Paleo Spice Cookies

Makes 2 ½ dozen

Paleo; no gluten, grain, dairy, cane sugar or soy; with option for peanuts

Dark, moist and chewy. Rich with spicy flavours – and spices are high antioxidant achievers. Low starch and high protein helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Lovely as a snack, for lunch boxes, or as a morsel of dessert on a platter with fresh fruit. Or for sharp colour contrast, sprinkle a platter of cookies with whole freeze-dried raspberries. They and the coconut products listed are all in most supermarkets. Or serve a cookie beside a small parfait glass of Chia Pudding (see my 4 recipe options), or my Vegan Caramel Nut Ice Cream.

¾ cup crunchy peanut butter (or use 1 cup almond butter and no tahini)
¼ cup hulled tahini*
2 large free range eggs
3 Tbsp coconut nectar* or honey
***
¾ cup coconut sugar*
¼ cup coconut flour
¼ cup chopped walnuts or toasted, chopped peanuts
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp sea salt (or 1 tsp if your nut butter is unsalted)
1/8 tsp ground cloves
pinch of freshly ground pepper

By hand or an electric mixer, beat the nut butter, tahini, eggs and nectar or honey until smooth.

Add the remaining ingredients: sugar, flour, nuts, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, salt and pepper until well combined.

Cover two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Batter will be sticky. Drop rounded teaspoons of dough about 5 cm apart in rows on the paper.

Fan Bake at 160° for 8 – 10 minutes until slightly spread and cracked (or Bake 180° and rotate trays half way through). Cookies will feel soft, but firm upon cooling. Place the paper on a rack and cool completely (they easily break when warm). Carefully peel each one off the paper and store in a covered container. Keeps well.

Shopping and Preparation Tips*
• Coconut nectar: Coconut nectar syrup is the sweet sap from the flowers of coconut palm trees. Malted, caramel flavour and colour. Virtually no processing. Ceres brand available in most supermarkets.

• Coconut sugar: granulated; looks like raw sugar; mild caramel taste. Buy from health stores and many supermarkets; use in baking like brown sugar. Made from the syrup of coconut palms. Low 35 GI; good source of alkaline minerals, iron, zinc, some B vitamins.

• Tahini: is a paste – like runny peanut butter – made from ground sesame seeds and possibly added oil. It is available in jars in supermarkets. Referring to the processing of the seeds, it may be labelled ‘unhulled’ which has a bitter taste (traditionally for East Asian cooking), or ‘hulled’ which has slightly lower nutrient levels but a milder flavour (this is a Middle Eastern staple such as used in hummus). Try on crackers, toast, salad and baked vegetables. As with nut butters, store in the refrigerator.

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