Choco Almond Brownie Cookies

For those with sugar cravings or gut issues, these brownie style cookies truly satisfy the sweet tooth without breaking your diet goals. The healthy fats and low carb content will keep your blood sugar stable. They are super delicious and nourishing, making it easier to stick to 1-2 cookies without eating the whole batch. They are grain free, gluten free, and all allergen free. Delicious, chocolatey, healthy and guilt free? Yes! My kind of dessert!

Also, as you may know, cacao is a super food. It is rich in flavanoids, which are antioxidants that support the heart and skin regeneration. Research shows it can protect against cardiovascular disease, hypertension & may even have anti-aging effects. It's also being studied as a way to enhance cognitive function, increase energy levels and potentially modulate immunity. There is so much more cacao can do, especially when paired with healthy fats nourishing ingredients.


Prep time: 10-15 min Cook time: 11-13 min Servings: Makes 18-20 cookies


1/2 cup ghee, melted and room temperature

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted and room temperature

2 tsp vanilla extract (alcohol free if available)

1/2 cup monkfruit sweetener

1/2 cup honey, local & organic if possible

3 medium, pasture-raised eggs

1/2 tsp baking soda

3 cups blanched almond flour

3/4 cup cacao powder, fair trade & organic (I love Navitas or Divine brand)

optional: 2/3 cup toasted walnuts or sugar free chocolate chips)

optional for thumbprint cookies: elderberry or blackberry jam


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

3. Whisk ghee, oil, honey, monkfruit, vanilla, & eggs until fully mixed.

4. Add baking soda, cacao and almond flour, 1 cup at a time until well combined.

5. Note that it may seem like a lot of oil, but this is what makes the texture of the cookies chewy and delicious. Keep mixing the dough until the oil gets soaked into the almond flour.

6. Fold in walnuts or chips if desired. Skip this step and the cookies will be equally delicious!

7. Using a tablespoon measurement, divide dough into small rounds and place onto the baking sheets, about 3 inches apart.

8. If you decide to make thumbprint cookies with jam, take a tsp or smaller measuring spoon to poke holes in the cookie rounds and add jam. Note, this will expand the cookies because there is more liquid, so make sure to separate these cookies about 5 inches and bake a few minutes longer. Thicker preserves and hearty jams work best for thumbprints.

9. Place in the oven & bake for 11-13 min depending on your oven.

10. Allow to cool- it may seem they are uncooked. This is just because they are made with almond flour and have a high oil content. As long as they have expanded and are crispy on the outside, they will be perfect once cooled. And a hot brownie cookie is also like a little lava cookie, so enjoy the chocolatey magic!


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Loffredo, L., Carnevale, R., Perri, L., Catasca, E., Augelletti, T., Cangemi, R., Albanese, F., Piccheri, C., Nocella, C., Pignatelli, P., and Violi, F. NOX2-mediated arterial dysfunction in smokers: acute effect of dark chocolate. Heart 2011;97(21):1776-1781. View abstract.

Parasramka, S. and Dufresne, A. Supraventricular tachycardia induced by chocolate: is chocolate too sweet for the heart? Am J Emerg.Med. 2012;30(7):1325-1327. View abstract.

Buitrago-Lopez, A., Sanderson, J., Johnson, L., Warnakula, S., Wood, A., Di, Angelantonio E., and Franco, O. H. Chocolate consumption and cardiometabolic disorders: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2011;343:d4488. View abstract.

Khawaja, O., Gaziano, J. M., and Djousse, L. Chocolate and coronary heart disease: a systematic review. Curr Atheroscler.Rep. 2011;13(6):447-452. View abstract.

Kim, W., Park, C. S., Yu, T. K., Park, H. H., Cho, E. K., Kang, W. Y., Hwang, S. H., Lee, E. S., and Kim, W. The preventive effects of dark chocolate on impaired endothelial function in medical personnel working sequential night shifts. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc.Dis. 2012;22(2):e3-e4. View abstract.

Shrime, M. G., Bauer, S. R., McDonald, A. C., Chowdhury, N. H., Coltart, C. E., and Ding, E. L. Flavonoid-rich cocoa consumption affects multiple cardiovascular risk factors in a meta-analysis of short-term studies. J Nutr 2011;141(11):1982-1988. View abstract.

