Tender, brownie-like chocolate cookies made with coconut flour (no other flours or starches!). They are naturally grain-free, vegan, paleo, and gluten-free.
Because I care so much about all of you, dear readers, I ate many–many–chocolate cookies this past week.
A few were dry, others gooey. Several others crumbled to bits, and some were dreadful.
In the end, all of the sampling was worth it. Because the failures eventually led to a swoon-worthy success:
Chocolate Coconut Flour Cookies, made exclusively with coconut flour and free of eggs and dairy.
Several of you wrote to me after I published my recipe for vegan, paleo almond flour cookies last week, asking if coconut flour might work in place of the almond flour. Sadly, no, because the two flours work so differently. The differences are even more acute in the absence of eggs; simple swaps are not possible.
However, the requests inspired me to develop these cookies (hint: keep the requests coming! I love challenges :)). I am still working on a multi-purpose vanilla cookie made with coconut flour (tricky), but in the meantime, who wants chocolate?!
I am especially excited to have figured out a coconut flour cookie recipe that is egg-free and has no added flours or starches. The only flour is coconut flour. It is no easy feat (see the aforementioned mention of dry, gooey, crumbly, dreadful cookies). But a chocolate coconut flour cookie is easier because of the addition of cocoa powder, which adds a natural starchiness to the dough.
The final recipe is very easy, assembled in one bowl in under 5 minutes. Despite the overall simplicity, it is very important to follow these two key steps:
(1) Lightly spoon the coconut flour when measuring it (do not pack it!). Coconut flour is extremely absorbent. Because it is also used in in small quantities, even a little bit of extra flour (from packing it in) can throw off the recipe.
(2) Let the dough rest for 2 to 3 minutes before using. When the cookie dough is first combined, it will be closer to a thick batter than a dough. Let it rest. After a few minutes, the coconut flour absorbs much of the liquid, resulting in a thick, but still moist, dough.
Here is the dough after sitting, about 3 minutes after mixing:
The ingredient list for these cookies comprises familiar, frugal ingredients. I used a flaxseed-water mix in place of the eggs. Trust me when I say that the tablespoon of flaxseed meal is just right. I tried less (crumbles) and much more (awful). A tablespoon is perfect.
I did not have success with a similar quantity of chia seeds in place of the flax (I tried both whole and ground chia). The finished cookies looked good, but did not hold together. You are welcome to experiment with other quantities, but for now, I have no alternatives to the flax.
To create perfect mounds of dough, I used a small cookie scoop (generous tablespoons of dough are fine, too), which produces exactly 12 medium-size cookies.
After a short bake, you’ll have a dozen tender, brownie-like cookies.
I highly recommend keeping the cookies in the refrigerator (unless you have a very cool kitchen). If the cookies become too warm, they can break in half.
Since I am a more is more type, I could not stop myself from coming up with a few variations (included in the recipe below). I know you will come up with many more of your own design, but these will get you started:
(1) Double Chocolate Chip Cookies: I love pointing out the obvious: add more chocolate :).
(2) Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cookies: replace 1 tablespoon of the oil with peanut butter, add some mini chocolate chips, and then drizzle with more peanut butter.
(3) Chocolate Mint Cookies: mint extract + a dark chocolate drizzle, inspired by a certain Girl Scout Cookie flavor.
Bake, eat, and enjoy, everyone!
Making this recipe? I would love to see it!
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- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
- ¼ cup coconut flour (do not pack it; lightly spoon to measure)
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup coconut palm sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used avocado oil)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- In a cup, combine the water and flaxseed meal. Let stand for 5 minutes to thicken.
- In a small bowl, whisk the coconut flour, cocoa powder, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt, breaking up any and all lumps.
- Add the flax mixture, oil and vanilla to coconut flour mixture, stirring until blended. Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes, allowing the coconut flour to absorb the liquid.
- Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop 12 mounds of dough onto the prepared cookie sheet, spacing 2 inches apart.
- Bake in the preheated oven 11 to 14 minutes until set at the centers and surface of cookies appears dry,
- Cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then carefully transfer cookies to a wire cooling rack. Cool completely.
Sweetener Swap: An equal amount of brown sugar or cane sugar can be used in place of the coconut sugar.
Storage: Store the cookies in an airtight container at (cool) room temperature for 1 day, the refrigerator for 1 week or the freezer for up to 6 months.
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies: Add 2 to 3 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips to the batter.
Chocolate Mint Cookies: Replace the vanilla with an equal amount of pure peppermint extract. Melt 2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips together with ½ teaspoon vegetable oil in mix=crowave and drizzle over cooled cookies.
Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cookies: Replace 1 tablespoon of the oil with smooth/creamy peanut butter and add an extra 2 teaspoons water to the batter. Add 2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips to the batter. Drizzle 1 tablespoon smooth/creamy peanut butter (melted in the microwave for 15-20 seconds) over tops of cooled cookies.