Don’t let the title put you off these gorgeous-tasting cookies!!! Prunes are optional and the shortcake hints only at the flavour, not the assumed ingredient list!
So I still have your attention? Good!
I wanted to share these cookies with you because I simply can’t believe how good they taste, bearing in mind they have none of your traditional cookie ingredients in them. They’re gluten, dairy and wheat-free. But before I get to the recipe, just a few snippets of information about a couple of the ingredients.
Firstly, I have used coconut oil in this recipe. For those of you thinking, “Wait a minute, you said this was a healthy recipe yet you’re pouring oil into the mix?”, let me tell you a bit about coconut oil. For a start, yes it is technically a saturated fat, due to the type of chemical structure it is composed of. You can usually tell which fats are the saturated ones as they will generally be solid at room temperature (unless you’re lucky enough to live in a very warm climate). Coconut oil indeed sits on the shelf as a solid and only melts at a temperature above 24 degrees Celcius. However, coconut oil is different from most other saturated fats, as it is made up of Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s), which is just a fancy way of saying its structure is a little different from other saturated fats, and this type of structure is one that is readily assimilated (gobbled up!) by the body, meaning you use the energy from coconut oil straight away and don’t store it in your fat cells as you might with other saturated fats. Perfect! When buying coconut oil you should make sure it is COLD pressed, VIRGIN coconut oil. This is the best quality oil you can get. Coconut oil is also one of the few oils that can be used at high temperatures, as its structure does not break down under heat and saves us from those nasty free radicals, which only cause premature ageing. So all round, coconut oil is a great oil to use for cooking with. It also has other fantastic health benefits such as helping protect from mental degeneration, aswell as beauty benefits when used as a moisturiser or as a hair conditioner. Look it up!
Ground almonds (or almond flour as some of you know it) is quite literally almonds that have been ground very finely. Usually it’s the blanched almonds that are used to make the flour, so you don’t get the brown ‘skin’ of the almond in the meal. I have used measurements in cups of ground almonds here, but make sure you pat down the flour into the cup, or you could end up with some air and less almonds than you thought.
So, with that said, onto the recipe. I hope you will make these cookies, they literally take less than 15 minutes including baking time, so what’s to lose?
Prune Shortcake Cookies
Makes 12 small cookies. Each cookie contains 91 calories, 7g carbohydrates, 5g protein, 7g fat (1g of which is saturated fat), 3g sugar.
- 2 cups ground almonds (compacted into the cup)
- 2 tsp. baking soda (bicarbonate of soda)
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp. organic pure honey
- 8 ready-to-eat prunes, stone removed and chopped into small pieces OR any other dried fruit such as dates, raisins, cranberries, or even some roughly chopped nuts of your choice.
- 1-2 tsp. sesame seeds to sprinkle on top
- Put the oven on! Heat to 175C / 350F.
- In a medium bowl add the ground almonds and baking soda and mix well
- Now add the rest of the ingredients except the sesame seeds and mix with your fingers to form a crumbly dough. The dough should form when pressed together and not crumble apart. Add a little extra oil or honey if it is still crumbly but if you followed the exact ingredients it shouldn’t be! If you’re watching your sugars you can leave out the honey and add an extra tablespoon of coconut oil instead. The fat content will obviously rise slightly by doing this.
- Line a baking tray (or two) with parchment or greaseproof paper, then begin to take small amounts of the dough and roll and flatten them in your palm, and place on the paper, on the tray. Don’t make them too thick as cooking time is minimal and the insides won’t get much chance to cook.
- Continue rolling and flattening until you have used up the mixture, you should get around 12 cookies.
- Sprinkle sesame seeds onto the surface of each cookie and press down slightly. The cookies should look like this now:
- Place the tray(s) of cookies into the oven and bake for just 6 minutes. Take them out and inspect them – if they are browning round the edges they are done, if not give them another 2 minutes at a time until you feel they are golden enough. Mine only ever take 6 minutes but your oven might be different. When they come out of the oven they should look more like this:
Now’s the hard part – although they smell gorgeous and you’re dying to get your hands on one of these lovely little specimens, WAIT! If you try to lift them while still hot they will fall apart! So give it 15 minutes and then try your little piece of heaven.
The good news is that these cookies don’t contain anything that needs to be refrigerated, so they can be kept in an airtight container for a week or two no problem.
Here are a couple more ‘money shots’ of the cookies, and believe me there were a lot more to choose from so these are just a couple of my favourites!
I really hope you enjoy these cookies, I wish we had smell-o-vision as you’d not think twice about making them if you could smell what I can right now 😉
Be treat-wise though – one per day is enough! One cookie is the equivalent of a small handful of almonds, which we all know is a great snack, when eaten in moderation! Pair a cookie with an apple or some berries and you’ve got a perfectly balanced and delicious snack meal.