Make sure you eat them very close to a plate, as these cookies are so delicate that they crumble at the first bite!
Almonds are a great source of vitamins, minerals, protein and antioxidants. They may help prevent diabetes and heart disease. Even though nuts have a high fat content (but the good kind); some studies have suggested that almonds (and other nuts) may help prevent weight gain. This recipe originally called for margarine, but that word is not included in a healthy eating dictionary! I love using pure coconut oil, which really does the trick adding a hint of coconut flavor that tastes even a bit buttery, without any trans fats. Coconut oil is high in saturated fat; however, it’s also rich in lauric acid, which research has found to increase beneficial HDL cholesterol. I’m not suggesting anyone to gulp on coconut oil, but it is a great substitute for hydrogenated fat. If you detest coconut flavor—which I’ve found many people do—buy expeller-pressed coconut oil. It’s a more refined kind and flavorless. Some of the original nutrients present in coconut oil are lost in the processing, but it’s still a much better choice than margarine or shortening.
The recipe does call for confectioner’s sugar, but it uses so little, that it’s worth it, and using whole oat flour, ensures that the nutrients in the grain are still intact after the milling process.
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (5 ounces) virgin coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar, plus more for dusting
2 cups whole oat flour (gluten free if needed)
1 cup almond meal (or ground almonds)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon water
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the coconut oil and the confectioner’s sugar, until well mixed.
3. Add flour into bowl and whisk until it incorporates into the oil-sugar mix.
4. Whisk in almond meal, extracts, water and salt, and mix until the dough comes together.
5. Form the dough into small balls (about 3/4 inch diameter) with your hands and place them ½-inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. If dough is too soft, refrigerate until it’s hard enough to hold the shape.
6. Bake for about 12 minutes until lightly golden.
7. Immediately out of the oven, dust lightly with confectioner’s sugar.
8. Let cool and serve. Cookies keep well at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to a week.
Substitute almond meal for any kind of ground nuts. Walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, pistachios, all work well. Just omit almond extract.