Almond Butter, Maple & Sea Salted Cookies.

I love the week between Christmas and New Years. All the hubbub from the holiday is behind and I feel like I can finally settle into some peace and quiet, and reflect on the coming year. I love writing out all my family's birthdays in my new planner and making goals for the fresh year. There is something cleansing about this week. Of course, this year, things look entirely different, with my newborn waking me up at all hours and filling my days with exhausting and wonderful snuggles. I am so grateful that this little boy decided to make his debut before 2017. Thank you Daxton!

I wanted to share this cookie recipe because this is the week for baking! And sharing cookies with relatives and hunkering down and watching movies. This is one of those recipes that is a bit more guilt-free, according to the author (you probably know how much I love the recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow's book, It's All Good). She claims that these cookies give all the satisfaction of a treat with no guilt (I can attest to that). This recipe is free of sugar, so the cookies are the perfect sweet pick-me-up when you're really trying to be good but craving something a little sweet and salty. Kind of carmel-ly, almost. Actually, they're a little dangerous to have around the house, for that very reason. They're still a cookie, but using maple syrup and almond butter, instead of traditional ingredients, lowers the overall glycemic index of this baked treat. So enjoy!

- 1.5 cups flour*
- 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup natural almond butter
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. Maldon sea salt (I get mine at Williams Sonoma, but you can also snag it off Amazon in this two-pack. The most delicious salt on Earth, seriously.)

* If you would like to make this recipe gluten-free, feel free to use a gluten-free flour. If the flour doesn't include xanthan gum, make sure to add 3/4 tsp.

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. Whisk together the flour, fine sea salt and baking powder.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter (I heated mine to make it more whisk-able), maple syrup and vanilla.
4. Thoroughly combine the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
5. Use a spoon to scoop out tablespoon-sized dough and roll into a ball in your hands. Space the cookie dough balls about 2 inches apart on the prepared baking sheets.
6. Press each dough ball down a bit, so it forms a disk on the baking sheet.
7. Sprinkle each cookie with a bit of the Maldon Salt.
8. Bake for 10-12 minutes, and make sure to let the cookies cool on a rack before serving.

Yum you guys. These are best if served with, what else - MILK. Santa would have probably liked these. Haha TOO BAD. Love to you all. Let me know if you make these! Would love to know what you think! xo