Paleo Orange-Spice Russian Tea Cakes

Today I was craving a healthy melt-in-my-mouth treat! These bite-size Paleo cookies are absolutely irresistible, with chocolate chips, spices, and a hint of orange zest. Great for the holidays or anytime of year, they’re nutrient-dense, free of gluten, grains, GMO’s, and dairy. They won’t cause a blood sugar spike or weight gain if you use one of the suggested non-glycemic natural sweeteners. Children love to make these cookies, as they’re quite foolproof, much like my Mexican Wedding Cookies, but with added chocolate chips, spices, and orange.

I use only Pascha 100% chocolate chips! It’s best to keep them frozen until you add them to the dough – this helps to keep the dough cold and stiff enough to handle, and it slows the chips from melting onto your baking tray. Pascha chocolate chips are special. Most chips are loaded with sugar. Even “healthy” 75% dark chocolate chips are still 25% sugar. Yucch! Sugar is toxic. Look for Pascha 100% Cacao Organic Dark Chocolate Baking Chips Unsweetened in healthy groceries or online at Vitacost.com. The Paleo diet is sugar-free, and so are Pascha 100% chocolate chips. (BTW – I do not accept kickbacks. My enthusiasm is straight from the heart. My only goal is YOUR health.)

These traditional cookies taste just like your great-grandma made them, however the ingredients and mixing method are quite non-traditional, so I suggest you follow the recipe closely, especially the first time. Store at room temperature for 5 days (they’ll never last that long), or freeze tightly covered for up to 3 months (yeah, good idea to hide them!) You will need a food processor to grind the shredded coconut. Yield: About 42 delightful cookies.

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Orange Spice Russian Tea Cakes

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Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Cover two baking trays with parchment paper. You can chop the almonds in the food processor at this point if you like, and set them aside.
  2. In a dry food processor with the "S" blade, grind the sweetener to a very fine powder. Add the shredded coconut, arrowroot, spices, and salt. Grind again until very fine. Open the lid, stir the bottom, and grind again about 1 minute, until the powder is uniformly fine.
  3. To the powder in the food processor, add the eggs, vanilla, and zest. Process well. VERY briefly, pulse in the almonds and frozen chocolate chips, so they'll stay chunky.
  4. Coat your fingers with arrowroot flour. Using a teaspoon and your hands, roll the dough into 1-inch balls. Place them 1-inch apart on the baking sheet. It is best for the dough to cover the chocolate chips. If the chips peek out on the surface of the balls, they may melt onto the baking sheet. That's ok, but I try to keep the good stuff inside! If your hands get too mucky to work, just was them, coat again with arrowroot flour, and continue.
  5. Bake 18 - 22 minutes. They will not brown, so take care not to overtake. You can pick one up and turn it over to peek at the bottom. When it is golden they are done. Remove from the oven. While still warm, roll them in finely ground confectioner's sweetener. Enjoy!
  6. Tip:
  7. Swerve Sweetener works very well for these cookies for 2 reasons. It has a slightly cooling taste, which is yummy with orange. Swerve is available in a confectioner's grind! Or you can easily grind the granulated Swerve into fine confectioner's sweetener using a blender, food processor, or hand-held grinder. Grind it really fine, and it is a spectacular coating. Just Like Sugar will grind pretty well, but doesn't grind as fine as Swerve. Both of these are healthy non-glycemic sweeteners.