It’s been nearly 5 years since I first posted my Paleo & Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, but it’s still a staple in our home. These cookies are the best! However, I felt like a little update was in order because I’ve changed how I make them slightly over the years, and I’ve also learned more about using almond flour in the process.
When I first worked on this recipe, I didn’t know there was a difference between almond flour and almond meal. They were still relatively “new” ingredients to me, so I thought they could be used interchangeably. And they can… sort of. The results are just slightly different depending on which you use. Both options are made from ground almonds, but almond flour is made from blanched almonds (almonds with their skins removed) and almond meal is made from whole almonds, including their skins.
Flavor-wise, the type of ground almonds you use won’t make much of a difference– these healthy gluten-free cookies will taste delicious either way.
Texture-wise, using almond meal will result in a more of a soft and cake-like cookie, while blanched almond flour will result in a crispier and more buttery cookie, similar to shortbread. You can still get a soft and tender inside when baking with almond flour; the final texture will ultimately come down to how long you bake them. The longer you bake them, the crispier they will be.
Another thing I’ve changed about this recipe is the baking temperature. When I first started baking with almond flour, I baked everything at 350ºF because that’s what I was used to doing. But while researching for my first cookbook, Everyday Detox, I discovered that it’s safer to heat certain nuts, including almonds, at lower temperatures to prevent acrylamide formation. (A potential cancer-causing substance.) I’ve addressed this issue more in both of my cookbooks and developed my recipes in those particular books to help you avoid any extra exposure to acrylamide, but I haven’t gotten around to updating the recipes here on the blog yet. So, consider this one of my first attempts at remedying that!
What I love about this Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is that it is:
- Gluten-free and grain-free
- Egg-free, without using an egg replacer
- Naturally sweetened with pure maple syrup
- Higher in protein and healthy fats (each cookie has 4 grams of protein!)
- Vegan and Paleo friendly
I know many of you love the recipe I posted back in 2012, so I’m leaving it there in case you prefer it, but below you’ll find my updated recipe. I hope you’ll enjoy it!
This Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe is gluten-free, vegan, and paleo friendly. Naturally sweetened with maple syrup for a healthier cookie!
Preheat the oven to 250ºF and line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, oil, maple syrup, salt, baking soda, vanilla, and vinegar and stir well to create a uniform, sticky dough. Fold in the chocolate chips.
Drop the dough by heaping tablespoons onto the baking sheet, then use your hands to gently flatten and shape them. (They won't spread a lot with baking.) Get your fingers wet with water to help prevent sticking while you work with the dough.
Bake until the cookies are firm to the touch around the edges, about 30 minutes at 250ºF. (If you are in a hurry, you can bake them for just 12 minutes at 350ºF, but then you'll risk the acrylamide formation I discussed earlier in this post.) For a more crispy and crunchy cookie, you can bake them up to 45 minutes at 250ºF. Because of the low temperature, these cookies will not turn golden brown around the edges, so don't be alarmed by their pale color.
Remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool on the pan for at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove them. They will firm up more as they cool. Serve warm or at room temperature. These cookies can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, but they will have the best shelf life and texture when stored in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.
These cookies tend to get softer when stored in an airtight container at room temperature, so I highly recommend you store them in the fridge or freezer. They may last indefinitely in the freezer, but they rarely last more than a month in our home before we eat them all. They have a very crunchy texture when served directly from the freezer, which is what my husband prefers!
- As I mentioned above, you can use almond flour OR almond meal in this recipe with just slightly different results. I don’t recommend using coconut flour or grain-based flours as an alternative in this recipe. Instead, please check out my Coconut Flour Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe, Vegan Buckwheat Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Vegan Chickpea Chocolate Chip Cookies for some nut-free options.
- In most cases, real butter works well as a substitute for coconut oil if you don’t need this recipe to be dairy-free.
- As always, please leave a comment below letting us know if you try any substitutions so we can all benefit from your experience!
Reader Feedback: Do you prefer more soft and cake like cookies, or the crisper, shortbread-like variety?