These gluten-free and grain-free cookies were inspired by the Indian ball-shaped sweet treats called Laddoo/Laddu. When I looked at the ingredients for this - Almond Chocolate Laddu - I was thrilled to discover that they were gluten-free. Perfect! My hubby is on a gluten-free diet and to ensure that he doesn't miss out on sweets (which are almost always a gluten-fest) I always try to experiment on new gluten-free desserts!
So I made the Almond Laddu based on the recipe and I actually fell in love with it! It was really yummy! Looking at these sweet balls they reminded me of cookie dough (although these ones you can eat right away) so, guess what? That gave me the idea of baking them and treat them like a true cookie dough and then see what happens.
I was not very optimistic at first. After all, there was no flour in it, not even eggs! How can this work? Yet, it was chewy and gooey enough and I thought it may be worth a try!
Boy, am I glad I tried it - it was even better cooked! Most of all - it's not only gluten-free, it's grain-free too! My hubby was very pleased and this has become one of his favorite treats - how can you not like it - almonds, coconuts and chocolate chips all rolled into one delicious treat! I can have this anytime!
By the way, the inspiration came from this lovely site - Simply Delicious - Almond Chocolate Laddu. I converted her measurements to American and used ingredients that I had available. I used almond meal and didn't make it from scratch. I can't remember exactly how many cookies I made 'cause half of them I made into Laddus while the other half I baked into cookies. I will note next time. I just know they are cute little nibbles that are oh so delicious! I will probably increase the measurement too so I can get more cookies out of it. In the meantime, here's the basic recipe which you can tweak to your heart's content! :-)
3/4 cup Almond flour/meal (like Trader Joe's)
1/4 cup chocolate chips (I like the dark chocolate variety)*
1 /4 cup sweetened condensed milk
1 Tbsp regular milk
1/2 cup grated coconut (I used the unsweetened variety)
*Use a gluten-free brand if you wish a completely gluten-free version otherwise, regular chips will do.
Place the almond flour into a mixing bowl. Add the grated coconut and mix well. Set aside.
In a small sauce pan combine the chocolate chips, condensed milk and regular milk. Melt the chocolate and mix well with the milk on low heat. Stir constantly until the chocolate melts.
Pour into the almond mixture and mix well with a wooden spoon.
Set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, mix again by hand and shape into balls. While you are shaping the dough into cookie balls, preheat the oven to 350F.
Place the cookie balls (I did flatten them a little bit with a fork) in a cookie sheet (greased or lined with parchment paper). You may want to place a few chocolate chips on top for that extra chocolate flavor!
Bake for approximately 6-8 minutes.They're pretty small so they don't need a lot of time to cook, depends on how chewy you want them to be. Just do not overcook it unless you want a crunchier cookie. I think it's perfect at 8 minutes but since oven heating and temps vary, adjust the time accordingly.
In fact, if you want to stick with the original Laddu concept - you don't need to bake them at all - you can eat them as is and they're so yummy too!
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