This post was sponsored by Nielsen-Massey but all opinions are my own.
These peppermint paleo gluten-free crinkle cookies are fudgy and rich, perfect for the holidays. Grain-free and refined-sugar-free, these paleo gluten-free crinkle cookies are a guilt-free way to indulge in holiday treats without breaking your commitment to a healthier lifestyle. These paleo gluten-free crinkle cookies have hints of peppermint, making them positively festive. Your friends and family will never believe these gluten-free crinkle cookies are paleo!
I’m done. Totally done.
With Thanksgiving last week, we did more than our fair share of indulgence, flipping our 80/20 rule upside down: a few healthy meals here and there, but the bulk of what we ate and drank I’d never, ever share on my Instagram. Translation? Not paleo and not healthy.
And I am all for a balance. It’s so important to me to be able to maintain a way of eating long-term, and for me that means doing it flexibly, knowing that life will happen and you’ll travel to wonderful places and when you have potlucks your friends will make spinach artichoke dip and you just have to have it. This is, to me, the way it should be.
But… balance is not how I’d describe our eating over the last few weeks. We’ve been eating all the things, yelling a muffled “Holidays!” through a mouth full of pie, vowing to do a Whole30 “soon.” But a funny thing happened after all of this indulgence: I felt awful.
The night of Thanksgiving, my knees ached so much that I simply couldn’t sleep. I’ve been skipping workouts because my energy just isn’t what it normally is. And I know why! It’s always, always food, isn’t it?
So I’m done. Totally done! I’m done with opting for traditional holiday treats because there aren’t paleo or gluten free versions out there. I’m finished with feeling like Violet Beauregard after a meal. I’m done with feeling icky for a day after a few minutes of indulgence. Yep, it’s time to get serious with gluten-free and paleo holiday treats.
What, did y’all think I was going to go without? Not likely!
These paleo gluten-free crinkle cookies are the perfect solution to healthier holiday treats, being grain-, gluten-, dairy-, and refined-sugar-free. They’re fudgy and rich with a hint of cool peppermint, and they’re so stunning with their dusted crinkle edges! They’ll be a hit at any holiday party, and I know about 20 of your friends who’d like to receive a dozen in the mail. Just saying!
I’m a bit impressed that they worked quite so well, having feared for a year (Which is, yes, how long I’ve been planning these!) that they wouldn’t “crinkle” enthusiastically enough, not being able to use powdered sugar, of course, in a paleo gluten-free crinkle cookie recipe. But a dusting of tapioca starch made them perfect: all the visual impact without straying from your obsession with food making you feel fantastic. Christmas miracle, eh?
Since I was taking a beloved Christmas cookie and giving it a paleo makeover, I knew I had to use the highest quality ingredients I could find. Nielsen-Massey is my very favorite extract and bean producer, and I keep giant bottles of the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract on hand at all times. Knowing I wanted a super rich chocolate flavor to the fudgy cookies, I also stirred in Pure Chocolate Extract and, for that signature holiday flavor, Pure Peppermint Extract, too.
All of Nielsen-Massey’s vanillas and pure flavor extracts are all-natural, certified gluten-free, certified Kosher, allergen-free and GMO-Free, making them a perfect player in these paleo gluten-free crinkle cookies. I can’t overstate how perfect the Pure Chocolate Extract makes them, and the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract will permanently spoil you on all other vanilla extracts.
You’ll love these paleo gluten-free crinkle cookies because they’re rich and fudgy and delicious, and they’re a healthier take on the holiday classic! They’ll be super popular at holiday parties, and they’re easy to make, too. With a hint of cool peppermint, these chocolate paleo gluten-free crinkle cookies are about as festive as it gets!
If you’re looking for more paleo holiday treats, check out my paleo and vegan cranberry bliss bars, too!
Paleo Gluten-Free Crinkle Cookies (Peppermint Chocolate)
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 1/4 cup arrowroot
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup coconut oil melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/2 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract
- 1/8-1/4 tsp. Nielsen-Massey Pure Peppermint Extract
- 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips like Enjoy Life
- 1 cup tapioca starch for coating the cookies
- 1 cup coconut or maple sugar for coating the cookies, optional, see note
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the almond flour, 1/4 cup tapioca starch, arrowroot, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt until combined and no lumps remain.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine coconut oil, coconut sugar, and eggs, then beat on medium-high speed until mixture is lighter in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in vanilla extract, Pure Chocolate Extract, and Pure Peppermint Extract, beating on medium-low speed until combined. Gently add in half the flour mixture, then beat on medium-low speed until combined. Repeat with remaining half of flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. The dough will look like soft like brownie dough; this is good! Transfer to a medium bowl and cover; chill at least 2 hours or until completely chilled.
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a couple large cookie sheets with parchment paper and put the 1 cup tapioca starch in a small bowl. Using a disher, roll the cookie dough into 1-inch balls, then dip each ball in tapioca starch and toss until coated. Tap on the side of the tapioca starch bowl to remove excess, then place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining cookie dough, placing cookie dough balls 2 inches apart from each other.
- Bake 8-9 minutes or until tops are crackled and sides are formed and lightly firm. You want them to be gooey inside, so don't overbake. We prefer ours after about 8 minutes baking. Transfer cookies to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Serve immediately or keep in an airtight container for 4-5 days.
Cheryl Malik is the recipe developer, writer, and photographer behind the healthy, flavorful, family friendly recipes at 40 Aprons. She’s been a blogger for 10+ years and is known for her delicious recipes and detailed recipe instructions. Cheryl is a mom of three who lives in Memphis, TN.