Venkatesh Babu, N. S., Vivek, D. K., and Ambika, G. Comparative evaluation of chlorhexidine mouthrinse versus cacao bean husk extract mouthrinse as antimicrobial agents in children. Eur.Arch.Paediatr.Dent. 2011;12(5):245-249. View abstract.

Cordova, A. C., Sumpio, B. J., and Sumpio, B. E. Perfecting the plate: adding cardioprotective compounds to the diet. J Am Coll.Surg. 2012;214(1):97-114. View abstract.

Camfield, D. A., Scholey, A., Pipingas, A., Silberstein, R., Kras, M., Nolidin, K., Wesnes, K., Pase, M., and Stough, C. Steady state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) topography changes associated with cocoa flavanol consumption. Physiol Behav. 2-28-2012;105(4):948-957. View abstract.

Di, Castelnuovo A., di, Giuseppe R., Iacoviello, L., and de, Gaetano G. Consumption of cocoa, tea and coffee and risk of cardiovascular disease. Eur.J Intern.Med. 2012;23(1):15-25. View abstract.

Sudarma, V., Sukmaniah, S., and Siregar, P. Effect of dark chocolate on nitric oxide serum levels and blood pressure in prehypertension subjects. Acta Med.Indones. 2011;43(4):224-228. View abstract.

Belz, G. G. and Mohr-Kahaly, S. [Cacoa and dark chocolate in cardiovascular prevention?]. Dtsch.Med.Wochenschr. 2011;136(51-52):2657-2663. View abstract.

Flammer, A. J., Sudano, I., Wolfrum, M., Thomas, R., Enseleit, F., Periat, D., Kaiser, P., Hirt, A., Hermann, M., Serafini, M., Leveques, A., Luscher, T. F., Ruschitzka, F., Noll, G., and Corti, R. Cardiovascular effects of flavanol-rich chocolate in patients with heart failure. Eur.Heart J 2012;33(17):2172-2180. View abstract.

Recio-Rodriguez, J. I., Gomez-Marcos, M. A., Patino-Alonso, M. C., Agudo-Conde, C., Rodriguez-Sanchez, E., and Garcia-Ortiz, L. Cocoa intake and arterial stiffness in subjects with cardiovascular risk factors. Nutr J 2012;11:8. View abstract.

Landberg, R., Naidoo, N., and van Dam, R. M. Diet and endothelial function: from individual components to dietary patterns. Curr Opin.Lipidol. 2012;23(2):147-155. View abstract.

Sola, R., Valls, R. M., Godas, G., Perez-Busquets, G., Ribalta, J., Girona, J., Heras, M., Cabre, A., Castro, A., Domenech, G., Torres, F., Masana, L., Angles, N., Reguant, J., Ramirez, B., and Barriach, J. M. Cocoa, hazelnuts, sterols and soluble fiber cream reduces lipids and inflammation biomarkers in hypertensive patients: a randomized controlled trial. PLoS.One. 2012;7(2):e31103. View abstract.

Monahan, K. D. Effect of cocoa/chocolate ingestion on brachial artery flow-mediated dilation and its relevance to cardiovascular health and disease in humans. Arch.Biochem.Biophys. 11-15-2012;527(2):90-94. View abstract.

Di Renzo, G. C., Brillo, E., Romanelli, M., Porcaro, G., Capanna, F., Kanninen, T. T., Gerli, S., and Clerici, G. Potential effects of chocolate on human pregnancy: a randomized controlled trial. J Matern.Fetal Neonatal Med. 2012;25(10):1860-1867. View abstract.

Wolz, M., Schleiffer, C., Klingelhofer, L., Schneider, C., Proft, F., Schwanebeck, U., Reichmann, H., Riederer, P., and Storch, A. Comparison of chocolate to cacao-free white chocolate in Parkinson's disease: a single-dose, investigator-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover trial. J Neurol. 2012;259(11):2447-2451. View abstract.

Zomer, E., Owen, A., Magliano, D. J., Liew, D., and Reid, C. M. The effectiveness and cost effectiveness of dark chocolate consumption as prevention therapy in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease: best case scenario analysis using a Markov model. BMJ 2012;344:e3657. View abstract.

