Fall is finally (mercifully!) here! We are still a long way from crisp and cool, but a drop into the 80s is inspiring me to get moving with some seasonal baking.
Today’s recipe will surely bring some joy. It is inspired by a comment from a reader (Susan). She wrote to ask if she could use something other than banana in my Almond Flour Banana Cookies, as her son cannot eat bananas. I was not sure, so I set about testing some options.
Here is the result: 3-Ingredient Fresh Apple Almond Flour Cookies!
I ate half a dozen of them yesterday, post-run. I am proud to say it!
Healthy Benefits of Apple Almond Flour Cookies
These old-fashioned, homey, cake-like cookies are seriously good, and good for you, too. They are:
- Added sugar-free
Use a Fresh Apple to Make Flavorful Apple Cookies
The key to making these cookies is to forgo applesauce. I tried, and they were booooring. Flat-ish, cracker-like, zilch apple flavor, and not sweet, unless I added sugar.
Just like baked apples, the apple flavor and sweetness intensify as the cookies bake–without the need for any additional sweeteners!
I prefer to leave the peel on for these cookies. It is packed with extra fiber (about half the fiber content of the apple is in the peel), vitamins, and the antioxidant quercitin.
If you choose to follow my lead, I recommend using an organic apple. Non-organic apples are often waxed, plus pesticides can be more concentrated in the peel. Further, organic apples tend to be more flavorful, IMHO. If using a regular apple, be sure to peel it.
How to Make Fresh Apple Almond Flour Cookies
(1) Process the Apple into a Thick Puree
To prep the apple, cut the flesh away from the core and cut into chunks (discard the core).
Process the apple in a food processor until it is very fine, stopping to scrape down the bowl several times. The end result should be a mash/puree that looks like apple sauce in raw form.
Measure out 1/2 cup of the pureed apple. Do not pack the measuring cup. If there is more puree, save it for something else (e.g., just eat it–my solution–or add to a smoothie, oatmeal, etc.). Measurements matter with these cookies.
(2) Mix the Dough
To make the cookie dough, stir together the apple puree, 1 cup almond flour and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon. I strongly recommend adding the optional 1/8 teaspoon salt; it enhances both the apple flavor and the sweetness of the cookies once baked.
Mix until a soft dough comes together.
If you taste the dough at this point, it will not be very sweet. This will change as the cookies bake. Nevertheless, feel free to add a smidge of sweetener. It will not take more than 1 to 3 teaspoons (e.g., coconut sugar, brown sugar or maple syrup) to create a much sweeter cookie. It just depends on your particular apple.
(3) Scoop the Dough onto a Baking Sheet
(4) Bake the Cookies
Bake the cookies for 15 to 18 minutes in a preheated 350F (180C) oven. The cookies need a longer bake than other kinds of cookies in order to brown and bake through the middles.
These are the sweet results of your efforts:
The cookies have some crispness at the bottom edges, but are soft and cake-like otherwise. Yes, please!
Enjoy these cookies, and happy baking!
More Grain-Free & Vegan Almond Flour Cookies to Try
- Almond Flour Graham Crackers
- 3-Ingredient Banana Almond Flour Cookies
- 4-Ingredient Chocolate Almond Flour Cookies
- 3-Ingredient Almond Flour Shortbread Cookies
- Pumpkin Almond Flour Cookies
- Sweet Potato Almond Flour Cookies
- 3-Ingredient Almond Flour Cookies
- Preheat oven to 350F (175C). Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- If leaving skin on, scrub apple well. Otherwise, peel the apple.
- Core and cut apple into chunks; process in a food processor, stopping to scrape down sides, until pureed (mixture will look like raw apple sauce).
- Place the almond flour in a medium bowl. Add the apple puree, cinnamon and (optional) salt. Stir until completely blended.
- Using a small cookie scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough in 12 mounds, spacing 2 inches apart, on prepared cookie sheet.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 18 minutes until golden brown and centers of cookies feel firm to the touch. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and cool completely.
Storage: Store the cooled cookies in an airtight container at (cool) room temperature for 2 days, the refrigerator for 5 days, or the freezer for up to 3 months.
Apple Tips: In order for this recipe to work well, it is important to (1) use a sweet or tart-sweet apple. For example, red-delicious, gala, Macintosh, or Braeburn; (2) Process the apple very finely, to the point where the juices are releasing. It should look like raw apple sauce (see photo); be sure to measure the amount of apple after pureeing. Do not use more than the 1/2 cup that is called for in the recipe (i.e., do not just go by general size of the apple).
Sweetness Bump: If you like, add a touch more sweetness to the dough. It does not take much to make these much sweeter. Consider adding 2 teaspoons of coconut sugar, brown sugar, or maple syrup, if desired.
Extracts: Add 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract or 1/8 teaspoon of almond extract to dough.
Sugar Sparkle: Sprinkle tops of dough with turbinado (raw) sugar.
Other spices: Replace the ground cinnamon with an equal amount of ground cardamom, pumpkin pie spice, ground ginger, or 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg.
Chocolate Chip: Add 2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate chips to the dough. Alternatively, prepare dough as directed and press the chocolate chips into surfaces of scooped dough.
- Category: Dessert, Snack
- Method: Baking
- Serving Size: 1 cookie
- Calories: 60
- Sugar: 1.6 g
- Sodium: 24.2 mg
- Fat: 4.7 g
- Saturated Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.7 g
- Fiber: 1.3 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: cookies, 3 ingredients, apple, almond flour, vegan, paleo, oil-free, grain-free, almond flour cookies, 3-ingredients