By Liz Bares

I have been working on trying to figure out gluten free baking, specifically brownies. The two recipes that I tested resulted in thin, dry and oily brownies. Not sure what the trick is, but I’ll figure it out.

Cookies seem to be an easier pursuit and I came up with a pretty good recipe last week. These cookies are made with almond flour, so they have a bit of heft to them. I will try them with coconut flour, or a combination of the two, to see if they are any lighter. At any rate, they seemed to do the trick of satisfying the sweet teeth in the house without being too bad on the ‘ol healthy diet.

I used a combination of butter and  coconut oil as well, so the cookies have a slight coconut taste to them. Coconut oil is “the” oil to use these days. It’s packed with lauric acid that is said to benefit HDL cholesterol — the one you would like to be high. Coconut oil also has a high smoking point, so using it for baking and cooking is recommended, although your food will have a coconut flavor so use wisely. I use extra virgin coconut oil in baking and cooking, and always melt it down to liquid before I add it to baking recipes.


Chocolaty Peanut Butter Cookies

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup smooth peanut butter

a scant 2/3 cup of maple syrup

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup cocoa powder

2 1/2 cups almond flour (may need to add more if batter seems too runny)

1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a mixer, cream the butter, oil, peanut butter and maple syrup together. Then add vanilla and eggs (one at a time). Mix until well incorporated.

Mix in the baking soda and salt. Then add the cocoa powered until well mixed, using a rubber spatula to scrap down bowl every few minutes. Add the almond flour one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. If the batter seems too wet and runny, add more flour. Finally, fold in the chips.

Place tablespoon scoops of batter onto baking sheet and slightly flatten with your palm. Bake for about 13 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges. Cool completely.