gluten + dairy-free mexican chocolate almond cookies recipe

So sorry things have been a little quiet around here the past week or so, it's just I've been a tad busy... school holidays, Ada's 6th birthday party to organise and execute and the general day-to-day chores of motherhood have kept me well and truly busy. I've still been cooking lots, as always; there was this radicchio pasta that I'm still working on, a few pots of lemon curd made with a big box of lemons picked up from the side of the road (post coming soon hopefully) and of course Ada's princess birthday cake that has now been requested two years in a row (I really wasn't complaining, it gave me an excuse to re-shoot the cake for my post from her last birthday, bonus!). Lastly there were these little chilli-spiked chocolate cookies, well a few batches in fact, a special request from a lovely blog reader Michelle.

'... I have a question for you - I recently bought a premix packet for Mexican Chocolate Almond Cookies.  It is AMAZINGLY tasty.  I can't really afford to keep buying the premixes so thought briefly about having a go at recreating them myself.  But it's really not my forte!  I thought about you and wondered if you would be inspired to make them for your blog?
These are the ingredients: ground almonds, brown sugar, rice flour, cocoa powder, chopped raw almonds, corn flour, unrefined sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, cayenne powder, oil, egg, water.
Thanks so much.'


She emailed me a few months ago and I was so happy to finally find a little time to play around. A few tweaks here and a few tweaks there and I think I've finally nailed it. While I'm not sure of what the original recipe tasted like, these cookies below are beautiful. Intensely chocolaty, with a little hint of cinnamon and chilli, and flecked with generous chunks of lightly toasted almonds and dark chocolate. All good things right there people. I hope you like them Michelle xx

Lastly, my Dad and his girlfriend are visiting from New Zealand for a few days next week so just a pre-warning that things might be a little quiet around here again in the coming week. It's the first time I've seen anyone from my family since we moved over to Perth from NZ a year and a half ago so I don't need to really tell you how super excited I am, but yeah... I am! It doesn't feel like that long for me but judging by what Kye said to me at dinnertime tonight it's a really long time in a little kids world... 'Will Grandpa be able to understand us when we talk mum? Does he understand Aussie?'

P.S Thank you Babble. So stoked!

mexican chocolate almond cookies

gluten + dairy-free mexican chocolate almond cookies
As always, I use Whittakers dark chocolate which is dairy free like most good quality dark chocolates are. However if you are severely allergic to dairy, search for a certified dairy-free chocolate. You want to be able to taste the chilli in these cookies without it blowing your head off. I used around 1/2 teaspoon of ground chilli flakes (pounded in my mortar and pestle until powder) and found this was perfect. If you are unsure, add 1/4 teaspoon and then taste the cookie dough, adding more to taste.
makes approx 16 cookies, allowing for a generous amount of raw cookie-dough eating.

  • 1/2 cup (55g) almond meal (ground almonds)
  • 1/2 cup (60g) fine brown rice flour
  • 1/4 cup (25g) cornflour (corn starch)
  • 1/2 cup (55g) cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (55g) muscovado sugar, or use brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) unrefined raw sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (gluten-free) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch fine sea salt
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chilli powder/cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup (65g) lightly toasted almonds*, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup ( 60g) dark (dairy-free) chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil (olive oil, rice bran, coconut oil etc...)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tablespoons rice or other dairy-free milk

Preheat oven to 180C/350F. Line a oven tray with baking paper or grease with oil.
Tip almond meal into a medium bowl. Sieve over remaining dry ingredients. Add chopped almonds and chocolate and whisk to fully incorporate. In another small bowl whisk together the oil, egg and vanilla. Pour into dry ingredients and add 1-2 tablespoons of rice milk and mix to form a soft dough. You want the mixture to be quite moist without being wet. 

Roll 2 tablespoons of mixture into a ball, flatten and place on oven tray. Repeat with remaining dough. Cook in the middle oven shelf for 12-15 minutes until just cooked. These cookies do not flatten out much more once cooked, so do flatten into shape before cooking. Once cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool on the tray. Will store airtight for 2-3 days, although I like them best when eaten on the day of baking.
* To toast the almonds, bake on a tray in preheated 180C/350F oven for around 10 minutes, shaking the tray around half-way through, until golden and toasty.

Inspired by a list of ingredients from of the back of a pre-mix, that was emailed in from a reader of this blog.

This recipe is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays @ Simply Sugar & Gluten-free.

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  • Reply
    July 13, 2012 at 1:55 am

    I'm so excited, thanks SO much!!!!! Will be trying them first thing tomorrow morning!! 🙂 x

  • Reply
    Lizzy (Good things)
    July 13, 2012 at 2:55 am

    How very delicious!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2012 at 8:39 am

    Sounds amazing – look forward to trying them. Thanks also to Michelle for the idea!

    • Reply
      July 13, 2012 at 11:26 am

      Totally xx

  • Reply
    July 13, 2012 at 11:12 am

    They look awesome but I'm wondering if I can substitute wheat for rice flour as that's all I've got in my cupboard right now and for some reason, I have serious need for chocolate cookies! 😉

    • Reply
      July 13, 2012 at 11:25 am

      I'd say wheat flour would work just fine 🙂

  • Reply
    Shirley @ gluten free easily
    July 13, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Oh, yum! What a wonderful way to help one of your readers and all of us, too! 😉 Enjoy the time with your family!


