These lightly sweet Paleo breakfast cookies are packed with healthy fats and protein. Send your family off for the day the right way!
A satisfying busy morning breakfast
I don't know about you, but I'm all about the make-ahead breakfast for weekday mornings. Well, I do know about some of you, that you're all about that too since I've been offering gluten free breakfast ideas on the blog forever and a day.
I need to fill my children up with something that will keep them going all morning long, plus I don't want to fight first thing in the morning, nor do I want to beg (“please just eat because we have to GO!”). And I'm just not waking up any earlier to make a hot breakfast at 6:00 a.m.
Enter Paleo Breakfast Cookies: make-ahead, packed with protein, fiber, good fat and vitamins, with no refined sugar. And they're just sweet enough to overcome any I'm-just-not-hungry-this-morning objections. School morning breakfast. Done.
These breakfast cookies are, indeed, Paleo. But to me, Paleo is just shorthand for no gluten, no grains, no dairy, and no refined sugars. I'm into these breakfast cookies for the taste, health, and nutrition, not for the purism of Paleo.
Of course, scrambled eggs are just as much of a Paleo breakfast as these breakfast cookies. But these cookies can be made ahead (they freeze amazingly well), and also have tons of protein and healthy fats, too. Plus, my kids love these lightly sweet cookies—plus the fact that they're eating cookies for breakfast doesn't hurt.
Ingredients and substitutions
If you've never tried baking with coconut and almond flours, these Paleo breakfast cookies are an easy place to start. Here are a few more recipe notes to help you navigate the world of Paleo flours in general, and this recipe specifically:
This recipe calls for finely ground, blanched almond flour. Blanched almonds are raw almonds that have had their skins removed. Finely ground almond flour is not the same as almond meal, which is usually made from whole almonds that haven't been blanched and is much more coarsely ground.
In baking, especially in Paleo baking, you'll need the finely ground, blanched kind of almond flour, and never almond meal. Much like baking with superfine white rice flour in conventional gluten free baking, for the almond flour to mix completely with the other ingredients in a baking recipe, it must be finely ground.
If you can't have almonds, you can try cashew flour. Cashews don't have skins, so they don't have to be blanched. Just raw cashew flour that's been finely ground will work in place of almond flour. If you can't have nuts at all, you can try sunflower seed flour, but it tends to react with baking soda and baking powder to give baked goods a green color. It's not harmful, though!
Nuts and seeds
You can use any combination of nuts and seeds you like. If you can't have nuts, and are making these cookies with sunflower seed flour, try using seeds and coconut flakes.
Coconut flour is made from the pulp of the coconut that's been dried and ground. It's very soft and powdery, and it may look like other baking flours. But it's entirely unique and has no known 1:1 substitute. There are only 3 tablespoons of coconut flour in this recipe, but they give the cookies a lot of structure and fiber.
Coconut palm sugar
A dark, granulated unrefined sugar, coconut palm sugar has a relatively distinctive, deep taste. It's more analogous to refined brown sugar than the granulated sugar in flavor, but it's dry like granulated sugar. You can replace it in this recipe with white granulated sugar if you don't mind using a refined sugar.
Coconut oil is a soft solid at room temperature, and can be easily replaced with Spectrum brand nonhydrogenated vegetable shortening if you prefer.
Since there are only two eggs in this recipe, each should be able to be replaced with one “chia egg” (1 tablespoon ground chia seeds + 1 tablespoon lukewarm water, mixed and allowed to gel). I haven't tried it, though, so you'll have to experiment.
Since maple syrup is much thinner than honey, it isn't necessarily the perfect 1:1 substitute in this recipe for honey, but it's your best bet if you can't have honey. You might have to adjust the moisture balance of the recipe with another 1/4 teaspoonful of coconut flour, for example.
Paleo Breakfast Cookies
1 1/4 cups (150 g) raw nuts and seeds (I used a combination of cashews, sliced almonds and raw pumpkin seeds), roughly chopped (can substitute an equal amount, by weight, of another raw nut)
1 cup (80 g) raw coconut flakes
1 1/2 cups (168 g) blanched finely ground almond flour*
3 tablespoons (24 g) coconut flour*
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons (24 g) coconut palm sugar (can substitute an equal amount granulated sugar)
4 tablespoons (48 g) virgin coconut oil (can substitute an equal amount of unsalted butter if you don’t need to be dairy-free), melted and cooled
2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten
4 tablespoons (84 g) honey
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 to 3 ounces dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
*I order blanched almond flour and coconut flour exclusively from nuts.com. There are other good brands of finely ground blanched almond flour, like Honeyville, but do not use Bob’s Red Mill brand or Trader Joe’s brand almond flours. They will not work in this recipe.
Preheat your oven to 300°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and set it aside. Place the raw nuts and coconut flakes on a separate rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and place in the preheated oven. Bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool briefly.
In a large bowl, place the almond flour, coconut flour, baking soda, salt and coconut palm sugar, and whisk to combine well. Add the melted coconut oil, eggs, honey and vanilla, and mix to combine well. The dough will be very soft. Add the toasted nuts and coconut flakes, and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough. Allow the dough to sit until it begins to firm up so it will be easier to handle (about 5 minutes).
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions, each about 4 tablespoons in volume, about 2 inches apart from one another. With wet hands, shape each portion into a ball, return to the baking sheet and then press into a disk about ½ inch thick. Scatter 5 or 6 of the optional chocolate chips on top of each disk and press gently to help them adhere.
Place the baking sheet in the center of the preheated oven and bake until the cookies are puffed, pale golden all over and brown around the edges, about 12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the baking sheet until firm (about 10 minutes) before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
This recipe was first published on the blog in 2013. I have updated the recipe and method, and added new photographs.