Salted Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies {Grain-Free}

So, call me crazy, but I don’t feel like chocolate chunk cookies really need much explanation.  Because chocolate.

These are some of my faves, though.  They are chewy, salty, sweet, and gluten-free.  How awesome is that?

I typically make these for my mom, who has a little condition called diabetes.

She’s a total cutie.

Since Mother’s Day is coming up, these are a perfect way to share the love with my mom and still respect her limitations. I want her to be around to see my kiddo graduate from high school in approximately 16 years, so I’m committed to supporting her in any way I can.  This includes making enjoyable food she can eat.  And as a mother, I would love to have someone make these for me (I’m looking at you , dear husband).



  • 1 cup blanched almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar, or erythritol for a low-glycemic option
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil or butter
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz  85% cacao dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
  • 1 tsp kosher-style sea salt or fleur de sal
  • a tiny dash of nutmeg


  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine almond meal, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, then stir.
  2. Add eggs, oil,  vinegar, and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly with almond meal mixture.
  3. Add chocolate chunks.
  4. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spoon batter (which will be slightly runny) into half-dollar drops.  This will spread quite a bit during baking so be sure to leave plenty of space between cookies.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.  Because of the almond meal, they will brown on the top slightly more than traditional cookies.  It’s okay.  :)
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  They will have delicately crisp edges and soft centers before you store them, then they are all soft after that.

Consume within 3-4 days, otherwise they’ll get stale.  But good luck with lasting that long.  These are HIGHLY addictive!

Be sure to love your moms this week, and if this is a difficult holiday for you, be sure to take good care of yourself.

Yo Mama,

Chocolate Chip Scookies

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m a chocoholic.


I come by it honestly.  My oldest brother had a friend in high school who went to Belgium and brought back a 5 lb chocolate bar for him as a present.  My brother kept it in the freezer, woke up every morning, cut off a chunk and started his day with the world’s best chocolate for a few weeks.  My other brother, parents, and I would all look on with chocolate-lovers jealousy as we chewed our stale Cheerios in reconstituted powdered milk.  If we were lucky, we would get a taste.

We weren’t lucky very often.

In my adult life, I try to incorporate chocolate into my diet as much as possible.  In moderation, keeping it very dark, fair-trade certified, blah blah blah.  But there is something very satisfying about ending the day with a square of 80% cacao chocolate.  There is also something slightly indulgent about beginning the day the same way, too.

I had to give up grains entirely when my baby was small because many foods seemed to upset his stomach.  Almonds were always a pass, and so was chocolate.  THANK GOD.  Because honestly, I don’t know what I would have done to keep my milk supply up and my sanity intact. Dark chocolate made the busy days of exclusive pumping and caring for a baby while working 30+ hours a week mentally possible, and almonds made it physically possible. In fact, if I could give awards to food, almonds and chocolate would win the Food Oscar every time.

Breakfast has always been the hardest meal of the day for me to plan and prep.  I always crave something fast and healthy, with minimal effort. (Okay! I crave this every other meal of the day, too.  Breakfast is worst, though.)  So, I started experimenting in my little kitchen and came up with these simple and delightful breakfast treats. Really, they’re not limited to breakfast, and make a great snack as well. They fall somewhere between a scone and a cookie, so my midwife nicknamed them “scookies”.  The name stuck.  And then my clients started ordering them, offering to pay me way too much money for a dozen of these paleo breakfast treats.  Since I love cooking but lack the desire to become a full-time paleo baker and the Department of Health permits to do so, I gladly share this with those clients, friends, families, and now the Internets.


  • 1 16 oz jar unsalted almond butter (Raw is best, but roasted works, too.)
  • 3 large eggs  (I use duck eggs because they are super rich and my son is allergic to chicken eggs.)
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp natural sea salt (I prefer kosher style)


  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine eggs, almond butter, vanilla extract and honey.  Stir well.
  2. Add baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Combine thoroughly. (You can use a mixer, but I prefer using a sturdy spatula.)
  3. Fold in mini chocolate chips.
  4. On a parchment lined baking sheet, spoon dough in golfball-sized portions, leaving plenty of room to expand during the baking process.
  5. Sprinkle with a dash of kosher sea salt and bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven and altitude.
  6. Remove from oven and transfer to a baking rack to cool for 10 minutes before devouring them.


Eating a protein packed breakfast doesn’t have to be hard.  And it can even be full of things you like that fuel you, body, mind, and chocoholic spirit.

Peace, Love and Chocolate,



Healthy Holidays — PLAY!

My brother's family and my Gram building a gingerbread house together.
My brother’s family and my Gram building a gingerbread house together a few years ago.  One of my favorite holiday memories.

One year, I got my father-in-law a set of slang flashcards for Christmas. My FIL is an engineer down to his very bones. This is a really great thing. He also likes keeping up on indie music and we always connect with him over obscure bands and PASTE magazine.

Anyway, I bought him the slang flashcards for a bigger reason. Really, the flashcards were a gift to the rest of my husband’s family. His sisters and brother, spouses, cousins and significant others were a captive audience to my FIL’s completely un-ironic recitation of the flashcards for nearly an hour straight.

I don’t remember laughing that hard at a family gathering, maybe ever. I actually wept. And my FIL joined right in because he understood his complete lack of irony and total willingness to engage made it FUN for us.

