Gluten-Free Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

It’s that time of year again when there seem to be cookies everywhere one turns. Although it’s fun to participate in holiday baking traditions, it can wreak havoc on your healthy routine, as most of the cookies that surround us are loaded with white flour, sugar and bad-quality fats.

These moist coconut and deeply chocolatey cookies will satisfy not only your urge to join in on the baking festivities, but also the need for a satisfying sweet treat. Created with better health in mind, these cookies are vegan, whole-grain and naturally gluten-free, and they also include a combination of good fats from almonds, coconut and coconut oil.

In their latest book, The New Health Rules (Artisan), Dr. Frank Lipman and Danielle Claro answer a frequently asked question: “Is chocolate seriously good for you?” In small amounts, yes, but the chocolate must be dairy-free in order for your body to absorb its antioxidants. For that reason alone I think it’s worth seeking out a good dairy-free chocolate when making these cookies. Here’s to healthier holiday baking!

Double Chocolate Coconut Cookies

Almond meal can become lumpy when stored in the freezer. Instead of trying to break up the pieces by hand, simply blend the flour along with the coconut and rolled oats.

Makes 22 2-inch cookies

1 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
1/2 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup almond meal
1 cup gluten-free oat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I use Vahlrona)
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/4 cup melted extra virgin coconut oil
1/4 cup plus tablespoons maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened dried coconut flakes
2 3/4 ounces dark chocolate (75%), broken into pieces

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Add shredded coconut and oats to a food processor and grind until fine. Transfer to a medium bowl and add almond meal, oat flour, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and maple sugar; stir well. Drizzle in melted coconut oil and stir until combined. Stir in maple syrup and vanilla. Set mixture aside for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once cookie batter is no longer sticky, mix in coconut flakes and chocolate. Shape into rough 2-inch mounds and bake 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Store left over cookies in the fridge in an airtight container. They will keep well for up to 4 days.

Amy Chaplin is a chef and recipe developer in New York City. Her cookbook At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen is available this fall. She blogs at

Photo: Stephen Johnson.

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