Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies gluten-free paleo cookie recipe

Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My mother-in-law (aka Grandma Marylyn) is obsessed with all things crispy, crunchy, and Paleo. Like me, she has celiac disease and has followed a strict gluten-free diet for years. I created this Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe just for her. Grandma Marylyn is a huge fan of my Cranberry Chocolate Biscotti, as well as my Chocolate Orange Scones, and presents me with freshly made batches of each of these every time we have a visit.

While Grandma loves everything I make and cooks from my latest book Paleo Cooking from Elana’s Pantry religiously, she is passionate about making my Paleo desserts for our large Jewish family.

Grandma has been asking me for years to develop a thin and crispy cookie recipe. She has no idea that I’ve created these Paleo chocolate chip cookies for her!

Print Recipe
Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies
  1. Combine almond flour, salt, and baking soda in a food processor
  2. Pulse in shortening, coconut sugar, egg, and vanilla until dough forms
  3. Remove blade from processor and stir in chocolate chips by hand
  4. Scoop dough one level tablespoon at a time onto a parchment lined baking sheet
  5. Press balls of dough down so they are very flat, wetting your hand if dough is sticky
  6. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes
  7. Cool for 15 minutes (do not handle prior or cookies will break)
  8. Serve

When I made these Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies my husband and children devoured numerous batches. The boys’ friends also gobbled up my Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookies so quickly that I couldn’t keep enough on the counter for them. I had one very busy week of baking gluten-free chocolate chip cookies for the hungry teenagers that fill my home. These cookies have the teenage seal of approval many times over.

In addition to inspiration from Grandma, I also enjoyed seeing that the adorable Kosher Cavegirl had come up with a Crispy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe. It was her post that gave me the idea to create this new recipe which differs only slightly from my Primal Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe –the changes include using coconut sugar in place of honey, and doubling the amount of shortening and adding an egg. That’s how you get to crispy cookie heaven. So if you’re tired of complex gluten-free recipes with long lists of ingredients, this is another recipe of mine that solves this vexing problem!

I have other chocolate chip cookie recipes on my website in addition to the ones above:

  • Chocolate Chip Cookies -an oldie but goodie that I still make for the boys and their dairy eating friends; I created this, my first chocolate chip cookie recipe back in 2007 –it uses butter as the fat and honey or agave for the sweetener; slightly crispy around the edges, and chewy in the middle.
  • Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies -a vegan chocolate chip cookie recipe that uses grapeseed oil for the fat and agave as sweetener… for the vegans in my life.
  • Primal Chocolate Chip Cookies -my most recent chocolate chip cookie recipe (prior to the one featured in this post for a crispy cookie) uses shortening and honey; a classic, moist, chewy chocolate chip cookie, and a great post workout snack for the CrossFit crowd.

What are your needs and desires for a classic chocolate chip cookie? Are they dietary, or flavor-based? Leave a comment and let me know which of the above recipes you plan on using and how you will customize them to your personal preferences.


  1. Robin says

    I’m going to try these with Swerve or Xylitol. Sugar is sugar and I don’t use it anymore to be really healthy and low carb.

  2. Marianne van der Velde says

    I’ve been using this recipe for a while and it’s always been a hit. This last time, however, I decided to make a change. Instead of coconut sugar I used a light 1/4 tsp stevia and they were delicious! Gonna make this a permanent change!

  3. Sarah says

    These are so good! Thank you for the recipe!
    I used coconut oil instead of palm shortening which was all I had on hand. And 85% Cocoa Dark Chocolate chunks. Nice to have something crispy, I’m missing my old crispy foods. :)

  4. Jennifer C. says

    I just made these for the first time and they are fantastic. The best cookie I have made since my dietary switch two years ago. I am gluten-free and refined sugar-free. So, I had to to use unsweetened chocolate chips. (Does anyone have a better solution to this chocolate chip dilemma?) I doubled the amount of coconut sugar to make up for that bitterness (and use half shortening/half butter and added pecans). They are a hit! My fiancé, who does not adhere to the same “rules” as me, thought the cookie was good, but that the chocolate was bitter. In the future, I will make half for him with his chocolate chips, and half for me. (I am used to things being less sweet.)

