Soft and chewy cookies studded with sweet, tart dried cherries and crunchy cacao nibs. Secretly healthy cookies that are absolutely delicious and the perfect fun cookie combination for spring and into summer. Easy paleo cookies that are so quick to make and made with better-for-you ingredients. These Cherry Cacao Nib Cookies are gluten/grain/dairy free, refined sugar free, and nut free!
What Do These Healthy Cherry Cookies Taste Like?
These cookies have wonderfully soft centers, with the perfect dense chewiness, and deliciously crispy edges. The cookies are studded with a combination of sweet and tart dried cherries and nutty, crunchy cacao nibs, like a healthier riff on the classic cherries and chocolate duo. Although they are made with dried cherries and so, can be enjoyed all year round, these cookies are especially wonderful during the warmer spring and summer months when we naturally crave more bright and fresh flavors.
Here’s why you will LOVE these cookies!
- Soft and chewy cookie with crispy edges.
- So easy to make: Just one bowl and no chilling required!
- Can be done in under 30 minutes.
- Sweet and tart dried cherries with nutty cacao nibs make for a fun and unique cookie flavor.
- A delicious and easy paleo cookie recipe.
What Ingredients Are Used to Make These Grain Free Cookies Paleo?
This healthy cookie recipe is made better-for-you as it contains no refined sugars, flours, or oils and uses only real ingredients! Additionally, these Cherry Cacao Nib Cookies are paleo-friendly meaning they are gluten free, grain free, dairy free, and refined sugar free! They also happen to be nut-free!
Here’s a look at the ingredients you’ll need and some possible variations:
- Coconut Sugar – The best granular sweetener for refined sugar free baking. My go-to is Nutiva’s Coconut Sugar for the reasonable pricing and excellent quality.
- Tahini – I love tahini for cookie and cookie bars recipes, it creates a perfectly dense and chewy texture. My favorite tahini to bake with is Whole Foods’ 365 Brand. It’s organic and not as expensive as other nut/seed butters. Be sure to use a tahini (or other nut/seed butter) that’s thin and drippy, with only one ingredient, and always stir everything well in the jar before you measure. Do not use the compacted paste at the bottom of the jar for best results.
- Avocado Oil – In combination with the tahini it gives the cookies the perfect texture. I use Chosen Foods Avocado Oil (great pricing at Costco). Sub for olive or coconut oil.
- Eggs – Help the cookies puff up.
- Vanilla – For flavor!
- Cassava – An unprocessed flour that is gluten, grain, and nut free. I use and love Otto’s.
- Tapioca Flour – Helps thicken the cookie dough but keeps them light and not too dense.
- Cinnamon – Delicious with the dried cherries and cacao nibs.
- Baking Powder – Adds just the right amount of rise to the cookies.
- Salt – To balance the sweet.
- Dried Cherries – Typically dried cherries are sweetened with cane sugar, I use dried cherries infused with apple juice from Whole Foods, which is a great option if you’re avoiding refined sugars. Either are just fine.
- Cacao Nibs – Add a delicious crunchy element to the soft, chewy cookies and reminiscent of the classic cherries and chocolate combination. Plus, cacao nibs are a superfood as they are rich in antioxidants!
How Do You Make These Healthy Cookies?
These grain free cookies are so quick and easy! You can go from empty mixing bowl to cookie lined cooling rack in under 30 minutes! The batter comes together in just one bowl (yay for few dishes!), no chilling is necessary, and cookies bake up in just over 10 minutes!
Here’s a quick overview of the steps:
- Mix the wet ingredients together until thick and glossy.
- Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined.
- Add the cherries and cacao nibs.
- Scoop, bake, cool, enjoy!
These will keep at room temperature, in an airtight container, for 2-3 days. Afterwards, move to freezer for longer storage.
Make Ahead: Dough can be made ahead and kept, covered, in the fridge a few days in advance. Or scoop, freeze individually on a baking sheet, then move to airtight container or stasher bag and keep up to a week or two in advance. Let dough balls come to room temp on a baking sheet while oven heats.
These Cherry Cacao Nib Cookies are such a delicious and unique, secretly healthy cookie recipe! The cookies have soft, melt-in-your mouth middles and crispy edges. The combination of chewy dried cherries with crunchy cacao nibs is like a fun riff on the classic cherries and chocolate duo, but made with real, simple ingredients. If you’re looking for a fun, unique cookie flavor to mix things up, this is the perfect spring and summer cookie recipe!
paleo friendly (gluten/grain/dairy free), refined sugar free, nut free
More Healthy Cookie Recipes!
- Lemon Sugar Cookies (grain free & nut free)
- Healthy Brookies! (Chocolate Chip + Brownie Cookies) (paleo, nut free)
- Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies! (grain free & dairy free)
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If you make this recipe, please spread the love by leaving a review or rating down below. And I’d LOVE to see and share your creation! Take a picture and tag me on Instagram @freshlydafna in your feed or stories and I will share on my account!
Healthy Cherry Cacao Nib Cookies
These Cherry Cacao Nib Cookies is such a delicious and unique healthy cookie recipe. The cookies have soft, melt-in-your mouth middles and crispy edges. The combination of chewy dried cherries with crunchy cacao nibs is like a fun riff on the classic cherries and chocolate duo, made with real, simple ingredients.
paleo (gluten free, grain free, dairy free), refined sugar free, nut-free
- 3/4 cup (114 grams) coconut sugar
- 1/4 cup (65 grams) tahini* sub other nut/seed butter
- 1/4 cup (61 grams) avocado oil sub olive oil or melted & cooled coconut oil
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup (72 grams) cassava flour, spooned and leveled
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) tapioca flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup (76 grams) dried cherries
- 1/4 cup (30 grams) cacao nibs
Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking sheet by lining with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Mix the wet ingredients together. In a large bowl, if mixing by hand, or in the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the coconut sugar, tahini, avocado oil, and egg on medium speed until well combined and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add the vanilla and continue to beat on medium until the mixture is thick and glossy, about 1 more minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add the dry ingredients and stir on low until just fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice more during mixing to ensure ingredients are well distributed without overmixing.
Stir in dried cherries and cacao nibs until well distributed into the batter.
Scoop balls of dough onto prepared baking sheet (I used a 50 mm scoop, about 3 tbsp) spacing inch apart. Sprinkle with flakey sea salt if you like.
Bake in the center of the oven for 11-13 minutes. Cookies are done when edges are firm and golden brown and tops are puffed and set.
Let cookies cool on baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!
Storage: Store cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for 2-3 days. Afterwards move to the freezer for longer storage.
Make Ahead: Dough can be made ahead and kept, covered, in the fridge a few days in advance. Or scoop dough balls, freeze individually on a baking sheet, then move to airtight container or stasher bag and keep up to a week or two in advance. When ready to bake, let dough balls come to room temp on a baking sheet while oven heats.
Tahini - The tahini should be thin and drippy. Sub tahini for any other single ingredient nut/seed butter that is thin and drippy, like a natural almond or sunflower seed butter that has a good amount of oil at the top. For best results, be sure to mix the nut/seed butter in the jar well before measuring. Do not use the compacted paste at the bottom of the jar. My favorite tahini for baking is the 365 brand from Whole Foods.
Dried Cherries – I found dried cherries sweetened with apple juice at Whole Foods, which is great if you're avoiding refined sugars, more commonly dried cherries are sweetened with cane sugar. Either is fine.
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