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Let’s get this out of the way upfront: I know calling a cookie recipe the “world’s easiest” sounds a bit ridiculous, but I can explain. The name started out innocently enough — one day, I created an easy-to-make almond cookie recipe. I adored this recipe. In my excitement, I’d say to friends, “You have to try these almond cookies; they’re, like, the world’s easiest cookies.” And well, the name stuck.
The World’s Easiest Cookie: Watch the Video
It stuck because I really think of these as the world’s easiest cookies. To make a batch, all you do is combine almond flour, baking powder, maple syrup, and vanilla extract in a large bowl and stir. That’s it! No butter, no eggs, no chilling the dough (or rolling it out). You just need four ingredients and a little elbow grease. After about 10 minutes of baking, you’re rewarded with macaron-flavored cookies that are crisp on the edges and chewy in the center.
If you follow a Paleo, gluten-free, or vegan diet, you’ll notice right away that these cookies are a fit for you. However, I don’t think of these as “special diet” cookies; I simply think of these as tasty cookies that I can whip up in minutes when my sweet tooth wants attention.
Any almond flour works in this recipe, but for the best texture and color, look for a finely ground, blanched almond flour, such as Honeyville or Bob’s Red Mill. Be sure to avoid almond meal; its coarse texture leaves the cookies slightly crumbly.
If you follow a grain-free diet, you’ll want to make your own grain-free baking powder or order a specialty version online because most commercial baking powders contain a grain-based starch, usually cornstarch, to prevent clumping. If you don’t follow a grain-free diet, use whatever baking powder you have on hand. (As long as it’s fresh, of course.)
Look for a dark maple syrup labeled Grade A “Dark with Robust Flavors” (until recently this was called Grade B). If you can’t find dark maple syrup, use a lighter grade. When made with a lighter-colored syrup, the maple flavor of the cookies won’t be as pronounced because the lighter the syrup, the more mild the flavor. Avoid pancake or table syrup, as those syrups usually contain corn syrup and artificial flavoring and those ingredients affect the flavor and texture of the cookies.
There’s a surprising amount of vanilla extract in this recipe. The vanilla unifies the almond and maple flavors and brings out a slightly butter-like flavor from the almonds.