Almond Tea Cookies

On my Facebook page recently I mentioned that I'm not much of a cookie person, though forces of the universe may conspire occasionally to convince me otherwise. Forces such as Sesame Street. And Pinterest.

So when the stars finally aligned for a moved-far-away friend and her chicklets to come and visit, I figured a little bite-sized treat snack was in order. Because I've been deluding myself about my tolerance for white foods like flour and sugar and need to get back to real stuff, and because there's no sense in training a child's palate to fake stuff when real is delicious, I went looking for a grain-free cookie recipe.

I found inspiration recipes at The Urban Poser and L.MichelleK. Sitting in my pyjamas with the baby sleeping is not the best time to run out and get groceries to fill in gaps in said recipes, but it is a great time to look up substitution guidelines and get busy.

The result is a light yet buttery jam sandwich cookie that isn't perfect paleo but is just right to go with a cup of tea for afternoon snack.

Almond Tea Cookies

grain free, casein free, pushing-your-luck GAPS compliant

2 c almond flour or the finest blanched meal you can find
two pinches of salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of dessicated lemon peel
sweetener* to taste (I used 1/4 c sugar)
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp fat of choice, softened (I used ghee)
dribble of vanilla extract (omit for GAPS)

Preheat oven (and stone if using) to 325/160

*A note on sweeteners: I used white sugar because, due to my current cold, I am out of honey. Shake your finger at me if you need to, but that's how it is. Honey, stevia or palm sugar would be preferable, but the latter may be too coarse and not melt into the dough well. Experiment and comment.

  1. Mix dry ingredients. Cream yolks and fat (with dry sweetener if using) until pale, then add vanilla if using. Combine wet and dry. 
  2. At this stage I had pale yellow sand. If using honey you may have a more trad-looking dough. Pack it together and refrigerate. An hour is supposedly the minimum. I had a schedule to keep so I opened the fridge and introduced the dough to the concept of coolness and continued. We're all still alive.
  3. Cut off two good-sized pieces of parchment paper. Press half your dough into a puck on one and place the other on top. This holds everything together and saves a little washing up of the rolling pin later. Roll your dough from the centre outwards, rotating directions and ensuring that you don't get things too thin or they'll crumble and possibly burn. Cut out with a small round cookie cutter (mine has a scalloped edge) or shot glass and use a spatula or counter scraper to transfer them to a baking stone or parchment-lined cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for about ten minutes. Your nose will tell you best when they're done; there's not a lot of cooking that has to happen, and we want to avoid heating blanched almonds unnecessarily due to oxidation of PUFAs, so just keep checking for when the gloss on top seems less wet and more polished. Transfer with your spatula/scraper to a cooling rack topped with a tea towel.
This one was too thin. You can see the almond mealiness on the surface and the edge crumbles off.

When cool, put a lick of jam between two cookie backs to make little sandwiches. Or don't; the imperfect ones I ate to hide the evidence tasted just fine as they were.

Makes 24 sandwich cookies. Eat promptly; they go soft within hours.


  1. I keep evaporated cane juice in my pantry as my "compromise" sugar; it dissolves well - I've even macerated fruits with it. It's still sugar, of course, but at least it has some nutritional value, dubious though it may be. It does have a slight molasses flavor, but I like that. It would probably be quite good in these cookies.

    1. Thanks for the tip! When I ditched sugar I purged all kinds except honey and maple syrup so I have minimal experience with alternative sugars. The white stuff is left over for guests' coffee.