Gluten-Free Almond Orange Cookies

Healthy Cookies

Last week I tried to invent a healthy cookie recipe. Aside from the fact that I didn’t have the ingredients I needed, didn’t want to go to the store, and ended up with 5 dozen cookie-wanna-be’s in the freezer, I’d say it was a success.

Actually, truth-be-told, I started experimenting with this recipe last December and managed to produce 7 dozen cookies then that were not quite right – and they may still be in the freezer. Anyone want 12 dozen not-really-cookies?

Anyway, after all that practice, I finally came up with these healthy Almond Orange Cookies that are so very scrumptious and have a fluffy, slightly chewy texture and amazing flavor.

What Makes These Cookies Healthy?

1. While most cookie recipes call for 1/2 cup to 2 cups of butter, these little sweeties only have two tablespoons of Earth Balance in them.

2. They don’t have any white flour or white sugar in them.

3. They do have whole-grain oats.

4. These cookies are made with almonds, which give you a healthy serving of fiber, calcium, protein, vitamin E, and iron. Plus nuts have been shown to help with weight loss.

Healthy Cookies

Gluten-Free Almond Orange Cookies

A very healthy holiday cookie with wonderful flavor.
Course Dessert
YIELD 1 dozen cookies
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  • Prepare baking sheet by covering with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Place almonds, salt, arrowroot, and oats in food processor and process until almonds are very fine and powdery.
  • Add orange zest and process until mixed. Set aside.
  • Mix together sugar, milk, and butter spread in a small saucepan. Bring to a full boil over medium heat, stirring often. (I use a heat-proof spatula to stir it.)
  • Allow to boil, stirring often, for 2 1/2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Stir in vanilla.
  • Immediately pour mixture over ground almonds in food processor. (I use a spatula to be sure I get all of the liquid out of the pan.) Pulse several times until thoroughly mixed.
  • Drop dough in 1-tablespoon-size balls onto parchment-lined baking sheet about 2 inches apart. If desired, roll cookies into balls or bake as is. (Dough will be somewhat sticky.)
  • Bake at 350°F for 12 to 14 minutes or until lightly browned on bottoms.
  • Remove from oven and allow to sit on baking sheet for 5 minutes to cool slightly. Remove from baking sheet and place on rack to cool completely.


Be sure to use quick oats not rolled oats in this recipe.

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  1. 5 stars
    How did you do the frosting and do you have a healthy frosting recipe?

    Because we don’t eat oats I used buckwheat flour. I also used coconut oil for the buttery spread and date sugar instead of raw sugar. Even with the modifications they were so yummy=)

    The BEST gluten free cookies I have had in a long time!

    Thank you so much!!!!!!

  2. 5 stars
    Just made these a couple of days ago and they were scrumptious!! I took them to a friend’s house for Sabbath dinner and they disappeared really fast. 🙂
    I couldn’t find my orange zest so left it out, and I used coconut oil instead of the Earth Balance; but they were still amazing. Thank you sooo much for all the hard work you put in to this recipe…I’ll be using it a lot.

  3. Another question, have you tried these with agave? I wonder if you tried already, I know some other liquid would have to be reduced. Sucunat would made them dark right?

  4. Sounds delicious! Could you freeze or refrigerate the dough and bake later? If so – would it be best to wait until dough is completely cooled after adding in the mixture from the stovetop?


    1. Hi Connory,

      I haven’t tried it, but I’m thinking it would not work because boiling the liquid mixture causes the sugar to melt and then as it cools it hardens slightly – which is why step 7 says to mix the hot liquid into the ground almonds immediately. I don’t think you could form them into cookies once the mixture has been chilled.

      It may work to shape the cookies and then chill them. Again, I haven’t tried it, so I’m not sure.

      If you do try it, let us know. 🙂


    1. Hi Dara,
      I haven’t tried replacing the almond meal, but I suspect it wouldn’t work since the almond meal brings lots of healthy fats to the recipe which makes the cookies light and tender.


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