Paleo Cashew Cocoa Shortbread Cookies (vegan, gluten free)


One of the funny quirks of being a gluten free grown up who aspires to buck the system by not buying processed snacks and sweets and also a human who wants cookies now is that there really is no middle ground. The options are: 1. Make freezer cookies. Ok, that's cool. But that's kind of too healthy to be a real cookie. 2. Buy some Pamela's fig cookies. I'm always down for a package of overpriced jam-filled cookies but is that sort of selling out? (Yes I really think this way.) 3. Find a gluten free cookie recipe that is pretty unfussy and tastes like store-bought.

I think I figured out how to do option # 3.

And it's this recipe. The fussiest thing about it is that you have to cool the dough in the freezer or fridge. Or your cookies will become a massive melted pile of cookie all melded into one. I know, that doesn't actually sound all that bad. But it is. It's a crumbly mess and it's pretty hard to repurpose as something else.

There's some waiting involved. My inner child is stamping her foot. I'm snacking on nuts and chocolate chips and watching Brooklyn Nine Nine while the oven preheats. Generally I just want to whip up some cookie dough and stick it in the oven and WHAM BAM I've got some cookies. But if you want shortbread -- and you know when and if the craving hits you -- there's a process involved. And this is probably the simplest shortbread process I've ever experienced. The payoff is big. Ok, actually the cookies are kind of cute and small. But there's a lot of them so it feels like you just baked yourself a bunch of silver dollars.

paleo cocoa cashew shortbread cookies -- recipe via will frolic for food paleo cocoa cashew shortbread cookies -- recipe via will frolic for food This recipe is only slightly adapted from the genius Julia of The Roasted Root. It cannot be stressed enough how much I have dreaded any and all gluten free cookie recipe that included the descriptor "shortbread" -- but that's before I made these cookies. I love them. A friend of mine thought that they were a fancy little treat I had bought from a Whole Foods bakery or indie hipster brand. And he seemed pretty shocked that they had just come out of my oven. He stressed heavily that he meant that in the best way. I think that makes these a winner! I'm going to make more today because they barely lasted a day in my house. I needs them.

Paleo Cashew Cocoa Shortbread Cookies
Recipe Type: Paleo
Author: Renee Shuman (Will Frolic for Food)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 3.5 dozen
This recipe, adapted from [url href=""]The Roasted Root[/url], is lightly sweet and perfect for regular snacking with a cup of spiced tea or black coffee.
  • 2 cups fine almond flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped cashews
  • 1/4 cup unsweet cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1/4 cup honey (or agave if vegan)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or ghee, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon dark rum
  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper -- or grease the baking sheets with a light coating of coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. Combine the almond flour, chopped cashews, cocoa powder, baking soda and sea salt in a large bowl.
  3. Add honey, coconut oil or ghee, and dark rum, stirring to combine everything together.
  4. Form the dough into a large ball and knead the dough together until everything is incorporated and the dough is smooth.
  5. Split the dough into two balls and place each ball onto a sheet of parchment paper or plastic wrap.
  6. Roll each ball out into a 6 inch cylinder, using the parchment or plastic wrap to press out and shape the cylinders.
  7. Wrap the logs and freeze for 30 minutes (or refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours). Preheat the oven to 350F while the logs are cooling.
  8. Once you're cookie dough is chilled completely, remove from the freezer/fridge and unwrap your logs. Cut the logs into 1/4 inch cookies and space about 1/2 inch apart on your baking sheets.
  9. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cookies are just gently beginning to brown.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before attempting to move the cookies off of the baking sheets.