Yes, these delicious crunchy almond flour cookies are the world’s easiest cookies to make and they happen to be paleo, vegan, gluten-free, and grain-free!

A close up of a plate filled with The World's Easiest Cookies.

Longtime readers know that they won’t find many Paleo desserts on my blog or in my cookbook or app. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the occasional sweet treat; I’m an admitted recovering sugar addict, after all. I’m just not a baker. I don’t have the patience or talent for it, and it’s probably for the best. I’d much rather tweak a cauliflower recipe over and over again than try to figure out how to make the perfect Paleo pastry—especially ’cause I’d be tempted to eat up all of my failed baking experiments. That’s also why whenever I bake, I rely on experts who have perfected the craft, so that I’m guaranteed a satisfying treat on the first try.

A picture of two young Asian boys staring hungrily at some freshly baked cookies.

One of those experts is Elizabeth Barbone. She’s a bona fide gluten-free baking authority: a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America with a degree in baking and pastry arts, the author of multiple cookbooks, and prolific blogger.

I met Elizabeth years ago when we both attended a food blogger conference at Disney World. One morning, we ended up in the same ferry heading to the Magic Kingdom; as our boat chugged across the water, we chatted about our respective blogs. As soon as she told me she was a gluten-free baker, I asked if she’d ever dabbled in grain-free treats given the growing demand for them. Elizabeth told me that she hadn’t, but her interest was piqued. According to Elizabeth, our casual conversation on that fateful morning sparked the idea for her new cookbook, World’s Easiest Paleo Baking.

Someone reading World's Easiest Paleo Baking cookbook.

I was lucky enough to receive a preview copy of Elizabeth’s cookbook, and was instantly hooked by the straightforward, crave-worthy recipes. The recipes are simple yet precise, covering everything from Cinnamon Streusel Coffee Cake to fresh pasta dough. As the kids and I flipped through the pages, the very first recipe that leaped off the page was Elizabeth’s “The World’s Easiest Cookies.” With a name like that, how could I resist?

With Elizabeth’s permission, I’ve posted her easy-peasy cookie recipe below for you lucky ducks. Her cookies are fantastic as-is, but if you want to dress ’em up a bit, you can dip the bottoms in melted chocolate.

Because chocolate.

Time to make the World’s Easiest Cookies!

Makes 16 Cookies

Ingredients:

Homemade Grain-Free Baking Powder:

Equipment:

Method:

Arrange the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Switch to a silicone spatula or wooden spoon and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla.

Two pictures side by side. The first one is someone measuring the dry ingredients in a bowl. The picture on the right is of someone pouring maple syrup into the dry ingredients.

Mix until a sticky dough holds together.

A closeup of a pink silicone spatula mixing cookie dough.

Scoop a tablespoon of the dough…

A close up of someone scooping the cookie dough with a measuring spoon.

…and roll it into a round ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, placing each ball about 2 inches apart.

Unbaked cookie dough balls are on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Use your fingers to smush the cookies until they are about ½-inch tall. (If you prefer a softer cookie, you can skip the smushing.)

A hand is smushing the raw cookie dough into flat cookies.

Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, turning the tray 180° at the the halfway point. The cookies are ready when the edges are golden brown.

A hand is pushing a cookie sheet filled with cookies into the oven.

Transfer the cookies and parchment paper onto a wire rack, and let ’em cool completely.

A shot of freshly baked The World's Easiest Cookies on a sheet of parchment paper.

SEE? THEY’RE THE WORLD’S EASIEST!

Now, here’s the part where I make them a little less easy, but a lot more chocolatey:

While the cookies are cooling, prepare the chocolate. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the chocolate into small shards on the diagonal. This step might seem like a chore, and you’re gonna have to flex your muscles, but the chocolate will melt faster and more evenly once it’s properly chopped.

Place the chocolate shards into a glass mixing bowl. You have two options for melting the chocolate: use a double boiler or a microwave. Most folks don’t own a double boiler, but you can make your own by grabbing a metal or glass bowl that fits snugly in a medium saucepan. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure that the water never touches the bottom of the bowl.

The left hand picture has shaved dark chocolate in a double boiler. The picture on the right is melted chocolate being stirred with a gray silicone spatula.

While maintaining the water at a simmer, stir the melting chocolate until it’s smooth. Be patient and don’t overheat the chocolate—it can turn grainy if the temperature goes above 115°F. (You can check the temperature with this nifty thermometer.)

