With so many slam-dunk delicious chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, why would you ever tinker with proven success and bake this iconic American treat using almond flour?

There are several good answers to this question. Almond flour’s loaded with health benefits: it’s low in carbohydrates, and filled with good-for-you fiber and healthy fats. And almond flour is an acceptable ingredient for those following gluten-free, grain-free, paleo, or keto diets.

Bag of King Arthur Almond Flour, some spilled out onto a cutting board.

Beyond that, though, almond flour is just plain tasty. It adds wonderfully nutty flavor (a little bit sweet, a tad toasty) to everything from muffins and cake to pie crust, pastries, and cookies — including chocolate chip cookies.

Not only that, almond flour lends tender texture to baked goods. Since it’s gluten-free, there’s no gluten to potentially become overworked and tough (which can sometimes happen with wheat-based flours). And even when almond flour’s not the star of the show but simply substituted for some of the wheat flour in a recipe, it lowers overall gluten content. Plus almond flour adds its own fat, a natural tenderizer that also extends shelf life.

Tastes wonderful; increases tenderness; improves keeping quality. What’s not to like about baking with almond flour?

Almond flour does have a downside; you wouldn’t want to use it 100% in recipes that require sturdy structure for a high rise (e.g., yeast bread). But think of it this way: the “flatter” your baked good (pancakes, cookies), the greater percentage of almond flour you can try — right up to 100%, as we do here in these Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies on a baking sheet.

If your idea of the perfect chocolate chip cookie is one that’s soft enough to nearly melt in your mouth, yet has a nice bit of chew, and the perfect balance of chips to dough, then you’ll love these cookies. The fact that they’re special-diet friendly is an added bonus. Bring chocolate chip cookies to the office or on your family hike without disappointing your gluten-free co-worker or paleo cousin? You can do that!

Here's what you need for these simple one-bowl cookies:

  • 1/4 cup (53g) brown sugar, light or dark
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 cups (191g) almond flour 
  • 1/2 cup (85g) chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a baking sheet, or line it with parchment.

Some ingredients for Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies mixed in a bowl
Sometimes it can be difficult for your mixer to combine very small amounts of ingredients; this is one of those times. If you have a KitchenAid 7-quart mixer, check out their special beater blade with flexible silicone scraper edge; it helps.

Combine the brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and butter, and mix until smooth.

 Dough for Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies mixed in a bowl, ready to scoop.
Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts, egg, and almond flour, stirring to combine. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, then mix for 1 minute at medium speed. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Scooping dough for Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies using a tablespoon cookie scoop.
Scoop the dough by the tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheet; a level tablespoon cookie scoop works well here.

Dough for Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies scooped into balls on  a parchment-lined baking sheet.

You can place them fairly close together (about 1 1/2" apart) on the baking sheet; they won't spread much.

Dough for Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies scooped in balls onto a baking sheet and gently flattened.
Gently flatten the cookies to about 3/8" thick, about 2" diameter. Now they're a bit closer together — which is OK spread-wise, so long as there's still at least 1" between them.

Dough for Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies flattened on a  baking sheet using the bottom of a drinking glass.
Flatten cookies to size easily using a drinking glass with a 2" bottom diameter. To prevent sticking, dip the glass in granulated sugar between cookies. 

 

Dough for Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies scooped onto a baking sheet, flattened, and sprinkled with flaked sea salt before baking.
The cookies will have a light coating of sugar from the flattening process. If you're a fan of salty/sweet desserts, consider adding a pinch of flaked sea salt atop the cookies before baking.  

Bake the cookies for 9 to 12 minutes, until their edges are starting to gently brown. You don't want to overbake these cookies; they'll be dry.

Remove the cookies from the oven. Allow them to cool on the pan for 2 minutes, then carefully transfer them to a rack to cool completely. Store well-wrapped at room temperature for several days; freeze for longer storage.

One aspect of these cookies that's provoked a bit of dissension among you bakers posting reviews is their sweetness. For some, they're just sweet enough; for others, the sweetness is just too understated.

Gluten-Free Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Cookies,  less sweet and sweeter versions, on a baking sheet.
The original-recipe cookies (left) don't spread quite as much as the cookies with added sugar (right). The higher-sugar cookies also develop a slightly crackly appearance. Both versions are soft and chewy; both are tasty. More or less sugar is strictly personal preference.

If you fall in the latter camp, try this: increase the brown sugar to 1/2 cup (106g). And to help temper the added sweetness, increase the salt to 1/2 teaspoon. Bake as directed.

I hope these cookies inspire you to try not only baking with almond flour, but with other different flours as well. While tempting to stick to all-purpose all the time, widening your flour horizons will almost certainly add to your repertoire of favorite recipes.

For instance, whole-grain spelt and sprouted wheat flours have genial personalities: they're softer and less assertive than standard whole wheat flour. Looking for a gentle way to ease you (and your fans) into whole grain baking? Try Dark Chocolate and Sunflower Spelt Scones or Whole Grain Flatbread (chapati) made with sprouted wheat. Perfect proof: while it might remain your regular staple, there's life beyond all-purpose flour!

PJ Hamel
The Author

About PJ Hamel

PJ Hamel grew up in New England, graduated from Brown University, and was a Maine journalist before joining King Arthur Flour in 1990. PJ bakes and writes from her home on Cape Cod, where she enjoys beach-walking, her husband, two dogs, and really good food!

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