We used to have Settlers of Catan matches during the holidays, (before we had a kid), and hope to return to that again when our son is a little older and can entertain himself a little better while we engage in a game. Even better, when we can start teaching him our ways of WORLD DOMINATION. Or maybe just that having several resources and dice options with room to expand is the best way to win the game. And possibly life.

The point is, PLAY. Take advantage of the festive spirit of the season and engage your inner child. If you have a kids, it’s much easier to tap into their infectious joy. If you don’t, it’s okay. You can borrow one!

Just remember that you were once fun. Inpsired. Playful. Adventurous. Joyful.  You can be those things again.

So, here are some of my favorite ways to play this season, and with very little expense.

  • Adventure together.  Bundle up and explore a new park.  If you live close to a beach, have a winter beach picnic. Take a trek up to the mountain  Look for specific objects, interesting nature, and come up with silly games on the spot.  If you have older kids, choose something they’ve wanted to do for a long time and meet them in their places of interest.  But whatever you do, get outside!  (Unless it’s below zero.  Then have a scavenger hunt in the house or something. Because zero is not a temperature.)
  • Game night. Playing Shoots and Ladders and Candy Land for hours on end…I know.  It’s adult torture.  But you know what?  Your little kids will LOVE YOU.  And if they’re old enough to learn a more challenging game, Rummikub, Settlers of Catan, or a more fun version of Risk are great games that you will enjoy, too.  One of my family favorites, especially during the holidays and long summer months was dominoes.  A game of Chicken Foot does wonders for the soul.  Or something.
  • Slumber Party. Drag your mattresses or blanket pallets into the living room and only use camping lanterns, flashlights and (if you’re very brave) candles.  Sleep near the Christmas tree if you have one.  Drink some hot chocolate or chai tea, eat yummy cookies and tell stories.  And you know what kids love to hear?  Stories about them when they were “little”.  Indulge them.  Tell them what you were like as a kid.  Make up fictional stories and have the whole family participate in it.
  • Craft. So, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that some families enjoy crafting.  I even know a couple.  And while they would be much better equipped to tell you exactly how to do it, there’s Pinterest for that, right?  And probably a million blogs.  Either way, engaging that creative energy with your family is awesome.  The extent of my crafting is scribbling in the  bathtub with my son’s soap crayons, and the occasional hand-crafted card for a loved one. Clearly, this is not my forte, but it might be yours!  Use it.  Forget about making it right, and just make it.  And enjoy the process.
  • Bake. Determine to make the ugliest Christmas cookies.  I mean, UGLY. Have a family contest for ugliest holiday cookie wreath.  Then eat them together while watching Elf or Star Wars or A Christmas Story.  And if you’re really in a playful mood, share the ugly Christmas cookies with friends or family who will find them funny, too.

This weekend, we are foregoing all the traditional holiday activities and heading up the mountain to introduce our toddler to snow.  Because playing in the snow and having mountain adventures with my guys is infinitely more fun to me than shopping or trying to get our son to not be terrified of Santa long enough to take a picture.  What are you doing?

Peanut Butter Cookies

Photo of Peanut Butter Cookies10 years ago, a fellow culinary-minded friend shared a recipe for easy peanut butter cookies with me.  It went something like this:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

It seemed so easy, so simple.  Too good to be true, even.  Turns out, it’s not just verbal urban culinary legend.  The origins are rooted in Tupperware.  Some truly genius cook created this recipe and shared it with the most well-known vintage food storage company of all time.  Then Tupperware shared it with the WORLD. Thanks, T-Diddy.

This was a no-brainer for low-carb conversion.  I’m pretty sure the peanut butter had a spiritual experience when it met the erythritol.  I know I did.

I would just like to express how EASY these are to make.  It took a few tries and tweaks to get it just right, but I feel as though I’ve found the winning combination.  I’ve also tried almond butter with a bit of almond extract to produce a decadent marzipan flavor.  Sunbutter is a great option for those who suffer from nut allergies.  I’ve added freeze-dried raspberries to mimic a peanut butter and jelly kind of cookie (I know…how much genius can this recipe produce?).  My favorite rendition, however, is dark chocolate chunks with chunky peanut butter and a latte.

For breakfast.

You’re welcome.

Oh, and my dear family friend, Julia Robertson, made and photographed these cookies.


  • 16 oz all-natural peanut butter (no sugar or oil added!)
  • 1 cup erythritol or coconut sugar crystals (or another granulated sweetener)
1 egg
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp raw organic honey (optional but worth it)
  • 2 oz chopped 85% cacao dark chocolate (0ptional)
sprinkle of salt (optional)


  1. Combine egg, vanilla extract, honey, and erythritol.
  2. Stir in peanut butter until thoroughly combined.
  3. Roll into balls and place on parchment lined baking sheet, about two inches apart.
  4. Score with a fork, sprinkle sparingly with sea salt if you’d like, and bake at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before eating, and for at least 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  (Erythritol has a slight cooling effect and will make your cookies very crumbly and weird if you eat them too soon.)

And because I think my friends are brilliant and talented, check out Julia’s photography website.  She’s fancy in an understated, award-winning, Wall-Street-Journal-loves-her kind of way.