For those of you who use a microwave oven, you can melt the chocolate by zapping it on high for 30 seconds, and stirring well to evenly distribute the heat. Repeat and stir until smooth. If the chocolate’s not totally melted after a minute, repeat in 15 second increments. Be careful not to overcook it!

Place another piece of parchment paper on a cooled cookie sheet or rimmed baking sheet. When the cookies are completely cooled, dip the bottoms of each cookie onto the chocolate to coat the bottom.

The bottom of a cookie is being dipped by hand into a bowl of melted dark chocolate.

Place the cookies, chocolate-side down on the parchment lined sheet. Repeat until finished.

A tray of The World's Easiest Cookies with chocolate bottoms.

If you’re feeling fancy, you can drizzle melted chocolate on top. I have no cookie decorating skillz, so I leave them alone on the top.

You can leave the cookies in a cool spot for the chocolate bottoms to harden or place the tray in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or place in a freezer container for up to 6 weeks.

A close up side view of a plate piled high with The World's Easiest Cookies.

Hankering for more foolproof Paleo treat recipes? Go get Elizabeth’s cookbook, World’s Easiest Paleo Baking!


Looking for more recipe ideas? Head on over to my Recipe Index. You’ll also find exclusive recipes on my iPhone and iPad app, and in my cookbooks, Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2013), Ready or Not! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2017), and Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go! (Andrews McMeel Publishing 2021).


PRINTER-FRIENDLY RECIPE CARD

 

The World's Easiest Cookies from Elizabeth Barbone

4.78 from 18 votes
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Servings 16 cookies
These delicious and simple grain-free Paleo cookies will please your whole family! They're also gluten-free, egg-free, and vegan!

Ingredients  

  • 2 cups finely ground almond flour 225 grams = 2 cups
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder homemade or grain-free store-bought
  • teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt optional
  • cup dark maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3.5 ounce dark chocolate 70-90% cacao

Homemade Grain-Free Baking Powder

  • ¼ cup cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon tapioca starch this prevents clumping

Instructions 

  • Arrange the oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cookie sheet or rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, baking powder, and salt. Switch to a silicone spatula or wooden spoon and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla. Mix until a sticky dough holds together.
  • Scoop a tablespoon of the dough, and roll it into a round ball and place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the dough, placing each ball about 2 inches apart.
  • Use your fingers to smush the cookies until they are about ½-inch tall. (If you prefer a softer cookie, you can skip the smushing.)
  • Place the tray in the oven and bake for about 12 minutes, turning the tray 180° at the the halfway point. The cookies are ready when the edges are golden brown.
  • Transfer the cookies and parchment paper onto a wire rack, and let ’em cool completely.

Optional chocolate coating:

  • While the cookies are cooling, prepare the chocolate. Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the chocolate into small shards on the diagonal. This step might seem like a chore, and you’re gonna have to flex your muscles, but the chocolate will melt faster and more evenly once it’s properly chopped.
  • Place the chocolate shards into a glass mixing bowl. You have two options for melting the chocolate: use a double boiler or a microwave. Most folks don’t own a double boiler, but you can make your own by grabbing a metal or glass bowl that fits snugly in a medium saucepan. Fill the saucepan with about two inches of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan, making sure that the water never touches the bottom of the bowl.
  • While maintaining the water at a simmer, stir the melting chocolate until it’s smooth. Be patient and don’t overheat the chocolate—it can turn grainy if the temperature goes above 115°F. (You can check the temperature with this nifty thermometer.)
  • For those of you who use a microwave oven, you can melt the chocolate by zapping it on high for 30 seconds, and stirring well to evenly distribute the heat. Repeat and stir until smooth. If the chocolate’s not totally melted after a minute, repeat in 15 second increments. Be careful not to overcook it!
  • Place another piece of parchment paper on a cooled cookie sheet or rimmed baking sheet. When the cookies are completely cooled, dip the bottoms of each cookie onto the chocolate to coat the bottom. Place the cookies, chocolate-side down on the parchment lined sheet. Repeat until finished.
  • If you’re feeling fancy, you can drizzle melted chocolate on top. I have no cookie decorating skillz, so I leave them alone on the top.
  • You can leave the cookies in a cool spot for the chocolate bottoms to harden or place the tray in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Store the cookies in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or place in a freezer container for up to 6 weeks.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 146kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Fiber: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Like this? Leave a comment below!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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