Sarria, B., Mateos, R., Sierra-Cinos, J. L., Goya, L., Garcia-Diz, L., and Bravo, L. Hypotensive, hypoglycaemic and antioxidant effects of consuming a cocoa product in moderately hypercholesterolemic humans. Food Funct. 2012;3(8):867-874. View abstract.

Nehlig, A. The neuroprotective effects of cocoa flavanol and its influence on cognitive performance. Br.J Clin Pharmacol. 2013;75(3):716-727. View abstract.

De, Gottardi A., Berzigotti, A., Seijo, S., D'Amico, M., Thormann, W., Abraldes, J. G., Garcia-Pagan, J. C., and Bosch, J. Postprandial effects of dark chocolate on portal hypertension in patients with cirrhosis: results of a phase 2, double-blind, randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96(3):584-590. View abstract.

Haber, S. L. and Gallus, K. Effects of dark chocolate on blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Am J Health Syst.Pharm. 8-1-2012;69(15):1287-3. View abstract.

Martin, F. P., Antille, N., Rezzi, S., and Kochhar, S. Everyday eating experiences of chocolate and non-chocolate snacks impact postprandial anxiety, energy and emotional states. Nutrients. 2012;4(6):554-567. View abstract.

Grassi, D., Desideri, G., Necozione, S., Ruggieri, F., Blumberg, J. B., Stornello, M., and Ferri, C. Protective effects of flavanol-rich dark chocolate on endothelial function and wave reflection during acute hyperglycemia. Hypertension 2012;60(3):827-832. View abstract.

Stote, K. S., Clevidence, B. A., Novotny, J. A., Henderson, T., Radecki, S. V., and Baer, D. J. Effect of cocoa and green tea on biomarkers of glucose regulation, oxidative stress, inflammation and hemostasis in obese adults at risk for insulin resistance. Eur.J Clin Nutr 2012;66(10):1153-1159. View abstract.

Ried, K., Sullivan, T. R., Fakler, P., Frank, O. R., and Stocks, N. P. Effect of cocoa on blood pressure. Cochrane.Database.Syst.Rev. 2012;8:CD008893. View abstract.

Moco, S., Martin, F. P., and Rezzi, S. Metabolomics view on gut microbiome modulation by polyphenol-rich foods. J Proteome.Res 10-5-2012;11(10):4781-4790. View abstract.

Larsson, S. C., Virtamo, J., and Wolk, A. Chocolate consumption and risk of stroke: a prospective cohort of men and meta-analysis. Neurology 9-18-2012;79(12):1223-1229. View abstract.

Mellor, D. D., Madden, L. A., Smith, K. A., Kilpatrick, E. S., and Atkin, S. L. High-polyphenol chocolate reduces endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress during acute transient hyperglycaemia in Type 2 diabetes: a pilot randomized controlled trial. Diabet.Med. 2013;30(4):478-483. View abstract.

Vitaglione, P., Barone, Lumaga R., Ferracane, R., Sellitto, S., Morello, J. R., Reguant, Miranda J., Shimoni, E., and Fogliano, V. Human bioavailability of flavanols and phenolic acids from cocoa-nut creams enriched with free or microencapsulated cocoa polyphenols. Br.J Nutr 5-28-2013;109(10):1832-1843. View abstract.

Pritchett, K. and Pritchett, R. Chocolate milk: a post-exercise recovery beverage for endurance sports. Med.Sport Sci. 2012;59:127-134. View abstract.

van Dam, R. M., Naidoo, N., and Landberg, R. Dietary flavonoids and the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases: review of recent findings. Curr Opin.Lipidol. 2013;24(1):25-33. View abstract.

Netea, S. A., Janssen, S. A., Jaeger, M., Jansen, T., Jacobs, L., Miller-Tomaszewska, G., Plantinga, T. S., Netea, M. G., and Joosten, L. A. Chocolate consumption modulates cytokine production in healthy individuals. Cytokine 2013;62(1):40-43. View abstract.

d'El-Rei, J., Cunha, A. R., Burla, A., Burla, M., Oigman, W., Neves, M. F., Virdis, A., and Medeiros, F. Characterisation of hypertensive patients with improved endothelial function after dark chocolate consumption. Int J Hypertens. 2013;2013:985087. View abstract.

