Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Recipe for Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Triple Almond Cookies

Triple Almond Cookies
Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Triple Almond Cookies (made with Splenda or Stevia)

(Edit 2009: Kalyn's Kitchen is part of Holiday 2009 at Oprah.com, and this is one of the recipes being featured there, and also one of the Christmas Recipes on Kalyn's Kitchen. Welcome to anyone visiting from Oprah.com!)

I'm definitely not a baker, and if it wasn't cookie-eating season I might have given up on sugar-free almond cookies, since I had to make three versions of this cookie to get one I felt was good enough to share the recipe. First batch, completely delicious, but crumbled apart. as soon as you touched them. Second batch, stayed together, and tasted good, but the texture was a bit too cakey for what I wanted. Third batch (after I consulted my favorite gluten-free baking expert) nicely crisp and delicious.  Truthfully, I should call them "almost" sugar free, because adding 1 tablespoon of agave nectar improved the cookies a lot.  The photos were not quite what I wanted, but ignore that and make these delicious cookies anyway.

I'm calling these Triple Almond Cookies because the recipe has almond meal, almond butter, and chopped almonds. I tried several different types of almond butter, and some were much darker than others, so don't worry if yours doesn't look quite like this. Almond butter is a delicious but pricey ingredient, often found near the health foods in a grocery store. If your store has one of those machines where you grind your own peanut butter, you can also make almond butter that way.

I'm sure a true baker would have used blanched almonds, but I had a big jar of salted almonds, so that's what I used in the cookies. I used the mini-chopper bowl of my immersion blender to chop the almonds.

Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Triple Almond Cookies
(Makes about 24 small cookies, recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from several recipes.)

2 eggs
1 cup granular Splenda or Stevia-in-the-Raw Granulated Sweetener
1 T Agave Nectar (I used amber agave)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla (I used Mexican vanilla)
1/2 cup almond meal (if you don't have this, you can make your own by grinding almonds in the food processor until they're very finely ground)
1 cup almond butter (if the oil all rises to the top, I pour some of that out when I'm using nut butter for cookies)
1/2 cup coarsely chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350F/175C. In medium sized plastic bowl, use hand beater to mix together eggs, Splenda or Stevia, Agave Nectar, baking powder, and vanilla, beating about one minute. Add almond meal, then almond butter, then chopped almonds, beating about 30 seconds between each addition.

Use a small spoon to scoop up dough and roll into balls just over 1 inch in diameter, then use a fork to smash down cookies until each is about 2 inches across. Bake cookies about 15-16 minutes, until barely starting to brown and still slightly soft feeling. (They will harden more as they cool.)

Printer Friendly Recipe

I'm submitting these Triple Almond Cookies to the Eat Christmas Cookies event sponsored by my good friend Susan from Food Blogga, who's sharing Christmas cookie recipes with the world for again this year. If you want to see a lot more Christmas cookie ideas, submitted by bloggers around the world, visit the amazing round-up of Christmas Cookies at Susan's Blog.

South Beach Suggestions:
This type of cookie made with almond meal and almond butter is low-glycemic, but also relatively high in fat and calorie dense, so I'd say this is a "once-in-a-while-treat" for the South Beach Diet.  Because of the almond flour and agave, these cookies would be limited to phase 2 or 3.

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you. 

More Low-Glycemic Nutty Cookies to Try:
Flourless Sugar-Free Pistachio Cookies
Sugar-Free and Gluten-Free Cookies with Almond and Flaxseed Meal
Flourless, Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Chocolate Chip Espresso Cookies from Karina's Kitchen (low sugar, sweetened with agave)
Sunbutter Cookies from Karina's Kitchen (has brown sugar, could use Splenda or Stevia)
(I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

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RecipeGirl said...

I love that you're including some sugar free options for us over the holidays. My FIL has to remain on a low-sugar diet so I occasionally make these sorts of treats for him. Thanks for the new idea!

Maria said...

Triple Almond? Triple YUM!! These look wonderful!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Cookies with agave nectar. I have to try that. And any cookie with the words "Triple Almond" would go to the top of my cookie list, sugar or no sugar. Thanks for the sweet words too. Happy Holidays, my dear. :)

Arfi Binsted said...

Kalyn, everytime I come here, I will find something new. Last time it was the agave honey, this time is almond butter. And these cookies are the combination of both! What an idea!

Jude said...

Oh! Almond butter. I was wondering what the third type of almond is.

Kalyn said...

RecipeGirl, I only make this kind of thing occasionally myself. Glad you like it.

Maria, thanks. I'm not the cookie expert as you know, but these are very good cookies!Susan, Happy Holidays to you. And just think, you got me to enter a baking event!

Arfi, the almond butter was so delicious! My first time trying it too.

Jude, loved the almond butter!

BTW, if people don't care to use Splenda, they should just use sugar. Please don't leave comments here with links to "the truth about Splenda" lecturing me about how it's not safe. If you think Splenda is dangerous, please write about that on your own blog. I use it very rarely, but for people who want to avoid sugar, I think it's a good option.

Karina Allrich said...

Yum- a triple almond treat. And gluten-free to boot. What's not to love?

jesse said...

Triple almond??? This sounds even more delicious than traditional sugar-and-gluten-loaded cookies!

Sheila | Live Well 360° said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE crispy cookies. Something about that snap... Thanks for sharing.


yagisan said...

I also want to make cookies.
I look at this picture and I feel hungry.
I want to eat something early.

Valerie said...

Yum! My fiance and I made this as a transition treat (we fell off the South Beach wagon hard for the holidays), and they were the perfect little dessert.

I had a happy accident when making these - I grabbed anise extract instead of vanilla extract and dumped the full teaspoonful in before I noticed. When I realized it, I added the vanilla extract also and kept on going - but the final product was still yummy! The anise extract made the cookies taste like biscotti, without the tooth-breaking crunchiness!

Kalyn said...

Valerie, I think a lot of us eat things during the holidays that we would normally avoid! That's why going back to phase one is so great. Very interesting about the anise. Will have to try that myself.

MJB said...

I love these cookies - thanks so much for the recipe. A batch usually lasts me about a week, so I am able to do portion control. I usually leave out the Splenda, add a bit more agave nectar (not too much since it's so runny), and kick it up a notch by adding semi-sweet chocolate morsels. It is wonderful - almost like eating my favorite chocolate chip cookies. This has become one of my favorite sources for healthy recipes to make at home. Keep up the great work, and thank you.

Kalyn said...

MJB, you're welcome, and thank you for the nice feedback!

Sweet and Savory said...

This is a gluten free dieter's delight, meaning my husband. What is curious is, that for the first time, I bought almond butter, last Thurday, with no idea what to do with it. It just sounded like the right time to do, and indeed, it seems it was.

If I make these soon, Kalyn, I will let you know how they came out. I am baking for Chanukah so the time is now.

Kalyn said...

Sweet and savory, I love it when things work out like that. Hope you like the cookies.

Todd Davis said...

Some of the recipes say they are sugar free but call for agave. That would technically make them NOT sugar free.

Kalyn Denny said...

Todd I probably didn't know as much about agave when I titled this recipe, but still, 1 TABLESPOON of agave in a recipe that makes 24 cookies?

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