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Paleo Girl Scout Cookies

By TAMMY CREDICOTT

The modern world is full of limitless temptations. Triple-decker-waffle-chicken-gravy-cheese breakfast sandwiches? Got 'em! Brownie-ganache-chocolate-chip-marshmallow-salted caramel cookies? You betcha.

But for many, the most challenging of temptations arrives each spring with a simple knock on your door: the dreaded Girl Scout cookie. It's an amazing organization with probably the best fundraising idea of all time, but consuming an entire box of Thin Mints is not the best idea for a healthy, happy waistline -- and it may be downright dangerous for those with food allergies.

[Read More: 5 High-Protein Paleo Breakfasts]

Luckily, I have solution for enjoying those classic flavors while keeping your family safe and healthy. A grain-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sugar version that can easily be made at home.

Paleo Skinny Mint Cookies
(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate.)

Tammy Credicott

Prep Time: 25 minutes (plus two hours for chilling)
Servings: 60 cookies

Yep -- minty, crunchy goodness, just like the originals. They also freeze well, so you can make lots of them.

Ingredients
Dry:
* 1 1/4 cup almond flour
* 1/2 cup coconut flour
* 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
* 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
* 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Wet:
* 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
* 1 egg
* 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
* 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

Coating:
* 3/4 cup dark chocolate
* 2 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate
* 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract

Directions
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.
2. Add wet ingredients, except coconut oil.
3. Blend with a hand mixer. With mixer on low, slowly pour in the coconut oil. Mix well.
4. Place dough onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Using the plastic wrap, shape the dough into a long log (you can divide dough into thirds to make it easier).
5. Wrap completely and freeze dough until very firm, about two hours.
6. Preheat oven to 350°F.
7. Slice frozen dough with a sharp knife into about quarter-inch-thick rounds.
8. Place cookie rounds on parchment-lined baking sheets.
9. Bake 12 to 14 minutes or until center is firm to the touch and the edges are golden brown. Cool cookies completely on wire racks.
10. While the cookies cool, melt the coating ingredients in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
11. With two forks, dip each cookie in the chocolate coating, scraping off any excess chocolate. Place cookies back on parchment-lined baking sheets. Refrigerate until chocolate sets, about 30 minutes to one hour.
12. Store cookies in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

[Read More: 5 Fast Paleo Lunches]

Some-More-Ahhhs
(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate.)

Tammy Credicott

Prep Time: 45 minutes (plus 15 minutes for chilling)
Servings: 12 large cookies (or 24 small cookies)

This is a shortcut version of Samoas, complete with dairy-free gooey caramel. Leftovers freeze wonderfully -- if you have any.

For the cookie:
* 2 cups almond flour
* 1/2 cup unsweetened, finely shredded coconut
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
* 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1 egg
* 3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

For the caramel:
*
1 cup coconut crystals (aka, coconut sugar or palm sugar)
* 1/4 cup coconut nectar
* 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
* Optional: 1/4 cup butter (adds richness to the caramel, but is just as good without it)

For the tops:
* 1/2 cup toasted, unsweetened, finely shredded coconut
* 1/2 cup dark chocolate (chips or chopped)
* 1 ounce unsweetened dark chocolate (chopped)

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together dry cookie ingredients.
3. Add wet ingredients to the dry and blend well with a hand mixer. Cover and refrigerate dough 15 minutes.
4. Scoop cookie dough by the tablespoonful onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake 12 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool cookies on a wire rack.
5. In a medium saucepan combine the caramel ingredients. Heat over medium-high heat and bring mixture to a boil until it reaches 250°F (about 20 minutes; use a candy thermometer). Remove from heat and let cool for about 10 minutes.
6. To make the toppings, toast shredded coconut by placing it in a thin layer on a baking sheet and bake in a 300°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes to toast evenly.
7. Place chocolate in a double boiler and stir until almost melted. Remove from heat and stir until completely melted and smooth.
8. To assemble cookies, place a small spoonful of caramel on top of each cookie, then sprinkle with toasted coconut. Let cool.
9. Dip bottoms of each cookie into melted chocolate. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet to set.
10. Once cooled, drizzle tops with chocolate. Let cookies sit for about one hour. Store in an airtight container for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

[Read More: Sneaky Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy]

Sunbutter Tag-Alongs
(For full nutritional information, here is a link to the recipe we created in MyPlate.)

Tammy Credicott

Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus three hours to chill)
Servings: 24 cookies

There are a few steps involved with this cookie, but they are so worth it. A crunchy cookie covered in creamy sunbutter (sunflower seed butter) and chocolate. What's not to love?

For the cookies:
* 1 cup almond flour
* 1/4 cup coconut flour
* 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
* 1 egg
* 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
* 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
* 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Chocolate coating:
* 3/4 cup dark chocolate (chips or chopped)
* 2 ounces unsweetened dark chocolate
* 1 teaspoon organic palm shortening

Filling:
Organic creamy sunbutter

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, blend dry ingredients.
2. Add wet ingredients, except for the coconut oil, and blend with a hand mixer. With mixer on low, slowly add coconut oil to the bowl and mix well.
3. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and roll into a log. Freeze for three hours or overnight.
4. Slice dough into quarter-inch rounds. Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and bake 13 to 15 minutes or until center is firm to the touch and edges are golden brown. Cool cookies completely on wire racks.
5. For the chocolate coating, melt chocolate and shortening in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
6. Place cooled cookies back on the parchment-lined baking sheets.
7. Spread one teaspoon sunbutter on each cookie. Spoon melted chocolate over the top and sides. Repeat for all cookies.
8. Tap/shake baking sheet on the counter to help smooth the chocolate.
9. Freeze until chocolate sets, about one hour. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

--Tammy

Readers -- Do you follow a Paleo diet? Have you tried any of the recipes above? Do you have a favorite Paleo-version recipe for a traditional pastry or dessert? Leave a comment below and let us know.

Tammy Credicott is a recipe developer, food photographer, public speaker, allergy-friendly cooking instructor and the national best-selling author of Make Ahead Paleo, Paleo Indulgences and The Healthy Gluten-Free Life. She has a passion for understanding health and wellness as it relates to nutrition and has used this knowledge to help her family overcome health issues such as celiac disease, multiple food intolerances, eczema and ADD .

Connect with Tammy on her website and follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

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