easiest Cookies”, I never miss a chance to bust out my digital scale when weights are provided.  Because SCIENCE.

Almond Flour After you measure out (or… WEIGH out) your ingredients, they get mixed together, portioned out and then plopped on sheet pans and baked… DONE.

baked cookie Doesn’t that look pretty?

I let the cookies sit on the pan for the three minutes per the recipe. Then slid them onto a cooling rack to .. cool.

Meanwhile, I got the second batch ready on a cold sheet pan and made this round a little flatter.  The recipe says that if you want them a bit crisper, you flatten them

So I squished them, baked them off and waited.

And waited.

I really, really wanted to try one but the recipe says to wait until they are totally cool before eating.

I’m not good with waiting.

But I did it because I know cookies without wheat flour don’t behave like cookies with wheat flour.

An hour later, when they had to be cool enough, I dove into one of those bad boys like a Fred Flinstone with a Bronto Burger.

Oh, man… I ….  I hated it.

Well, the flavor was good, but the texture.. I… no. I just didn’t like it.  It was …  too different for my mouth.  There was a big fat NOPE response.

And now you are wondering why I dedicated this much blog time and space to tear down a recipe from someone I respect and admire?

Because, the next day?  OMG the next day?

THEY WERE DELICIOUS!

Something about sitting overnight redistributed the moisture and these are like almondy, mapley chewy macaroon like cookies and I cannot stop eating them.

Look at them!  Look at these adorable little yummy cookies next to my adorable little demitasse cup of Turkish Coffee!  Perfect size when I want a tiny treat that is yummy and worth the calories!

World's Easiest Paleo Cookies

I SAID LOOK AT THEM!

You want some? YOU WANT SOME. YOU DO.

You should probably, you know.. get the book. I’ve got one coming and I can’t wait to see what else is in there even though I don’t eat Paleo.

Or! you could enter this to win one!   Rafflecopter giveaway

In the meantime, though, I got your back because I know you want these cookies now. Or maybe, you want to make them now for tomorrow.  While you are waiting for them to cool, head over here to read what other people thought of this recipe over at GlutenFreeBaking.

Here you go… a recipe for World’s Easiest Cookies courtesy of Elizabeth Barbone, Author of World’s Easiest Paleo Baking.. so easy a Caveman could do it! (if he had an oven .. and a sheet pan… and um… well.. you know what I mean)

World's Easiest Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 170 grams (1½ cups) finely ground almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder, homemade (see recipe below) or grain-free store-bought
  • 100 grams (1/3 cup) dark maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the almond flour and baking powder together in a medium mixing bowl. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Stir until a sticky dough holds together.
  3. Drop dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet, spaced about 2 inches apart. or crisp cookies, press down theF dough lightly with the at bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup. (If the glass sticks to the dough, lightly wet bottom of the glass.) For softer cookies, don’t press down the dough.
  4. Bake until the edges are golden brown, about 12 minutes.
  5. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan for about 3 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Allow the baking sheet to cool, and repeat with the remaining dough.
Notes
Grain-Free Baking Powder
Most commercial baking powders contain a grain-based starch.Thankfully it’s easy to make your own!

Active Time: 2 minutes
Yield: about 6 tablespoons

1/4 cup cream of tartar

2 tablespoons baking soda

1 teaspoon tapioca starch

Whisk the cream of tartar, baking soda, and tapioca starch together in
a small bowl.

Store in the pantry in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.

I have no idea what to call these, but they will knock your socks off.

I need a name for these.

Seriously, I don’t know what to call them.

They are no grain, gluten free, paleo friendly (I think?), calorie dense, snack bars with about 4 grams of protein each (if SparkPeople can be believed: I used their calculator).

They are also like crack. Crack snacks? I dunno.

Whatever you want to call them, I had one an hour ago and I’m still jonesing for another.

I came up with these because I was looking to make something like Steve’s Original Paleo Crunch bars… which I ADORE (and which you should totally go buy because Steve has the best damn stuff and it’s for a good cause .. getting inner city kids working out and off the streets, yo) BUT I ran out of them and after putting gas in my car at Four-oh-my-god-the-wallet-is-screaming- dollars a gallon, there wasn’t much left in the kitty for schnacks.

Now, you may think this is odd, but I actually did have all these ingredients in the house. I used my last 1/2 cup of almonds and almost all my honey but damn, it was totally worth it.

These would be perfect, I think after an intense work out. Or maybe mountain climbing or other such vigorous exercise. I know I’ll be packing one (and only one) when we go to NYC on the train next time because the timing of those trips are such that I need a snack or my blood sugar starts to wane and then I’m Miss Crankypants until I can get myself a gyro from a street cart.

I did some research around the internet and found several people had come up with one version or another. Lots of fancy nuts like cashews, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts.. etc etc.

I have walnuts. Cheap. Healthy. Satisfying.

So I used walnuts and they came out awesome. So with a little guidance an proportions from the internet (and freakishly as I’m typing this, I noticed someone pinned a recipe freakishly similar!), I give you..

