Almond flour and coconut oil are the keys to these lovely gluten-free, dairy-free cookies from chef Gregory Gourdet. They’re appealingly chewy and have silky, gooey caramel in the middle.
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1 1/2 cups honey
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Line an 81/2 -by-41/2 -inch loaf pan with parchment paper. In a small saucepan, heat 1 cup of the honey with the coconut milk, 2 tablespoons of the coconut oil and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt over moderately high heat. Attach a candy thermometer to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reaches 250°, 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon of the vanilla, then pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Refrigerate until solid, at least 2 hours.
Lift the caramel out of the pan and quickly cut into 1/2 -inch squares. Arrange the squares on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and refrigerate.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk the almond flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cayenne and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Stir in the dark chocolate. In a small saucepan, combine the remaining 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and 1/2 cup of honey over moderate heat and cook until the coconut oil liquefies. Remove from the heat and stir in the beaten egg and the remaining 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Using 2 teaspoons, scoop the dough into 3/4-inch balls. Working in 4 batches, arrange the balls on the prepared sheets at least 2 inches apart. Bake the cookies for 8 minutes, until lightly browned at the edges; rotate the baking sheets from top to bottom and front to back halfway through baking.
When the cookies come out of the oven, immediately make a well in the center of each one and press in a square of honey caramel. Sprinkle the caramel with a pinch of sea salt. Let the cookies cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
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