  • Reply
    Shirley @ gluten free easily
    July 13, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Oh, and I just remembered to go back and click on the Babble link. Congrats on being named #17 in their Top 100 Mom Bloggers listing–woohoo for you!!


    • Reply
      July 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks Shirley, I was quite shocked at that placing myself!

  • Reply
    leaf (the indolent cook)
    July 13, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    That is awesome. How cool to fulfill a special request with such delicious-looking results!

  • Reply
    July 13, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    Made these yesterday afternoon – they were amazing and better then the original!! Moister, and with chunks or real choc – incredible. Thanks so much, my new favourite biscuit recipe 🙂 Really appreciate you taking the time to re-create this for me x

    • Reply
      July 14, 2012 at 1:54 pm

      Ah so good to hear Michelle, and you are totally welcome xx

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 6:57 am

    Oh it feels like forever since I caught up with your blog. Loving it like always. 🙂

  • Reply
    July 15, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Made these on Saturday night (!) Amazing, thanks – put an 1/8th of a tsp of chilli in but next time will go the full 1/2, think it would add a great kick – my toddler loved the "spice" (and the chocolate). Thanks – love this blog!

  • Reply
    July 16, 2012 at 3:42 am


  • Reply
    July 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Lovely use of chocolate. It would be super if you linked this post in to Food on Friday : Chocolate

  • Reply
    Christina Marie
    July 18, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Ooh these look thick and rich like brownies! I'm so happy I found your blog. I'm also a gluten free food blogger, but always looking for inspiration and fellow GF friends. Please, stop by sometime and check out Because of Madalene. 🙂


  • Reply
    The InTolerant Chef
    July 19, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Oh my! These are so fantastic sounding and I can hardly wait to make them for myself. I hope you have a wonderful time visiting with your dad 🙂

  • Reply
    Sunday Morning Banana Pancakes
    July 26, 2012 at 1:01 am

    I love spicy chocolate anything- the almonds take these to the next level!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Hi! Thanks so much for the recipe! I'm not gluten intolerant myself but a friend of mine is, and i had been looking for a recipe like this for her for a while! I always had these kind of cookies as a kid, my granda called them chocolate spice cookies. I had made a batch, and got a sad puppy face from Heather when she saw them! i'm really excited to try making these! they look really fantastic and easy to follow for someone new to gluten free!

  • Reply
    September 15, 2012 at 3:27 am

    Oh my goodness. These make GF living bearable. Just out of the oven, with the chocolate still soft. Mmmmmmm. Thank you so much!

    • Reply
      September 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm

      You're welcome! Glad you liked them 🙂

  • Reply
    sam fisher
    December 24, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    yummyyy….! these cookies looked amazing, dense and moist. loved the texture of cookies. i will surely try them. thank you so much for this delicious recipe.

    werbe adventskalender

  • Reply
    January 6, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I just made these, and I'm pleased to report that they are officially my new favorite cookie!
    I followed your recipe exactly (except for a couple of extra drops of my favorite vanilla extract) and they are perfect. Thank you for another wonderful recipe, Emma!

  • Reply
    Jaz Brain
    January 24, 2013 at 3:05 am

    I made these yesterday afternoon and they are fantastic! I took them to our family dinner (as there are a few chilli, and definitely many chocolate freaks!!) and they were devoured 🙂 really easy to make and they turned out perfectly, I love it how they keep their shape as a lot of GF cookies don't. I've saved these as a definite favourite, thanks so much for posting!

  • Reply
    April 3, 2016 at 3:53 am

    All I can say Emma is wow! I stumbled across this recipe while (not at all creepily) scrolling through your recipe bank in search of a weekend baking venture, and happily discovered these cookies. Thick, chewy, rich, and made with a combination of gluten free flours – perfect. I am not a fan of GF pre-mixes at all, so thank you for avoiding those. Toasted almonds, dark chocolate and chilli sounded like an incredible combination on their own, but it was not able to compare to the smell while these were baking, nor to the taste of the finished product. I used slightly less cayenne than you had stipulated, but made up for it with chilli infused chocolate, and the subtle heat was perfect. This is one recipe I will definitely be adding to my repertoire, thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    December 2, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Hi, when I discovered your blog the other day I spent hours looking through recipes and getting inspiration – and hungrier as the minutes ticked by!

    For this recipe, what subs work instead of the rice (and wheat) flour? as I don’t have any of the first and should avoid the second :-S

    • Reply
      December 6, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Hi 🙂
      I’ve only made these using the flours listed in the recipe, so I can’t guarantee other flours will produce the same results. In place of brown rice flour, you could use white rice flour/sorghum flour or quinoa flour. Corn starch is naturally gluten-free (no wheat), so long as you check it’s pure corn starch. If you still can’t have gluten-free cornflour/starch, then try using arrowroot or tapioca flour in it’s place.

      • Reply
        December 8, 2017 at 1:07 am

        Thanks for the detailed reply. I’ll raid the stock and kitchen cupboards, and see what we can manage —


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