Grain-NO-la bars! (no.. not that either)

Measure your nuts and toast them slightly in a dry pan on low, just until you can smell them. Dump them out onto a cutting board

Chopped nuts

Give them a rough chop and dump them into a heat safe bowl

Coconut and Pumpkin seeds

Mix in the unsweetened coconut, pumpkin seeds, raisins and cinnamon

Cook the butter and honey until bubbling.

Pour the butter/honey mix over the top of your nut mixture, mix together and dump into an 8×8 pan lined with parchment.

Smush them down pretty well here

Before baking

After baking you need to let these cool until firm. I think next time, I might try less honey because the bottom was pretty gooey. (UPDATE: I cut the honey down to 1/4 cup and they were way better)

Gooooey

I cut these into 12 bars before I did the calorie/protein count etcetera… cut them into 16. Trust me.

Yummy

Ta-dah!

The middle of the batch was still a little soft, but I think it’ll firm up pretty well in the fridge. You are going to want to wrap these individually and store in the fridge so they stay kinda firm.

5 from 1 reviews
Knock Yer Socks Off Grain Free Granola Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 bars
 
Grain Free, Gluten Free, Refined Sugar Free, Paleo Friendly Granola Bars... yes really.
Ingredients
  • ½ cup almonds
  • 1½ cups walnuts
  • 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees
  2. Line a glass 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper, with the paper going up the sides
  3. Put the nuts in a dry skillet over low heat and toast them, shaking the pan once in a while so they don't burn (if toasting nuts worries you, skip it)
  4. Roughly chop the nuts and put in a heat safe bowl
  5. Stir in the coconut, seeds, raisins and cinnamon
  6. Melt the butter and honey over heat (I used the same skillet that I toasted the nuts in)
  7. Heat until the mixture bubbles and cook for about 30 seconds
  8. Stir the vanilla into the honey mixture
  9. Pour the honey mixture over the nut mixture and stir to coat
  10. Dump the mix into your baking dish. Lay another sheet of parchment over the top and smash it down tight. Get the mix as flat and compacted as you can. Take the top layer of parchment off
  11. Bake in the over for 30 minutes, turning once ½ way through if your oven has hot spots.
  12. Let cool completely before turning out onto a cutting board.
  13. Cut into 16 portions.
Notes
The original recipe had ½ cup of honey.. this was too much. Using only ¼ cup of honey sticks everything togther and you dont' have to wrap these individually.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar

Gluten Free Falafel

LB and I have restarted Phase 1 of South Beach Diet and are in the middle of week one.  (We will be doing two weeks)  We were both feeling like we needed to get back on track again so Phase 1 should do that.

But.

I’ve been craving falafel.

The falafel mix that I usually use had potato starch in it and every recipe I could find used wheat flour to thicken and bind the chick peas together.  Also? I really wasn’t into pulling out the Fry Daddy.  It’s such a mess!

I figured I’d head on over to my favorite repository for all things South Beach.  Kalyn’s Kitchen.   Kalyn had a recipe for Baked Falafel (score!) but she also used wheat flour.  (boo..)    but! one of the comments mentioned chick pea flour (score!)

Turns out Kalyn modified a  recipe from Epicurious so even though this is super similar to Kalyn’s recipe, I think I’m ok to post my modifications as a recipe and not just a recipe hack.

I was going to double her recipe because I wanted to make use of an entire bag of chickpeas, but a bag is more than twice the recipe so I ended up modifying a few other things as well.  Mostly my method is different because I couldn’t fit everything into my food processor at once and I also think I left the chickpeas a little chunkier than she did.

At any rate, here it is.

Falafel patties before baking

Falafel patties before baking

5 from 1 reviews
Gluten Free Falafel
 
This makes a really big batch but the mixture freezes incredibly well
Ingredients
  • 1 lb dried chickpeas
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, loosely packed
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
  • 7 - 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ¼ to ½ cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Soak dried chickpeas overnight in cold water. Cover with at least 2 inches of water
  2. Drain chickpeas and pulse in a food processor until ground but not pureed. You will need to do this in batches. Put ground chickpeas in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Put the parsley and cilantro in the food processor and pulse until finely minced. Add to the chickpeas.
  4. Cut the onion into large chunks and put it and the garlic in your food processor. Process until pureed and add to chickpea mixture.
  5. Add the cumin and baking powder and salt to the mix and combine.
  6. Add enough chickpea flour to the mix so that the mixture will hold together. I needed ½ cup, but you may need more or less.
  7. Refrigerate for at lease a few hours. I chilled mine for about 8 hours.
  8. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  9. Spray a baking sheet with spray oil or line with parchment paper.
  10. Form a little more than a tablespoon of the mixture into balls and then flatten into patties about ½ inch thick.
  11. Drizzle with olive oil.
  12. Bake for 20 minutes, stopping ½ way through to flip the patties over.
Falafel Dinner

Gluten Free Falafel