It’s Labor Day weekend. That means an extra day off come Monday, but it also means parties and backyard BBQs. We all know what that means… major temptations to cheat. Lots of buns, beer, and ooey gooey chocolatey desserts call our names and make us think, Oh, just this one time won’t hurt. But when “just this one time” turns into three full days of decadence, you need to find some way to minimize the damage.
I’ve never been a sweets person. I much prefer savory fare if I have the choice. But there is something about going to parties and looking at all of the beautiful cakes and cookies that have me wanting to try all of them. I think this is because I hate feeling left out. It’s easy for me to pass up the appetizers – especially if I have a drink in my hand because then I’m already consuming something so I don’t feel awkward – and I can almost always say no to the bun on the burger, but when everyone is being handed slices of cake and picking up cookies, I hate passing. Inevitably, it ends with someone’s inane comment like, “Oh, well that’s why you’re so skinny!” or “Come on, Ashley. It’s just one cookie.”
I’m not sure why there is this pressure surrounding eating. Maybe because misery loves company? (And those sweet treats sure do leave me feeling miserable!) If I were diabetic or allergic to chocolate, I bet no one would say anything, but since my new lifestyle is a choice, people don’t seem to be able to understand why I can’t just choose to let it go for a day. It was exactly the same way when I was a vegetarian, so I’m used to it, but it’s still annoying. Especially when those cookies actually are really delicious.
So, knowing I was going to my sister-in-law’s birthday dinner yesterday, and knowing that, as with most birthdays, there would be cake, I set out trying to find a Paleo-friendly dessert that I could bring so I’d have something to eat when the cake came out.
Where did I start looking? Pinterest, of course!
I did a quick search for Paleo cookies, looked through some recipes, and eventually landed on this one from FedandFit.com. I had all the ingredients in my pantry, so I didn’t even have to run out to get anything, and it looked pretty easy, so I figured I’d give it a try.
Now, I haven’t had great luck with Paleo desserts before. I tried to make a few muffin recipes, but they ended up dense and chunky and didn’t taste very sweet at all, so I was very skeptical of these cookies. However, they ended up being so amazing that I made extra to take to my Dad’s for his Labor Day get together today, as well. They actually taste like chocolate chip cookies, and they pack a pretty healthy punch with the almond meal and walnuts providing some pretty healthy protein and absolutely zero added sugar or dairy. These were so easy and delicious that I highly recommend them!
Paleo Dark Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
Makes ~24 Cookies
3 cups Sifted Almond Meal
1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (I prefer Ghirardelli 60%)
1 cup Chopped Walnuts
¼ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Baking Soda
1/3 cup Honey
2 Tbl Virgin Coconut Oil (melted)
½ tsp Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or aluminum foil).
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix the dry ingredients together with a fork. Includes: almond meal, salt, and baking soda.
Add the chocolate chips and chopped walnuts to the dry mixture and stir evenly.
In a separate bowl, whisk the wet ingredients together (honey, oil, vanilla extract, and egg).
You may need to heat the honey and oil in order to liquefy them. 30 seconds in the microwave will do. Be sure to heat BEFORE you add the egg.
Make a crater in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the whisked wet ingredients.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until evenly mixed.
Using a 1 Tbl scoop or a spoon, spoon out balls of the dough and align them on the baking sheet.
Using either the palm of your hand or the back of a spoon greased with a little coconut oil, smash the balls of cookie dough down. Because the cookies don’t expand much during baking, the shape you make will stick.
Bake for 15 minutes then let cool for at least 5 minutes.
The cookies will not come off the parchment paper (or aluminum foil) very easily if they’re too warm.
Time: 15 minutes prep
Bake Time: 15 minutes