I’m so pleased to share this recipe with you today. I know I say that a lot but this really is one of the better ones. One of those breakthrough recipe moments where you completely expect something to fail and it doesn’t! Isn’t it so nice when our expectations are exceeded? It doesn’t happen enough, let’s be honest.
So when combining two very simple, natural ingredients results in a deliciously sticky, toffee-tasting caramel…well, it doesn’t take much more than that to put a big ‘ol smile on my face. Honey + coconut = caramel? I know, I had a hard time believing it too. I had always believed all the cookbooks I’d read that said that refined sugar was an absolute requirement in making candies, of which caramel is technically a form. And even in googling honey caramel recipes, only came up with recipes containing BOTH white sugar and honey.
I set out to create this caramel with the expectation that I’d get the result that most often happens when I experiment in the kitchen, A.K.A. just more dirty dishes and nothing to show for it. In truth, it’s not uncommon to find the remains of my latest venture (RIP vanilla rum macarons that baked up hollow for the millionth time) piled in the trash or fed to the dogs. So today I dumped a few things in a saucepan, crossed my fingers and now I stand before you humbly, and really unworthy of much credit here, to present you with a very yummy success of a baking day!
Many of my previous attempts at grain-free cookies have been mild successes but generally ended up in rolled balls rather than pretty shapes. And while they tasted good, I do prefer food to be pretty. I told you recently about how I discovered a Honeyville near my house and learned about the amazingly different results you get when using their almond flour over the ones I previously used (Bob’s Red Mill or Whole Foods bulk section). And I finally took the time to try a rolled almond flour cookie this weekend.
I can’t say enough times how great the dough (and of course, the cookies!) came out. Though still needing to be rolled between two sheets of parchment, the dough remained cohesive rather than crumbling to bits like when using other, less-than-finely-ground almond flours. And I was able to get perfectly shaped little fluted circles, sufficiently satisfying all my pretty food needs.
I chose to pair the honey caramel with rosemary for a savory flavored cookie that I’ve come to prefer in desserts. The earthiness of the rosemary adds such a lovely aroma to the cookie and pairs perfectly with the rich toffee flavor of the caramel filling. A light sprinkling of sea salt in between the two shells merely enhances and unites all the flavors in attendance at this guilt-free dessert party.
Well then, if you’re looking for a miracle in your life, even if it’s just in the kitchen, this recipe is highly recommended. And that comes from someone who doesn’t experience many of those herself so I can guarantee it’ll be just what you’re looking for. 🙂
What’s your latest kitchen miracle story?
Grain-Free Rosemary Cookies
Yields: 12 sandwich cookies
2 1/2 c. blanched almond flour
2 t. tapioca starch
small sprig fresh rosemary
1/2 t. sea salt
2 T. honey
2 T. coconut oil or ghee, melted
Heat the oven to 325F. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the almond flour, tapioca starch, rosemary, and sea salt and pulse well to break up the rosemary. Add honey and coconut oil and process until dough comes together and forms a couple larger balls. Test the dough to make sure it isn’t too sticky (it will vary based on your choice of almond flour and the humidity in your area). If it seems very wet, add a bit more almond flour. If it seems very dry and crumbly, drizzle in a bit more coconut oil.
Wrap the dough in a tight ball in saran wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Remove from the fridge and divide the ball in half. Place half in between 2 sheets of parchment paper (as shown above) and roll carefully to 1/4″ thickness. Remove the top sheet of parchment and cut cookie shapes (I used a 2 1/2″ fluted round cutter like these). Gather scraps and combine with another section of dough and repeat the rolling & cutting. Continue until all the dough is used, yielding about 24 cookies.
Place the cookies on cookie sheets lined with parchment. Cook for 9 minutes per pan, or until the cookies are slightly golden brown. Once cooked, transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature before sandwiching with the caramel.
Honey & Sea Salt Caramel
1 c. honey
2/3 c. coconut cream (all the cream from 1 can of full fat coconut milk, allowed to seperate in the fridge)
1 vanilla bean, seeds removed
1/2 t. sea salt, plus more for sandwiching cookies
1 t. vanilla extract
2 T. grass-fed butter or virgin coconut oil
In a medium saucepan, combine honey, coconut cream, vanilla bean seeds, and sea salt and place over medium low heat. Mix thoroughly and place a candy thermometer in the pot. Heat the mixture to 300F, about 30 minutes, or until the sauce thickens greatly and turns a dark caramel color. Remove from heat, add vanilla extract and butter, and whisk together until creamy.
Allow to cool to room temperature before using to fill cookies. Optional: when sandwiching cookies, sprinkle sea salt in between. The leftover caramel can be kept in the fridge for months.