Chocolate Chip Cookies

February 1, 2014 in Categories: , by

Print Friendly

This recipe started out with the idea of creating a master cookie recipe that you could substitute whatever you have in your house (X amount of any kind of starch, Y amount of any kind of nut or seed butter, Z amount of any kind of cooking fat).  Cool, right?  But, I quickly realized that the baking chemistry of different nut and seed butters, different starches, different fats, and different granulated sugars were so vastly different that this type of master recipe just could not be created.  With quantities fixed, I had one version where the cookies were flat, dark around the edges and crumbly; another version where the cookies were round cakey balls; and about four different results in between these two extremes.  It’s too bad, because developing a master cookie recipe would have been really awesome.

But, there’s a substantial silver lining.  As I was experimenting, I stumbled upon probably the best paleo-friendly cookie recipe I have come up with to date.  A basic chocolate chip cookie recipe that is so perfectly delicious no one would ever know that it was grain-free and refined sugar-free.  You could feed this to your non-paleo company and all they would say is “wow, these are great cookies!”.

Another bonus: these are also (finally) a crisp cookie!  Crisp-textured cookies are surprisingly challenging to make with paleo-friendly ingredients, so this is a total victory for me.  I also made the wonderful discovery that cooking them for a shorter period of time yielded a cookie that was a little more shortbread-like both in flavor and texture (but not too crumbly), whereas cooking a bit longer yielded a cookie that was more crisp.  They’re both amazing and I can’t pick a winner, so I’ve included directions for both (which only vary by cooking time) in the recipe below.

Chocolate Chip Cookies | The Paleo MomI have tried this recipe with both homemade raw cashew butter and with store-bought.  They worked out identically.  Cashew butter is actually one of the easier nut butters to make at home because cashews will release their oils fairly easily.  And the benefit of making your own is that it’s about one third the price.  It would take about 10 minutes in a food processor (you might want to add 1-2 Tbsp melted coconut oil to help it along and then reduce the coconut oil in the cookie recipe by whatever amount you added to the cashews).  I make homemade cashew butter in the twister jar of my Blendtec in two batches (1/2 lb cashews each time), which each took about 3 minutes.

Substitutions:  As I mentioned, I have tried a number of variations and substituting one ingredient for another with these cookies have yielded dramatically different results.  I do know that substituting one quarter of the cashews with macadamia nuts works very well.  I do know that butter and can substitute for ghee (I use cultured grass-fed ghee which has no trace proteins and even my super sensitive younger daughter is fine with it).  And I’m confident maple sugar would substitute for evaporated cane juice, and probably coconut palm sugar too. Everything else I tried was no where near as good either in flavor or texture, so if you want to play with this recipe I really can’t give you any guarantees or suggestions.  If you do make a substitution though, please comment on this post and let everyone know what you did and how it worked.

Yield: 24-30 cookies (depending on how much batter you eat!)

Chocolate Chip Cookies | The Paleo Mom


  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  There’s no need to line a pan with a silicone liner or parchment paper, but you can if you want to.
  2. Cream ghee, coconut oil and evaporated cane juice (your coconut oil can be solid or liquid for this).  This means you mix just these three ingredients together until it starts to lighten in color, which takes 2-3 minutes.  You can do this by hand or in a mixer.
  3. Add egg, ad mix to fully incorporate.  Add vanilla and cashew butter.  Mix until a smooth batter forms.
  4. Combine arrowroot powder, salt, and baking soda.  Add to the wet ingredients and mix to form a uniform thick cookie dough.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Resist the temptation to eat it by the spoonful.
  5. Roll 1 1/2″ balls of dough and place about 2″ apart on a cookie sheet.  Flatten slightly with your fingers (optional-this just helps them spread a bit more).
  6. For light more shortbread-textured cookies, bake for 13-14 minutes.  Let cool completely on pan.
  7. For darker, crisper cookies, bake for 22-23 minutes.  Cool on pan or on cookie cooling rack.
  8. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.  They also freeze really well.


Sarah does not have an egg-free version of these cookies. However, she has other cookie recipes that are egg free: and and Also, all recipes that are AIP (auto immune protocol) are egg-free, you can view them all here: — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

Tamara, off-topic. Indigo-chapters in Canada has the following for the book:

Format: Trade Paperback
Dimensions: 432 Pages, 10.63 × 8.27 × 0.39 in
Published: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
Language: English

Is this the most recent print?

The book was released on 01/28/14, I’m not sure why that website would show a March 2014 release date. They may not have any copies in stock due to the demand for the first print run. I know there has also been some issues with weather delaying delivery. If you’d like, you can order the book on and pay for shipping or you can purchase an electronic copy. Although I’m hoping you’ll be able to purchase it soon from your local bookstores or the Indigo website. I’m sorry for the inconvenience. — Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

I make these cookies all the time without eggs. Instead of eggs, I mix 1 TBL spoon ground Flax seeds with 3 TBL spoons water chilled to set. It works great and these are hands down my kids favorite cookies… and they are not Paleo.

Love ALL your recipes. Was wondering if you could please put the ingredient amounts in metric measurements also, for us Australian followers? It would be so much easier to be able to follow the recipe off the screen than having to constantly look up the conversion charts.

Sarah, first of all I have to say that your new book i fantastic, full of information and very thick. I´m from Sweden and I have just a little question. My husband have Rheumatoid Arthritis and he takes Methotrexate and NSAIDS (Brufen Retard contains Ibuprfen) It,s very hard to stop eating this because he have pain. Just cutting out the food is´t enough? Any advice?

