Paleo, Gluten-Free, & Dairy-Free holiday cookies:
I had the grand intention to create a post for you all with not one, not two, but THREE holiday cookie recipes. But, that didn’t happen. Recipe development, food photography and editing, and creating a blog post always take me a bit longer than expected, so I wasn’t able to get three different cookie recipes that I truly loved together in time. However, I am extremely stoked about these Flourless Orange Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies and I know you will be too! I plan to keep working on the other recipes for my seasonal treat ideas until they’re perfect, then I’ll be ready to share.
I just love flourless recipes, especially ones using creamy, eat-out-of-the-jar-worthy almond butter. Not only do they get such a wonderful, chewy texture, but they also pack a ton of extra protein and healthy fats. When it comes to sweet treats, this is a balance I strive for so that the sugar in these types of recipes (whether it’s from maple syrup, honey, coconut nectar, or even oats) is more slowly absorbed, meaning blood sugar levels do not abruptly spike and you can avoid feeling like “uggghhh, I ate cookies and now I hate my life”. Let me be clear about this, you should never hate your life after eating cookies, you should actually love it more!
Let’s take a moment to talk about the insanely good flavors in these Flourless Orange Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies. These are definitely a slightly more sophisticated cookie with rich, complementary flavors, thanks to fresh ginger, orange zest, allspice, molasses, dark chocolate, and sea salt. I’m drooling just thinking about them! These make a unique seasonal dessert and pair perfectly with a cup of tea or cocoa or even a warm latte.
Why You Should Eat My Flourless Orange Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Molasses goes great with ginger, and ginger goes great with orange zest, and orange zest goes great with dark chocolate, and chocolate goes great with sea salt. That was my train of thought in the recipe development process for these beauties, and I have to say it worked out quite well.
I don’t think most people need advice on why they should eat a cookie, but just in case you do, my Flourless Orange Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies actually offer some fun benefits for your body. Molasses is a mineral-rich sweetener that doesn’t get much attention aside from the holiday season. It’s actually a great source of plant-based iron to support healthy, strong blood cells, along with calcium and magnesium to protect your bones.
Ginger is one of my favorite spices, especially when it’s freshly grated. It provides such a warm, comforting flavor in addition to tons of health-promoting properties. One of the most popular benefits of ginger is that it’s anti-inflammatory, which helps all of your systems react properly to wear and tear and life’s daily demands and also reduces your risk of chronic disease. Another wonderful thing about ginger is its ability to encourage a happy digestive system. It can calm nausea and tummy aches and you may even find it helpful for feeling better after an overindulgent holiday meal.
How You Can Make My Flourless Orange Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Preheat your oven to 350°F. Get this gooey dough started by adding your creamy almond butter, eggs, molasses, coconut sugar, fresh ginger, cinnamon, allspice, 4 teaspoons of the orange zest, vanilla extract, baking soda, and fine sea salt in a medium-sized bowl. Use a hand or stand mixer to blend this together. Then, melt your coconut oil and add 3 tablespoons of it to the bowl, mixing again until totally incorporated. There will be extra oil so don’t just dump it all in! The dough will be really sticky and thick…and delicious.
Now, dunk a small ice cream scoop into the extra melted coconut oil; this really helps the cookie dough to slide out of the scoop and also helps these chewy cookies get that beautiful crackle on the outside. You can actually do this with the measuring cup for the molasses too, to reduce the stick factor. Drop the cookies onto a lined baking sheet, leaving decent space in between, since they do spread out quite a bit. Bake for 7 to 12 minutes until golden brown on top and a little crispy looking around the edges (I live at high altitude, so I bake them on the longer end of that time frame). Remove them from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.
We CANNOT forget the chocolate drizzle on these Flourless Orange Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies, this is serious business people! Fill up a medium-sized saucepan with several inches of water. Pour your chocolate chips into a small bowl and add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Pop this smaller bowl or pan on top of the larger one. Heat over medium-high heat and continuously stir the chocolate until melted and really silky smooth. Once there are no lumps at all you’re ready to drizzle!
Place your cooling rack of cookies over a piece of parchment paper. Simply take a spoonful of chocolate and drizzle it all over the place! It looks nice to go in different directions, back and forth. Then take some pinches of the remaining orange zest and coarse sea salt and lightly sprinkle over the chocolate. AMAZING job.
I’d like to give you a note about the orange zest. If it’s a bit wet after first grated, you can blot it with paper towels, which makes it more easily sprinkle-able. I used this nice microplaner for zesting the oranges and grating the ginger:
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You can pop these Flourless Orange Gingerbread Cookies in the fridge for a few minutes to get the chocolate to harden, then store in an airtight container on the counter. Hope you love these cookies and eat them with someone you love during this happy holiday season <3
Flourless Orange Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies
Yield 12 cookies
A totally mouth-watering cookie for the holidays, made with almond butter, fresh ginger, orange zest, and molasses, topped with a decadent chocolate drizzle.
- 1 cup creamy almond butter (I used Trader Joe's brand)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 tablespoons orange zest, divided (from about 4 oranges)
- 4 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted and divided
- 1 cup dark chocolate chips
- coarse sea salt, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F and line two baking sheets with silicon baking mats or parchment paper.
- In a medium-sized bowl, use a hand or stand mixer to mix together almond butter, eggs, molasses, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, 4 teaspoons of orange zest, fresh ginger, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda, and fine sea salt until fully combined and sticky.
- Add 3 tablespoons of melted coconut oil to the bowl and continue to mix until well incorporated.
- Dip a small ice cream scoop in the remaining melted coconut oil, then use it to scoop small, rounded balls of dough and drop them onto the lined baking sheet. Continue with the rest of the dough, dipping the scoop into the coconut oil after every couple cookies. Leave space between the cookies as they do spread out a bit.
- Bake cookies for 7-12 minutes*, until golden brown and a little crispy looking around the edges. Remove from oven and allow to cool on the pan for several minutes, before moving to a wire cooling rack.
- To make the chocolate drizzle, pour chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons coconut oil in a small bowl, then set this on top of a medium-sized pan filled with several inches of water. Heat over medium heat and continue stirring until very smooth, making sure no water gets into the bowl of chocolate.
- Place cookie cooling rack over a parchment lined baking sheet, then use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate overtop, going in different directions. Lightly sprinkle the orange zest and coarse sea salt overtop, so that it sticks to the melted chocolate.
- Pop cookies into the fridge for 5 minutes to set the chocolate. Remove and they're ready to enjoy!*
*I live at very high altitude, which means it takes things longer to bake and I find closer to 11 or 12 minutes works best for these. Start checking these cookies after 7 minutes or so and keep an eye on them, as they may bake faster where you live.
* You can store these in an airtight container, no need to refrigerate.