Yesterday I really wanted something sweet. I’ve had good success so far making paleo treats sweetened with honey, but you’re not allowed to have honey during the Whole30. I thought there was nothing I could do to satisfy my sweet tooth, but then I remembered reading some of the fine print down at the bottom of the Whole30 site, where it said that fruit juice could be used as a sweetener. At the time, I hadn’t been able to imagine how fruit juice could make an adequate sweetener. But, in my time of desperate sweets craving, I started to think maybe I could do something with this.
These cookies are sweetened with apple juice and dried apricots. They don’t taste like apple, but they do have a nice apricot flavor and a fun subtle orange hue. They are, not surprisingly, not very sweet. I won’t judge you if you want to add a couple of tablespoons of honey. If you do, you might want to add a little more almond flour as well (or less apple juice) so the batter won’t be too wet.
If you like a moist, rich cookie that’s guilt-free, these are for you. The vanilla bean seeds, butter, and almond flour provide lots of great flavor and texture to make up for the cookies not being overly sweet. And, with only five ingredients plus salt, these cookies couldn’t be easier to make! However, I’m not going to lie to you: they are not crispy at all. I haven’t figured out how to make gluten-free cookies crispy. If you have the secret, please share it! If you’re looking for a sweeter cookie, check out the “You might also like” section at the end of this post.
Ingredients (makes about 15 cookies):
1/2 cup dried apricots, soaked in warm water for 10-20 minutes
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup almond flour
6 tablespoons cold butter, cut into chunks
1/2 vanilla bean
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 325, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain the dried apricots and place them in a food processor with the apple juice. Process, scraping down the bowl as necessary, until the mixture has a jam-like texture with very small pieces of apricot.
Add the almond flour, butter, and salt, and scrape in the vanilla bean seeds. Process until well combined. Spoon tablespoon sized balls of batter onto the prepared sheet and flatten them slightly (cookies will not spread as they bake). Bake for about 12 minutes, until golden brown around the edges. Cool for a few minutes on the sheet, then carefully transfer to a rack to cool completely.