- 3/4 cup brown rice flour
- 6 Tbsp unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 2 tsp ground espresso (optional)
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce*
- 1 cup creamy roasted almond butter**
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dairy-free semisweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper. (Note: A dark metal pan will cook cookie bottoms better than a light-colored or aluminum pan.)
- Add flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and, if desired, espresso to a large bowl. Whisk very well until thoroughly mixed. Add syrup, applesauce, almond butter, vanilla, and chocolate chips. Stir for a couple of minutes or so until it all comes together into a very sticky, thick batter.
- Drop large spoonfuls of batter, about 2 heaping tablespoons worth, onto prepared pans spaced 2 inches apart. Fill a small bowl with water, dampen your fingertips, and press each cookie down to K-inch thick and shape edges together so cookies are round. Dip your fingers in water as needed to finish.
- Bake 1 pan at a time for 10 to 12 minutes. At 10 minutes, cookies will have a fudgy, soft center and slightly crisp edge. At 12 minutes, cookies will be much crispier but can dry out more quickly. Remove from oven and cool on pan for 10 minutes.
- Transfer cookies carefully to a wire rack to cool completely. It’s important to let them cool or they can fall apart. Because of the applesauce (and no oil) in these cookies, they will soften after a few hours, but they are still delicious. These are best eaten within 24 hours, as they start to dry out by the second day.
- These cookies are soft and moist with a decadent fudge center. The applesauce gives an extra boost of moisture and softness, while the almond butter makes them rich and fudgy. The optional espresso provides an even richer chocolate flavor.
- *For the applesauce, use a store-bought version and not homemade, as homemade versions tend to be too watery and will make the cookies fragile and wet.
- **If you are allergic to nuts, you can sub the almond butter with sunflower seed butter, keeping in mind it will yield a sunflower seed taste. It is masked fairly well with all the chocolate, though.