Gluten-free baking is hard enough to nail. As you may know from experience, there are plenty of gluten-free baking flops out there. But combine the request for a gluten-free baked good with something dairy-free, and you have real challenge on your hands. Luckily Sprouted Kitchen's Sara Forte has come up with a solution.

Every time I make these Almond Meal, Coconut + Cacao Nib Cookies they are a hit.  Dinner guests down an entire batch and want more, my lactose-intolerant and gluten-sensitive Dad requests them for special occasions, my Father-in-Law convinces me to make them for him by buying me the ingredients... The fan base for these cookies just continues to grow! And I have to say, they are incredible. Kind of like a coconut-macaroon-chocolate-chip-cookie-for-grownups hybrid, these cookies are moist and perfectly chewy, while not being overly sweet. The perfect after dinner or with coffee treat!

Note: Make sure to keep the cookies small, otherwise they will not hold their shape.

Makes 20 cookies

Dry ingredients

1 1/4 cups almond meal

1/4 cup cacao nibs

1/2 cup shredded coconut

preferably unsweetened

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/3 cup muscovado sugar

if you can't find muscovado,

dark brown sugar will suffice

Wet ingredients

1 egg

vegans can make a flax egg (1 tbsp flax meal, 3 tbsp water)

3 tablespoons coconut oil

melted, but not hot

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Begin by mixing together the dry ingredients (almond meal, cacao nibs, coconut, baking powder, salt, and sugar) in a large mixing bowl.

In another smaller bowl, beat the egg until it is a uniform color and has doubled in volume. Whisk in the coconut oil and vanilla.

Add the bowl of wet ingredients to the bowl of dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Cover and place the bowl in the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes, or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Use your hands to roll the chilled dough into balls 1 inch in diameter, and place on a baking sheet 1 1/2 inch apart (don't use parchment, the cookies need a little crust to hold them together). Give the dough balls a gentle press to flatten them a bit.

Bake until the edges of the cookies are just beginning to brown, 7-10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool a bit on the cookie sheet. Release the cookies from the sheet with a gentle twist, or by sliding a thin spatula underneath. Place on a plate and serve while still warm. Enjoy!

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