The book discusses discontinuing medications at the end of Chapter 4. It’s important to see improvements in symptoms before going off medications and to always do so under the guidance of a doctor.

I do not believe that Sarah has tried this recipe using almond butter. If you do try, please leave another comment and let us know how the cookies turned out. Thank you. —- Tamar, Sarah’s assistant

Made these yesterday. They were so yummy!! You’re a genius in the kitchen, Sarah! My girls and I kept eating the raw batter. Next time, I will try with almond since I seem to tolerate them better than cashews. Ours were more of a cumbly texture, like shortbread, brown on the edges. I would suggest taking them out before they significantly brown if you want them chewy!

Got my copy of The Paleo Approach today, such a beautiful book, hard to put down. Much to learn, I have RA and Sjogren’s syndrome, know there isn’t a cure just want to feel good and cut back on medication. Thank you.

Awesome Cookies! I used coconut palm sugar and butter substitutions with excellent results. This will be a repeat recipe for sure!

GREAT cookies! Thanks for sharing the recipe! I used palm shortening and also made my cashew butter in my black and decker food processor (10 years old and not high tech). The cashews needed help so I ended up putting the full 1/4 cup coconut oil in to help and they still were grainy. However once it was all put together, they worked well as long as it was compressed in ball. I also cooked it for the shorter time. Oh and I doubled the salt. This was just a preference on my part. Turned out very well and would definitely make again!

I’ve had mixed success when a recipe just says “ghee” because it can be in many different states. Did you use the firm, clumpy ghee, the liquid part of ghee or whatever mix of the two came out when you scooped your 1/4 cup measure? Thanks.

I made these tonight for my daughters Valentine’s party at preschool this week to make sure she had something. They’re fantastic! I used the butter and coconut sugar subs and made my own cashew butter in the food processor (added a Tbsp coconut oil). I also used tapioca flour rather than arrowroot. Fab cookies. Not too sweet, but sweet enough. I made smaller cookies, a rounded Tbsp each and had 24 with a little extra dough to stick in the freezer. Definitely the best recipe for cookies. I don’t like almond flour stuff, so this was a nice twist. Thanks!
PS: Just got the book! It’s great! There are so many paleo books, but it’s nice to have one with the detailed science behind it for those of us who don’t do this to be like cave-people.

I’ve made these awesome cookies twice now. My substitutions: butter, castor sugar and tapioca starch. They freeze beautifully – great to just take one out to snack on. Thank you.

We loves these. We call them the Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookies. To us, they taste exactly like a shortbread cookie.. which was a nice change from all the almond flour based cookies we had been making. Thanks for another great recipe!

I didn’t have cashew butter or cashews on hand, but had cashew meal from Trader Joe’s. — so I used 2 c. of that. Then I used palm shortening vs. butter/ghee and coconut sugar vs. sucanat and these still came out delicious. (Baked them for about 14-some minutes and they were a little on the crisp side, but it seemed too soon at about 10 min. and thought they’d burn at 23 min.) I took them to a get together with non-paleo eaters and their kids who raved about them and gobbled them up. I’ve got my second batch in the oven for my 7 y.o. son and his two classmates who are here for a playdate. Good thing I put quite a few in as a first batch, because the dough is addicting!!

Any substitute for coconut oil? I am incredibly sensitive to it, and it gives me heart palpsm which is a total bummer when you are trying to do auto immune protocol…

These are incredible! I just made them for a bunch of non-paleo friends and they could not get enough. In fact, I’m making another batch for them right now. I used cashew meal from Trader Joe’s, which comes in a 16 oz bag so I just used the whole thing. I used the Wholesome Sweeteners Evaporated Cane Juice which has a great taste (I didn’t like the taste of Muscovado, sugar which I tried once before in this recipe). I also baked them in the bottom of muffin tins which gave them a uniform shape and worked well with the more shortbready consistency. A batch made 24 cookies. I baked them for 15 minutes which was perfect. Thank you so much for this recipe!

Any substitutes for all the sugars mentioned above? They are all a no-no for this diabetic survivor. I usually only use stevia. Even honey and agave causes a major increase in sugar for me.

Ronda my husband is type2. Im going to make these with Swerve granular sugar substitute. Only place I could find it in my town is Whole Foods. Swerve has a confectioners version too. I like the taste of Swerve better than Stevia.

They were really good!! Mine were a bit spread out, not as pretty as yours. I used butter, maybe i should stick to 4 tbs instead of 5? Or cook them next time on a muffin mold like that they will all be pretty? Thanks!! Susana

The only substitution I made in this recipe was coconut palm sugar in place of cane juice, partly because I saw it right away in the store, and because I needed it for 2 other recipes. It made the cookies look darker because it is like brown sugar. However, I had a major problem with crumbling. The first pan I cooked 22 minutes for the crispy version. A couple crumbled and 2 cracked in half while cooling. (They still tasted good!) The next pan I cooked for 15 minutes. Those seemed even more crumbly. If I try it again, I will use the cane juice. I double checked ingredient amounts as I went through the recipe. So I’m not sure if I need to leave them on the pan to cool, or if it was the coconut palm sugar, or what.

I just ate a whole one — it tastes a bit dry. So maybe the cane juice would have made a difference. I would not serve them to anyone because of texture and appearance (the crumbling), but believe me, they are NOT going in the garbage. The two of us will have to eat the whole batch! (I hope I can freeze some!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *