This recipe is adapted from Elana’s Pantry first cook book, which I love. 

These cookies may sweep you off your feet, literally. As you can see I am a fan of chocolate and chile too. Strong and bold flavors are my cup of tea. Part of my Lebanese and Mexican heritage.

This is when I discovered that umami needs to be present in my pastries. I don’t like anything plain or what I call very simple flavors that are sugar coated which is a huge problem in most bakeries. Sugar can kill flavors and does not let the real ingredients shine through. On our last visit to Huckleberry in LA I realized that as much as I wanted to love the bakery (in essence I do) everything had a sugar crust that killed the individual elements of their baked goods. Sad story.

Luckily I grew up with chile, spice, bold Lebanese flavors, acid notes from labne and sumac and eating chamoy so it is in my blood and veins to create a savory sweet experience that satisfies every inch of your palate.

These cookies also became viral with my online classes that started my Noble Baking concept. Thousands of people have made them and sell them all over the world.

Serves: 18
  • 2 ¾ cups (344 grams) blanched almond flour such as Honeyville  or HEB (note: to measure almond flour: please spoon and compact the almond flour lightly)
  • ½ cup (42 gr) raw cacao such as Terrasoul or cocoa (cacao is healthier)
  • ½ teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda (at high altitude use ¼ teaspoon or 1 gr)
  • ½ teaspoon (2 teaspoons) Himalayan or fine sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon (12 gr) vanilla extract or paste such as Nielsen Massey
  • ½ cup coconut oil melted
  • ½ cup grade A maple syrup
  • ½ cup chocolate chunks or callets 70 % - 85 % such as Valhrona, Guittard, Cacao Barry
  • 1 tablespoon or more to taste: dried jalapeño (not ground) such as Penzeys Spices
  • Maldon salt to sprinkle on top before baking
  1. Preheat convection oven to 330 F regular oven 340 F. Prepare 2 baking trays with Silpat. I love perforated trays as they also work as cooling racks and they fit into a rack perfectly.
  2. In a large bowl, mix almond flour, baking soda, sea, salt. Add vanilla, oil and maple syrup.
  3. Add chocolate and jalapeño, mix well.
  4. Shape cookies with a medium scoop #24, put onto the prepared trays with enough room as they do expand. Flatten cookies lightly with your hands. Bake in pre heated oven until crisp on the sides and soft in the middle.
  5. Cookies will continue to bake as they cool on the tray. Let cool completely on baking tray before removing with a spatula.
  6. Cool on perforated baking trays or cooling racks.
  7. Store in individual cellophane bags or in plastic domes, they don’t keep well in Tupperware or plastic containers (they become soft and moist).
  8. Cookies keep for 3 days in optimal conditions.
You can of course eliminate the jalapeño and perhaps just add Jamaica (hibiscus) salt on top. Or feel free to experiment. These cookies became the inspiration behind a great vegan brownie one of my students made. I will add the recipe soon.


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If you are like me, I am sure you crave a blueberry breakfast muffin, and this oat and almond crumble really makes it even more spectacular. I am all for texture and simplicity. These muffins are truly my dream come true because the seasonal fruit you use will really pop the flavors, and you can really add any enhancements like lemon, orange zest, spices, or herbs to pair with the flavor. How about: raspberry, strawberry and basil? Or rhubarb, strawberry and lemon thyme? Put on your creativity cap on and experiment with seasonal produce, or just go to your local farmer’s Market and let the fruit inspire you. We have great Farmer’s Markets here in Austin and I love visiting them to experience the seasonal changes and sprout new ideas those visits.

This recipe has two backgrounds: 1. The batter is adapted from a recipe from Baby Cakes NYC Erin McKenna’s first book which I made every recipe from literally 2. The topping/ crumble is an idea I “stole” (as in Steal like an Artist/ Austin Kleon’s book) from Panadera Rosetta in Mexico City. As a special plus: this recipe makes a very good pound cake as well with or without the crumble.


Serves: 12
  • 2 ¼ cups whole spelt flour/ 315 gr
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder/ 8 gr/ at high altitude use 1 teaspoon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda/ at high altitude use half
  • 1 teaspoon salt/ 4 gr
  • ⅔ cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup (I prefer baking with maple syrup as it works best, however brown rice syrup is healthier and lower in fructose, if you use it warm it up so it's easier to work with and note that is only sweetens 75 % whereas sugar sweetens 100 %)
  • ⅔ cup almond milk
  • ¾ cup coconut oil melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest (or orange zest, or any herb or spice / just change amounts accordingly)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract/ 10 gr
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries or black berries or raspberries (or mango, or a mixture of strawberries and chopped rhubarb or nectarines) or a combination of berries
Oat and almond crumble topping:
  • ⅓ cup slivered almonds
  • ⅓ cup oats
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon (my favorite is Ceylon cinnamon)
  • pinch of Maldon salt
  • ⅛ cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup (brown rice syrup is thicker and less sweet)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  1. Pre-heat convection oven  to 350°F
  2. Line standard 12-cup muffin tin with liners.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. In another bowl combine oil, maple syrup, almond milk, vanilla and lemon zest.
  5. Mix the dry ingredients into wet ingredients; mix until smooth.
  6. Gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  7. Using a 2 ounce scoop (I use a #16) portion out batter and fill muffins ¾ and distribute evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the oat and almond crumble on top.
  8. Bake on center rack for 22 minutes approx. (depending on your oven and pan), rotating the muffin tin 180 degrees after 15 minutes.
  9. Remove muffins from oven when cake tester inserted into middle of muffin comes out clean.
  10. Let muffins stand in tin until cool enough to touch, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  11. Store in airtight container at room temp for up to 2 days max. I prefer them the day they are made.
  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl until combined.
Buy seasonal fruit when it is in peak season and make your own IQF: Individually Quick Frozen fruit: wash (I don't wash berries) if needed dry, chop or use whole and put on a baking tray in the freezer and freeze until solid then put into ziplock bags this makes a much better quality fruit than the frozen fruit we buy at the grocery stores.


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