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.