Fogleman, C. D. Effect of cocoa on blood pressure. Am Fam.Physician 4-1-2013;87(7):484. View abstract.

Sorond, F. A., Hurwitz, S., Salat, D. H., Greve, D. N., and Fisher, N. D. Neurovascular coupling, cerebral white matter integrity, and response to cocoa in older people. Neurology 9-3-2013;81(10):904-909. View abstract.

Mitchell, D. C., McMahon, K. E., Shively, C. A., Apgar, J. L., and Kris-Etherton, P. M. Digestibility of cocoa butter and corn oil in human subjects: a preliminary study. Am J Clin Nutr 1989;50(5):983-986. View abstract.

Evans, R. W., Fergusson, D. M., Allardyce, R. A., and Taylor, B. Maternal diet and infantile colic in breast-fed infants. Lancet 6-20-1981;1(8234):1340-1342. View abstract.

Hayes, K. C. Saturated fats and blood lipids: new slant on an old story. Can.J Cardiol. 1995;11 Suppl G:39G-46G. View abstract.

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Denke, M. A. Effects of cocoa butter on serum lipids in humans: historical highlights. Am J Clin Nutr 1994;60(6 Suppl):1014S-1016S. View abstract.

Kris-Etherton, P. M., Derr, J. A., Mustad, V. A., Seligson, F. H., and Pearson, T. A. Effects of a milk chocolate bar per day substituted for a high-carbohydrate snack in young men on an NCEP/AHA Step 1 Diet. Am.J Clin.Nutr. 1994;60(6 Suppl):1037S-1042S. View abstract.

Knekt, P., Jarvinen, R., Reunanen, A., and Maatela, J. Flavonoid intake and coronary mortality in Finland: a cohort study. BMJ 2-24-1996;312(7029):478-481. View abstract.

Hinds, T. S., West, W. L., Knight, E. M., and Harland, B. F. The effect of caffeine on pregnancy outcome variables. Nutr Rev. 1996;54(7):203-207. View abstract.

Kondo, K., Hirano, R., Matsumoto, A., Igarashi, O., and Itakura, H. Inhibition of LDL oxidation by cocoa. Lancet 11-30-1996;348(9040):1514. View abstract.

Rossner, S. Chocolate--divine food, fattening junk or nutritious supplementation? Eur.J Clin.Nutr. 1997;51(6):341-345. View abstract.

Storey, D. M., Koutsou, G. A., Lee, A., Zumbe, A., Olivier, P., Le Bot, Y., and Flourie, B. Tolerance and breath hydrogen excretion following ingestion of maltitol incorporated at two levels into milk chocolate consumed by healthy young adults with and without fasting. J Nutr. 1998;128(3):587-592. View abstract.

Eteng, M. U., Eyong, E. U., Akpanyung, E. O., Agiang, M. A., and Aremu, C. Y. Recent advances in caffeine and theobromine toxicities: a review. Plant Foods Hum.Nutr. 1997;51(3):231-243. View abstract.

Flammer, A. J., Sudano, I., Wolfrum, M., Thomas, R., Enseleit, F., Periat, D., Luscher, T. F., Ruschitzka, F. T., Noll, G., and Corti, R. Acute and chronic effects of flavonoid-rich-chocolate on endothelial function in patients with chronic heart failure (abstract). J Hypertens 2010;28(e2)

van den Bogaard, B., Draijer, R., van Montfrans, G. A., and van den Born, B. J. Differential effect of cocoa drinks with low and high theobromine dose on peripheral and central blood pressure: A double blind placebo controlled randomised cross-over trial (abstract). J Hypertens 2010;28:e15.

Kurlandsky, S. B. and Stote, K. S. Cardioprotective effects of chocolate and almond consumption in healthy women. Nutr Res 2006;26:509-516.

Al-Faris, N. A. Short-term consumption of a dark chocolate containing flavanols is followed by a significant decrease in normotensive population. Pakistan J Nutr 2008;7(6):773-781.

