One of my favorite holiday traditions growing up was making cookies with my mother. She has this big turquoise Pyrex bowl that we always used for making cookies. I would get so excited when I’d come out for breakfast on a December Saturday and see the bowl on the counter. That meant it was time to spend the day in the kitchen with mom, baking, and listening to Christmas music on the stereo.
I continue the cookie making tradition, albeit in my own kitchen. Now mom gets to enjoy the cookies without having to clean up the mess. This year in addition to all the classic flavors, I decided to try a grain-free cookie. I had an excess of almond flour in the pantry and wanted to do something with it.
Almond meal also known as almond flour is higher in "good" fats and fiber, lower in carbohydrates, and has more vitamins and minerals than traditional grain-based flours. It gives this cookie a bit of a healthier edge. Plus I kept the sugar content low, using just a touch of maple syrup. See, you don’t have to feel as guilty for indulging in them.
These cookies are spongy and just lightly sweet. They come together in no time and are easy enough to mix by hand; perfect for making with little ones and creating a holiday kitchen tradition.
By the way, to this day I still call that turquoise bowl the "cookie bowl" and it still makes me smile.
Almond Coconut Cherry Cookies
Makes 2 dozen
- 1 ½ cups almond meal
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup dried unsweetened, unsulfured cherries, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a medium-sized bowl combine the almond meal, unsweetened coconut, and baking soda.
- In a second medium-sized bowl whisk together the egg, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, almond extract and maple syrup.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix well.
- Stir in chopped dried unsweetened cherries.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Drop tablespoon-sized balls of dough on the lined baking sheet. Place about a dozen on each baking sheet.
- Bake each baking sheet one at a time. Place a baking sheet on the top shelf of the oven. Bake for 7 minutes. Rotate and continue to bake for another 7 minutes until the cookies are a light golden brown.
- Repeat the baking process with the second baking sheet.
What are some of your favorite holiday kitchen traditions?
Photos by Renato Ghio