Made with just 5 ingredients, these flourless almond butter cookies are chewy and packed with nutty goodness. They get a sprinkle of sea salt on the top, and are a delicious gluten free cookie!
I know what you’re thinking, these are probably just like the standard flourless peanut butter cookies (1 egg, 1 cup pb, 1 cup sugar). I’ve tried those – they’re good, but not great. Average. And I’m not here for average when it comes to baked goods.
They always seem a bit dry and lacked a toothsome bite. Pushing down on them with a fork to make a criss-crossed pattern would cause the edges to crack (like this), which causes anxiety for a slight perfectionist.
These almond butter cookies….. well, they’re the cookie of my dreams! And I do not say that lightly.
Soft and chewy, with ripples of dynamic flavors. A sturdy edge with a tender dome, making the perfect pillow for your teeth to sink into. A sprinkle of salt to bring out the nutty sweetness. Glossy tops with a ribboned pattern.
Even though there are only five ingredients to a recipe like this, little intricacies can make a big difference when there isn’t much to work with. That doesn’t equal difficulty, but more so the science of slightly changing ingredient quantities and technique to drastically change the outcome.
So what makes these so much better than all the other almond butter cookie recipes on the internet?
Leave it to the Brooklyn bakeshop, Ovenly (as detailed by Smitten Kitchen), whose Salted Peanut Butter Cookies bring people in droves, to figure out the magic equation for an incredible flourless cookie like this.
Less sugar and nut butter per egg, rather than the classic 1:1:1 ratio.
The intense softness comes from using brown sugar (molasses adds moisture) instead of white. It adds a layer of caramel flavor too.
My adaptations were minimal, scaling down the recipe to make a small batch, one dozen cookies, because it’s just two of us. And using almond butter instead of peanut butter. I’m definitely not against peanut butter, in fact I love it, but I love experimenting with the different textures and flavors of nut butters.
You’ll mix everything in one bowl, the important thing being the order, which is included in the recipe below. What at first seems like a giant blob, whisks into a sticky ball that slowly peels itself away from the edges and holds it shape.
To get those pretty marks on the top and keep the tall height, pop the bowl of dough in the freezer for 15 minutes, covering lightly with a cloth.
Bake for 18 minutes on middle rack, until lightly browned on the edges and glossy on top (if you use smaller scoop, bake about 15 minutes). When finished, cookies should be golden at edges.
Five ingredients – one bowl – one dozen cookies that are nothing like the standard, in the very best of ways. The vanilla (quality counts!) and coarse salt are super important, so don’t leave them out. Because to every good sweet is a little bit of salt.
1/4teaspoonsalt+ additional coarse salt for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet (make sure it is not a super dark sheet) with parchment paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown sugar and egg until smooth and frothy. Whisk in the vanilla extract, and salt. Then switch to a spatula and add the almond butter, stirring vigorously for at least one minute, until the dough becomes firmer and shinier, and pulls away from the sides of bowl. It is a scoopable dough.
To get those pretty marks on the top and keep the tall height of the cookies, pop the bowl of dough in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, covering lightly with a cloth. (Make sure it's in a ball so the edges don't freeze way before the middle) Remove and scoop dough using a size 40 cookie scoop, onto cookie sheet.
Sprinkle the dough balls lightly with coarse-grained sea salt just before baking. Bake for 17 minutes on middle rack, until lightly browned on the edges and glossy on top (if you use smaller scoop, bake about 15 minutes). When finished, cookies should be golden at edges. Let set on the sheet for a minute before transferring to a cooling rack. Let these mostly cool before eating so the different textures (crisp outside, soft inside) can set up.
Store in covered container and enjoy!
I recommend using a size 40 cookie scoop for this recipe. It makes the best size cookies, and helps them keep their shape. Worth it for so many cookie recipes, to keep them consistent!
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