Thursday, March 21, 2013

Paleo "Snickerdoodles"

I said good-bye to the Domincan Republic and hello to the beautiful paradise of Newark, NJ,  just in time for the snow/ice storm earlier this week. Lucky me! But back to the work and baking grind we go :)

So I've somehow failed to mention that I am now half way through Week 4 of the Paleo Diet {also known as the Caveman Diet}.  As you know I've always been a bit of a health freak so it's not a huge leap, but I mean not licking the spoon when I'm done baking? Talk about torture! But I am absolutely loving how I feel and how it helps my new workout regimen of weight training and spin classes, so I'll sacrifice the taste tests for now.

And you are probably doubting that I managed to stay Paleo on an All-Inclusive get-a-way vacation, with endless French Fries (my weakness) at every meal.  But I actually did! With help from the wonderful omelet man making me this delicious breakfast every morning after my workout:
YUM, and of course there were plenty of vegetable, meats and salad options that I was able to steer clear from the temptations, thank goodness.  Although I must admit, I definitely broke it in the drink department.  But hey, it\ was vacation, meeting amazing new friends, and living the VIP cabana would be just wrong to turn down the infamous Mamajuana shots and these delectable Tiki Tiki's.
But anyway, aside from making you jealous, I'm making myself jealous! So back to the reason we're all here: food.

I've decided to switch it up a bit today and try to make something I COULD eat if I ever need a little treat.  Now this recipe is Grain-free/ Egg-Free/Dairy-Free so for all of my gluten free and lactose intolerant followers out there, this is for you too!  As I'm still in transition to find new meal ideas {since I eat spaghetti squash for lunch every single day, no lie}, I have found a few awesome Paleo bloggers that you must check out! PaleoOMG, Civilizedcaveman, Againstallgrain, and where I found this post, UrbanPoser.

Now I'm usually not too modest when it comes to my baking, especially because I know I make a damn good Snickerdoodle {recipe posted in 2012}.  So when I was reading through various posts and recipe ideas, this one obviously caught my eye.  When Urban Poser described them as "Sweet, thin, crackled and chewy" there was no way I could resist.

Now baking Paleo requires different ingredients than you usually bake with, so be prepared to make a stop at your local health food market.
I've used coconut oil before in gluten-free baking, but I scoured the aisles up and down looking for a bottle containing liquid until I finally realized it doesn't actually look like your typical oil.  It comes in a jar and resembles more of a Crisco consistency {prior to melting}.
Now I'm not going to lie to you, her cookies look WAY better than mine.  And to be really honest, if you want a sweet treat this might not be the way to go, but it's definitely something different.  I can't quite put my finger on it exactly, but it's sort of an almondy-cinnamony-soft-crackery-not sure where I'm going with this but just try it and see for yourself!

Paleo "Snickerdoodles" {Grain-free/ Dairy-free/ Egg-free}
Adapted from Urban Poser

2 cups blanched, fine ground almond flour
Less than a 1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
4 Tbs coconut oil, softened or melted {5 Tbs if you want a softer cookie}* see note
1/4 mild honey
1Tbs vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon
2 Tbs raw coconut crystal, optional* see note

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients.  In a separate bowl, combine oil, honey and vanilla and stir until combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well.

Combine the cinnamon and coconut crystals {if using them} in a small bowl.  Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and coat them in the topping.

Place on the baking tray, flatten slightly, and cook for 8-9 minutes.  Allow to cool on the tray before removing and placing on a cooling rack.

1) I used 5 tablespoons of the coconut oil and I believe that may be part of the reason why mine were slightly flatter.  I would recommend starting with the 4 tablespoons and adding more if you feel necessary.
2) I did not use the coconut crystals in topping, as I could not find any last minute.  This may help add a touch more sweetness to the "cookie".

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