Goldberg LD, Crysler C. A single center, pilot, double-blinded, randomized, comparative, prospective clinical study to evaluate improvements in the structure and function of facial skin with tazarotene 0.1% cream alone and in combination with GliSODin Skin Nutrients Advanced Anti-Aging Formula. Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol. 2014;7:139-44. View abstract.

Lamport DJ, Pal D, Moutsiana C, et al. The effect of flavanol-rich cocoa on cerebral perfusion in healthy older adults during conscious resting state: a placebo controlled, crossover, acute trial. Psychopharmacology (Berl) 2015;232(17):3227-34. View absract.

Mastroiacovo D, Kwik-Uribe C, Grassi D, et al. Cocoa flavanol consumption improves cognitive function, blood pressure control, and metabolic profile in elderly subjects: the Cocoa, Cognition, and Aging (CoCoA) Study-a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;101(3):538-48. View abstract.

Neufingerl N, Zebregs YE, Schuring EA, Trautwein EA. Effect of cocoa and theobromine consumption on serum HDL-cholesterol concentrations: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;97(6):1201-9. View absract.

Ottaviani JI, Balz M, Kimball J, et al. Safety and efficacy of cocoa fl avanol intake in healthy adults: a randomized, controlled, double-masked trial. Am J Clin Nutr 2015;102(6):1425-35. View abstract.

Pase MP, Scholey AB, Pipingas A, et al. Cocoa polyphenols enhance positive mood states but not cognitive performance: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. J Psychopharmacol 2013;27(5):451-8. View abstract.

Sansone R, Rodriguez-Mateos A, Heuel J, et al.; Flaviola Consortium, European Union 7th Framework Program. Cocoa flavanol intake improves endothelial function and Framingham Risk Score in healthy men and women: a randomised, controlled, double-masked trial: the Flaviola Health Study. Br J Nutr 2015;114(8):1246-55. View abstract.

Yoon HS, Kim JR, Park GY, et al. Cocoa flavanol supplementation influences skin conditions of photo-aged women: a 24-week double-blind, randomized, controlled trial. J Nutr 2016;146(1):46-50. View abstract.

Verna R. The history and science of chocolate. Malays J Pathol 2013;35(2):111-21. View abstract.

Souza SJ, Petrilli AA, Teixeira AM, et al. Effect of chocolate and mate tea on the lipid profile of individuals with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy: a clinical trial. Nutrition. 2017 Nov-Dec;43-44:61-68. View abstract.

Gong F, Yao S, Wan J, Gan X. Chocolate Consumption and Risk of Heart Failure: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Nutrients. 2017;9(4). pii: E402. View abstract.

Larsson SC, Drca N, Jensen-Urstad M, Wolk A. Chocolate consumption and risk of atrial fibrillation: Two cohort studies and a meta-analysis. Am Heart J. 2018;195:86-90. View abstract.

Mostofsky E, Berg Johansen M, Tjønneland A, Chahal HS, Mittleman MA, Overvad K. Chocolate intake and risk of clinically apparent atrial fibrillation: the Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health Study. Heart. 2017;103(15):1163-1167. View abstract.

Ried K, Fakler P, Stocks NP. Effect of cocoa on blood pressure. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;4:CD008893. View abstract.

Steinhaus DA, Mostofsky E, Levitan EB, et al. Chocolate intake and incidence of heart failure: Findings from the Cohort of Swedish Men. Am Heart J. 2017;183:18-23. View abstract.

Yuan S, Li X, Jin Y, Lu J. Chocolate Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Nutrients. 2017;9(7). pii: E688. View abstract.

Basu A, Betts NM, Leyva MJ, Fu D, Aston CE, Lyons TJ. Acute cocoa supplementation increases postprandial HDL cholesterol and insulin in obese adults with type 2 diabetes after consumption of a high-fat breakfast. J Nutr 2015;145(10):2325-32. View abstract.

Ellinger S, Reusch A, Stehle P, Helfrich HP. Epicatechin ingested via cocoa products reduces blood pressure in humans: a nonlinear regression model with a Bayesian approach. Am J Clin Nutr 2012;95(6):1365-77. View abstract.

Wikoff D, Welsh BT, Henderson R, et al. Systematic review of the potential adverse effects of caffeine consumption in healthy adults, pregnant women, adolescents, and children. Food Chem Toxicol 2017;109:585-648. View abstract.

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