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Paleo Holiday Cookies



In 2013, I made a gazillion Paleo holiday cookies and made cookie trays for all of our gluten-free and paleo/primal friends. Every year, I get at least five friends asking for these recipes. So, after several requests for some of my Paleo Holiday Cookie recipes already this year, it’s time for me to go ahead and document them all here for ease of sharing them!


Chewy Chocolate Gingerbread Cookies


  • 10 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup almond meal
  • ¼ cup cacao powder
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup dark chocolate chips/chunks (I used Enjoy Life New Chocolate Chunks)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Add dates to a small bowl with 1 tablespoon water and microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Mash dates with a fork and add 1 tablespoon of maple syrup and mash more.
  3. Add date mixture, coconut oil, eggs, molasses, and vanilla extract to a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients (almond flour/meal through cloves).  Add dry ingredients to the date mixture and process mixture until well combined, scraping the bowl as needed.  Stir in dark chocolate.
  5. Spoon tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet.  Leave at least an inch and half of room for the cookies to spread.
  6. Bake 8-10 minutes until puffy.  The cookies will be soft but will harden slightly when cooled.  Cool the cookies on the baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes before removing.  Release the cookies from the pan with a spatula.
  7. These cookies are best kept in the refrigerator (if not eaten right away) or they freeze well.

Makes 15 to 18 cookies 

Peppermint Chocolate Macaroons 


  • 3 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup cacao powder
  • ½ cup honey (you can substitute a xylitol honey or sugar free maple syrup, if you like)
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg white
  • dash of sea salt


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a bowl.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using an electric mixer, beat the egg white with a small pinch of salt. Beat for 1-2 minutes until soft peaks form when you lift the mixer out.
  4. Fold the egg white into the coconut mixture and mix gently until fully combined.
  5. Using a cookie scoop or tablespoon, scoop out balls of dough and pack them together tightly either by lightly knocking the scoop onto the side of the bowl or pushing it down with your fingers.
  6. Place the dough on a parchment lined cookie sheet and bake for 30 minutes, rotating the tray half way through.
  7. Cool on a wire cooling rack for 1 hour. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.
  8. Optional – dip the bottoms of the macaroons in melted dark chocolate mixed with ¼ teaspoon peppermint extract for an even more decadent treat!

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Cookies


  • 2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, plus more for sprinkling on tops of cookies
  • 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 small ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup Enjoy Life Chocolate Chips (non-dairy), or Lily’s no sugar chocolate chips(optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the almond flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  3. In a small bowl mix together pumpkin puree, mashed banana, maple syrup (if using), vanilla extract.
  4. Mix wet ingredients into dry ingredients and stir until combine.  Then add melted coconut oil and stir to incorporate.  If you are using chocolate chips stir those into the batter.
  5. Drop spoonful of batter (about 1 to 2 tablespoons in size) onto prepared baking sheet.  Sprinkle the tops of the cookies with additional pumpkin pie spice.  Bake cookies for 25 to 30 minutes until golden.
  6. Cookies are best kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator.


Ginger Molasses Cookies


  • 1 cup almond butter (roasted unsalted)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsulphured molasses
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger root
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar (or erythritol)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • A pinch of freshly ground pepper


  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or by hand, beat together the almond butter, molasses, eggs and freshly grated ginger until smooth.
  3. Into a medium bowl, sift together coconut sugar, coconut flour, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, salt and pepper.
  4. Slowly add the sugar and spice mixture to the almond butter mixture while mixing on low until just combined.
  5. Drop the dough by the rounded teaspoonfuls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
  6. Bake cookies, rotating baking sheets halfway through, until firm around the edges and starting to crack in the center (the cookies will looked slightly puffed but will flatten and crackle more as they cool), about 8 minutes. Cool 2 minutes on the baking sheets out of the oven then transfer the parchment paper with the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Makes 2 ½ dozen cookies

Cardamom Thumbprint Cookies


  • 1½ cup sunflower seeds, raw or soaked and dehydrated
  • 2 Tbs. coconut flour
  • ¼ cup raw honey or pure maple syrup (or xylitol honey or sugar free maple syrup)
  • ¼ cup soft butter or coconut oil
  • Heaping ¼ tsp. ground cardamom
  • Pinch of salt
  • Your choice of filling


  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, grind the sunflower seeds until fine, 2-3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined.
  3. Roll into 16 balls and create a thumbprint in each one. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.
  4. Once cooled, the cookies will be slightly chewy with a crunchy exterior. Store the cream filling and cookies separately, filling only the cookies that will be eaten that day. Keep the cream filling in the fridge.

Snickerdoodles (Grain-Free, Paleo, Gluten Free)


  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
2 tablespoons cashew butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter or ghee, melted
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or granulated xylitol or erythritol)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and adjust rack to middle position.
  2. Whisk together almond flour, coconut flour, cashew butter, salt, baking soda, gelatin and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in honey and butter until incorporated.
  4. Combine cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
  5. Using a 1 1/2-inch cookie scoop, scoop cookies and then roll in cinnamon and sugar mixture and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 12 minutes.

Makes a dozen cookies


Paleo Maple Shortbread


  • 3/4 cup coconut flour, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee, room temperature
  • 1⁄4 cup maple syrup (or sugar free syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (my addition)
  • Pinch sea salt


  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Place all ingredients in the bowl of a standing mixer and blend on medium-high for 1 minute. Don’t have a stand mixer? A hand mixer will work, too.
  3. Pat the dough into a square and cut it into 16 even pieces. Pat each piece into a bar shape with your fingers and place on the baking sheet. Poke lightly with a fork in whatever design you like. Place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 200F. When the shortbread has chilled, transfer the baking sheet to the preheated oven. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until just lightly golden.
  5. Remove baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack to cool completely. Shortbread can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or freezer for up to 1 month (if they last that long). Eat at room temperature.

Makes two dozen cookies


Paleo Russian Tea Cookies (or Mexican Wedding Cakes)


  • 1 c butter/dairy-free substitute (I used Spectrum shortening)
  • 1/2-3/4 c powdered sugar (mix 1 cup coconut sugar to 1 tablespoon arrowroot powder)
  • 1-2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 c blanched almond flour
  • 3/4 c finely chopped nuts (I prefer pecans)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Additional powdered sugar for rolling


  1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Mix together butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add almond flour, nuts and salt. Stir until well combined. Dough should hold together well (if it doesn’t, I’ve read that adding a tsp or two of milk – or milk sub – to the dough will help it bind better).
  2. Shape dough into 1/2-1 inch balls. Place an inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake 12-14 minutes. Cookies should be set, but not brown. They will still be really soft, and the bottoms brown fast, so keep an eye on them.

Once removed from the oven, transfer (carefully) to a wire rack to cool. After cooling for about 5 minutes, roll the cookies in the extra powdered sugar. Put back onto the rack, and cool another 5-10 minutes. Roll again in the powdered sugar. Let cool com


2 thoughts on “Paleo Holiday Cookies

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  1. Oh my…. I remember those tender, buttery, Mexican wedding cakes. Thinking I will adjust the recipe to meet my keto needs and celebrate the nutty, buttery bliss that this toothsome beauty of a cookie brings! And maple shortbread – how is it that I didn’t know about this party in my mouth opportunity?


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