Chocolate Cherry Cordial Cookies ~ Vegan, Gluten-free and Oil-free!

Happy almost 2015! I hope that your holidays have been filled with wonder and joy… and healthy eating! The holidays can sabotage any healthy eating plan, that's for sure. As promised, here is a festive dessert for your New Year's gathering which you can indulge in without the guilt. I am taking these to a party on New Year's Day and I think they will be a smash!

If you are or were a fan of chocolate covered cherries, you will love these! I was asked by a friend and reader to "nutritarianize" these cookies that she found at a party, which were made with maraschino cherries and other not-so-health-friendly ingredients. Challenge accepted! Hope you like them, Jan-Marie!


~ for the cookies

  • 1 cup tightly-packed, blanched almond flour
  • ½ cup brown rice flour
  • ½ cup coconut sugar or other minimally-processed, granulated sweetener
  • ¼ cup non-alkalized cocoa powder
  • 2 TBS tapioca flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 TBS flax meal + 5 TBS water
  • ¼ cup raw almond butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp natural cherry flavoring (optional)

~ for the cherries
  • 16 frozen, black cherries
  • 2 TBS kirsch or brandy (optional/replace with water or cherry juice if not using)
  • 1 tsp natural cherry flavoring (optional but really adds that cherry flavor and since we're not using maraschino cherries with all that fake flavor, it really helps out with this recipe)
  • 2 tsp tapioca flour dissolved in 2 TBS water
  • 1 TBS liquid sweetener such as date syrup, agave or coconut nectar

  • ½ cup melted, vegan chocolate chips

cooling and before their chocolate drizzle...

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Mix the flax meal with the water and set aside.
  4. Place all the dry cookie ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine.
  5. Add the wet cookie ingredients, including the flax mixture, and pulse until you have a dough consistency and it is well mixed. It should come together in a ball.
  6. Using a heaping 2 TBS scoop, portion out the dough onto the cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie a bit and make an indentation in the center, as you would a thumbprint cookie.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes.
  8. While the cookies are baking, work on your cherry filling: Place the frozen cherries and all the other cherry ingredients in a small saucepan and simmer until the liquid becomes gooey (which it will from the tapioca). Set aside but keep warm. NOTE: If you want an authentic cherry cordial result, with spirits intact, add a the liquor after the mixture has cooled a bit.
  9. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, use a ½ tsp measuring spoon to push the centers back down (they will have risen a bit while baking), making room for the cherries. 
  10. Add one cherry and some of the gooey sauce to the center of each cookie.
  11. Let cool and top with a drizzle of melted vegan chocolate (I used vegan chocolate chips and melted them in a double boiler).

Makes 16 cookies. Enjoy!

Healthy trails and a happy and prosperous New Year to you!

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