food for the mind

In the Kitchen

Gluten-Free Cookies


  • 1/2 cup coconut crystals (or brown sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 7oz of unsalted butter or 7oz of coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk, original
  • 3/4 cup gluten-free flour such as Bob Red Mill GF Flour
  • 1/2 cup ground almonds
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon cream (optional)



Heat the oven to 325°F.

In a bowl, cream the butter/coconut oil, sugar and honey until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Stir in vanilla and almond milk. Sift in the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and salt.

Scoop rounds (1 teaspoon) into a muffin pan. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes, until the cookies are golden around the edges. Let the cookies cool.

Place the warm, melted chocolate in a bowl and stir in the cream until well combined. Spread the melted chocolate on the flat side of one of the cookies, and then sandwich with another.

Let the cookies set before serving.

It’s a grey, rainy Sunday afternoon and I’m writing a blog post on “Why Hangovers Get Worse With Age“. I don’t have a hangover but I’m distracted. Food52’s weekly newsletter has arrived in my inbox.  The visuals are beautiful and I am drawn to the Brussel cookies – oat based cookies with chocolate wedged between them. For my Australian readers, these are like placing two mini-Anzac cookies over melted chocolate.

I review the recipe and ponder how I can convert this into a gluten and dairy-free cookie. Oats contain gluten and they are my nemesis. Gluten-free oats do not exist. Oats contain avenin, which is a gluten molecule.  It is different to wheat gluten, gliadin, but will almost always produce an inflammatory reaction within the body if you are gluten sensitive. Oats labelled as gluten-free are simply produced in a facility where wheat is not processed.

To make the cookies, I replace the oats with crushed almonds.  I suggest crushing the almonds in a food processor rather than buying almond meal as it is too fine for the recipe.  The flour can be replaced with a gluten-free flour like Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose GF Flour and increased in quantity to absorb some of the butter the oats otherwise would have. The dairy can be replaced with coconut butter and almond milk.  If you don’t have a sensitivity to dairy, by all means use organic butter as it does taste better.

The original recipe recommends placing the cookies on a baking tray. This never works for me because the butter or coconut oil simply melt and I end up with merged cookies and a mess all over the oven.  Muffin tins work better as they maintain the circular shape of the cookie.

Once these little morsels are baked and cooled, they are spread with melted dark chocolate. Just heavenly on rainy day.

My lovely friend Marissa Lippert, who is also a nutritionist, just posted a healthy quinoa recipe – Quinoa Pilaf with Dates and Pistachios.  I’m feeling a little guilty because I’ve made cookies.  So… I’m going to be a food pusher and drop some off to her. See you soon Marissa!


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