Gluten-free and dairy free!
We don’t have sweets around our house too often but Christmas calls for a few special desserts, baked good or snacks and I love making them! 🙂 We use mostly unrefined sugars though some of them do raise your blood sugar so I’m careful as too how often we indulge in sugary treats. My “go to” sweetener is stevia or raw honey but when special occasions come about I use a few of the following sugars such as; maple syrup, brown rice syrup, agave nectar or palm sugar (coconut sugar). I am a little sensitive to sugars so only a little honey for me since it ranks a 30 on the glycemic index but when I can buy raw honey from a local farm verses agave nectar in the store, I just feel that the raw honey is absolutely the better choice of the two!
I noticed a recipe for Salted Caramel Chocolate Sandwich Cookies on Everyday Occasions by Jenny Steffens Hobick. She blogs about lovely ideas for entertaining though I only gain inspiration from her recipes as they’re not usually gluten-free or dairy free. So I felt inspired to create my own recipe for these lovely cookies!
Now remember, sweets such as these are treats! 🙂
Also, I have to admit that when cooking the palm sugar, I truly do not know how it changes the make-up or nutrition of the sugar so it may not be the best for you…just take note please.
Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Salted Caramel
5 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup grapeseed oil
1 cup raw agave nectar
2 Tb vanilla
Combine dry ingredients and mix well. Add grapeseed oil, agave, vanilla and eggs. Mix until smooth. Chill dough in refrigerator overnight. Remove from the refrigerator and roll dough between two pieces of parchment paper to about 1/4 in. thick. Use a cookie cutter of your choice and place cookies on a baking sheet layered with parchment or silicone mats. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Cookies should be soft to the touch when you pull the pan out. Let cookies cool completely.
Salted Caramel Filling
2 3/4 cups palm sugar
2/3 cup water
2 cups canned coconut milk (do not use light!)
1 Tb coarse sea salt
Using a heavy bottom saucepan, stir together water and palm sugar. Turn heat on low until sugar dissolves. Stir just enough to mix. Turn the heat to medium and bring to a boil. Let mixture boil for 5-7 minutes. The mixture should become thick and bubbly but be careful not to burn it. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in coconut milk. Continue to stir to incorporate the milk. Simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes until the milk and sugar are melted together. Remove from heat and stir in sea salt. Cool in the refrigerator until thick enough to spread onto cookies. I used a knife for spreading the caramel but a cake decorators bag may also work well. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and remove 5 minutes before serving to allow caramel to soften.
*Note: I found that I did not cook the caramel long enough the first time I made this but was able to reheat it for a few minutes longer and I had beautiful caramel filling! So, do not despair if you feel it’s not perfect the first time! 🙂
I must say I was quite pleased with how these turned out. Not only was I able to cut out fun shapes but created a recipe that melts in your mouth for everyone! My husband complimented me on these and he’s not totally gluten and dairy free so I was very happy! I love when I can share something that everyone can enjoy!
I don’t drink caffeine but I would imagine that these are very yummy served a wonderful fresh cup of coffee!