These vegan and gluten-free chocolate-dipped almond cookies are true indulgence – a “grown-up” cookie – bittersweet, crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, rich and intensely chocolatey. They are are also dairy free, egg free, gluten-free and low sugar so they can be enjoyed by everyone no matter what their dietary restrictions.
Something decadent for the weekend ahead…. vegan and gluten-free dark chocolate-dipped almond cookies. Perfect to take to Christmas cookie parties and win over any non-vegan guests!
I went to a Christmas cookie exchange yesterday, so I thought what better reason to experiment with vegan cookie ideas? This cookie is really really yummy. It’s what you might call a “grown-up cookie”. Bitter and sweet at the same time (I used 78% chocolate), crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, rich and chocolatey and the perfect little treat at this time of year.
Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free and Egg-Free
I actually think these are better than normal butter and egg-based cookies. They have a cleaner, lighter taste somehow. This has been confirmed by everyone who came to my house this week – each forced to taste the latest batch of cookies and judge against previous batches. It’s been an obsession but one that I think my friends and neighbours have fully embraced!
- ground flax seeds - these do the job of eggs providing a light texture.
- coconut oil - use extra virgin coconut oil or you can replace this with softened vegan butter if you prefer.
- almond butter - use a good quality almond butter without added sugar. My family love Pip and Nut Almond Butter.
- sugars - I use a little caster sugar to add a crisper texture and coconut sugar which is a minimally refined sugar that retains more of the natural nutrients. You could substitute the coconut sugar with dark muscovado sugar instead.
- flours - brown rice flour, tapioca starch and coconut flour.
- baking ingredients - fine salt (I use Himalayan pink salt), baking powder (check that it is gluten-free), and vanilla extract (use the best quality you can find).
- dark chocolate - use at least 70% cocoa (and check the ingredients to ensure that it is milk-free).
- almonds - plain unsalted almonds, sliced.
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for quantities of ingredients.
Don't be put off by the length of the recipe. There's just a lot of detail to make sure your cookies turn out perfectly! It's actually quite a simple method.
- Make the flax seed slurry (egg alternative).
- Whizz flax slurry, coconut oil and almond butter in a food processor.
- Add sugars, flours, and baking ingredients and whizz again until mixed.
- Pour mixture into a bowl and mix with dark chocolate pieces and chopped almonds.
- Dollop spoonfuls of mixture onto a lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes @ 180C
- Cool then dip into melted chocolate and leave to set.
Please see the printable recipe card at the bottom of this post for full instructions.
Tips for Baking with Coconut Oil
Whilst experimenting with coconut oil, I quickly realised that if you leave it as runny oil (as it is in this warm country), then you get an oozy, flat oily mess of a biscuit. After doing a bit more research, I discovered from the wonderful Emma Hollingsworth in her “Vegan Treats” book, that the coconut oil cannot be too hard or too soft – it needs to be (as Goldilocks would say) “just right”.
Once I discovered the trick of putting the weighed amount in the freezer for 10 minutes then stirring it up to this lovely soft buttery consistency, the baked cookies were a completely different ball game, holding their shape in the oven, crispy on the outside, and delightfully soft in the centre. Everything a cookie should be.
The texture of these vegan and gluten-free chocolate almond cookies is massively affected by the size of the cookie, the oven temperature and the consistency of the coconut oil.
- The oven temperature is really important for this recipe as the slightest change can make a BIG difference to the final outcome. An oven temperature of 180°C (Fan oven 160°C) is the ONLY oven temperature that will work (any hotter and they melt and go completely flat).
- If you want a flatter chewy cookie, turn up the oven by a few degrees.
- If you like your cookies to be softer in the middle, then check after 15 minutes by feeling how much give there is when you gently press the top.
- If you like them crunchy (more like a gingernut texture), you could leave them in for another 10 minutes but watch the bottom doesn’t burn.
- Don’t be tempted to try to whizz the chocolate and nuts in the food processor instead of chopping them. Lazy as I am, I realised that this just creates too much bitty powder with the broken up chunks that gives the cookie a less than desirable texture. Unfortunately there is no short-cut, you just have to chop them by hand. Luckily it’s not too much so doesn’t take long!
- The combination of flours can be substituted for plain gluten-free flour.
- The combination of sugars can be substituted for soft light brown sugar if you prefer.
- Obviously, if you’re not vegan or dairy-free, you can replace the coconut oil with softened butter but I honestly believe they taste nicer like this.
📖 Recipe 📖
Decadent Dark Chocolate Dipped Almond Cookies (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
- 70 g coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 45 ml water
- 50 g dark chocolate (vegan) (at least 70% cocoa)
- 50 g almonds
- 50 g almond butter
- 50 g coconut sugar (or soft light brown sugar)
- 50 g caster sugar
- 50 g brown rice flour
- 25 g tapioca starch
- 25 g coconut flour
- ¼ teaspoon fine salt
- ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For chocolate-dipped cookies:
- 100 g dark chocolate (vegan) (at least 70% cocoa)
- Set the oven to 180°C / 350°F (160°C Fan) and line a large baking tray with baking paper.
- Weigh the coconut oil and put it in the freezer if it is too runny (10 minutes) or in the microwave if it is too hard (about 10-15 secs depending on how cold it is).70 g coconut oil
- Stir together the ground flax seeds and the water and set aside for 10 minutes.1 tablespoon ground flax seeds, 45 ml water
- Chop the chocolate and the almonds and set aside in a bowl (they can be together).50 g dark chocolate (vegan), 50 g almonds
Making the cookies:
- In a food processor, whizz together the flax seed mixture, the coconut oil and the almond butter until well combined.(Thermomix: Place in TM jug and set to 5 secs. / sp. 5, scrape down the sides with a spatula and whizz again for 3 secs. / sp. 5)50 g almond butter, 70 g coconut oil
- Add the sugars, flours, salt, baking powder and vanilla extract and whizz again until well mixed. (you may need to scrape down with a spatula a few times to make sure all the bits up the sides are well mixed in).(Thermomix: 10 secs. / sp. 6. Scrape down the sides with a spatula and set to 5 secs. / sp. 6)50 g coconut sugar, 50 g caster sugar, 50 g brown rice flour, 25 g tapioca starch, 25 g coconut flour, ¼ teaspoon fine salt, ½ teaspoon gluten-free baking powder, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Then pour out into a large bowl or jug and add the dark chocolate and almond chunks and stir by hand until they are evenly distributed throughout.(Thermomix: add chocolate and almond chunks to the mixture in the TM jug and set to 10 secs. / sp. 3 REVERSE. Do one final mix with a spatula to ensure the chocolate and almonds are evenly distributed.)50 g dark chocolate (vegan), 50 g almonds
- Next dollop tablespoonfuls of the mixture onto the lined baking tray leaving a little space around each one. (It is quite a sticky mixture, so the easiest way to do this is to get a cup with a tiny bit of oil in it and occasionally dip the spoon into the oil and shake it off so that it is just slightly coated. This makes it much easier to measure out the dollops onto the baking tray as they just slip off the spoon.)
- Pop the baking tray in the oven on the middle shelf and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180°C/ 350°F. Ccheck the cookies after 15 minutes and gently press the top to see how soft they are. Take the cookies out once they have browned and feel slightly firm on top (still a little soft).
- Once out of the oven, carefully move them to a wire rack to cool.
- Meanwhile, for chocolate-dipped cookies, break the other chocolate into pieces and place in a pyrex jug then put it in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir, put on for 30 seconds again, stir again, then about 15 seconds more and it is the perfect melted consistency.100 g dark chocolate (vegan)
- Once the cookies are cool enough to handle, take them one at a time and dip half into the melted chocolate then lay on a piece of baking paper to dry. Since they’re not tempered, they won’t have the glossy chocolate look but they will still taste divine! (feel free to go the whole hog and temper the chocolate first for a truly beautiful cookie!).
- The texture is massively affected by the size of the cookie, the oven temperature and the consistency of the coconut oil. See the blog post for expert tips on this.
- Don’t be tempted to try to whizz the chocolate and nuts in the food processor instead of chopping them. It creates too much bitty powder with the broken up chunks that gives the cookie a less than desirable texture. Luckily it’s not too much so it doesn’t take long to chop them by hand.
- If you have a thermomix, you can easily temper your chocolate. Here is how you do it:
- Place the chocolate in the TM jug, set to 5 secs. / sp. 9 to grate it.
- Remove half of the chocolate to a bowl then set the TM to 2 mins. / 50°C / sp. 2. Scrape down the sides with a spatula then set again to 2 mins. / 50°C / sp. 2.
- Then add back the remaining grated chocolate and set to 1 min. / sp. 2 (no MC). This brings the temperature of the chocolate down and will leave you with lovely melted chocolate for dipping. You will need to pour it into a small jug or cup though for dipping the cookies.
Did you make this recipe? Please leave a ⭐ star rating ⭐ on the recipe card!
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