    Elana, thank you for continuing to work hard to make my food more delicious. I appreciate it!!

    • Elana says

      Jennifer, I’m so glad to hear you say these are fantastic! I hope you’ll keep us posted on your unsweetened chocolate chip conquest :-)

    • Rina says

      I used Lily’s stevia sweetened chocolate chips, and it turned out fantastic! You can find Lily’s stevia chocolate bars and baking chocolate at Whole Foods.

  5. Sandy Betker says

    Elana – This is the BEST cookie recipe I have tried for my family. I have substituted hazelnut flour for the almond and it is a delicious chocolate chip cookie. I have also added cinnamon and chopped pecans for the chocolate chips and so yummy. You have developed the perfect base for a crispy cookie and I can not thank you enough. I have also purchased all your cookbooks so far for myself, family and friends and we are wearing them out! Thank you again for all your amazing recipes. Sandy

    • Elana says

      Sandy, thanks so much for your awesome comment! I love how you’re using this recipe, and I’m so glad to hear that you’re wearing out my cookbooks, that’s what they’re for :-)

  6. Tina says

    I’m also wondering what the best substitute for almond flour would be. Whenever I make a delicious treat with almond flour, I gain pounds immediately. I must have a sensitivity to it. I love the way it tastes though. :P

  7. Tara says

    Is there something I can substitute for the almond flour. I’m allergic to gluten, dairy, and almonds. Thank you!

    • Elana says

      Hi Tara,

      Thanks for your comment! Perhaps another type of nut flour could work, but I’m not sure since I haven’t tried that myself. Since you are allergic to almonds you may want to check out my Nut-Free Recipes page:

      None of the recipes on my site contain any gluten or grains! And 95% of the recipes are dairy-free too. I hope you find a bunch that you like :-)


      • Mandy Greenspan says

        Hi Elana. I’m loving you’re recipes for Passover!! Thank you! I couldn’t see if palm shortwning could be substituted…particularly for grapeseed oil in this recipe because in some of your recipes you have palm shortening OR grapeseed oil.
        Thanks!! :)

  8. Sharon says

    You are a wizard! I am one of the few that I know that like a crispy chocolate chip cookie. This is my go to recipe. I love these cookies, maybe a little too much Ha Ha!

    • Naomi Snider says

      Sharon, so am I! When I was a child, all cookies that my mother made were crispy and I thought that was how all cookies should be. So when I began seeing soft cookies for sale I thought, what’s up with that! Why aren’t people baking their cookies long enough? LOL Yes, I’m a sucker for crisp homemade cookies too. And It does appear that you and I are in a minority, sadly.

  9. Sissa says

    I made these cookies yesterday, they are delicious, but how shall I store them? I left them in a plastic bowl (covered) but on the other day they were soft and not crispy anymore.. thanks a lot:)

  10. Nicole says

    We’ve made these twice now and love them! First time I used coconut oil instead of the plam shortening and second with softened butter. Also subbed with Sweve sweetener first and combo of Swerve and stevia second. Now they weren’t really crispy (I’m assuming bc of my subs), but totally yummy and my family agreed. Thanks!

  11. Sharon says

    I just made these cookies and they are wonderful. I love crispy cookies. This is my new favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe. The big plus is it’s grain free and gluten-free. For others asking I get spectrum shortening and enjoy life chocolate chips at Target. I get my Honeyville almond flour from Costco online. My store does not sell it. I found it to be the best price for me. Thanks so much for this recipe. I would have put a picture in but didn’t see a way to do that.

  12. Kristy says

    Hi Elana, I was wondering if you could substitute the coconut sugar with powdered stevia? I assume what helps the crispiness is the dry coconut sugar ingredient vs the honey used in the chewy version. I have type 1 diabetes so I try to avoid sugar as much as possible (though I use honey and rice malt syrup in some recipes) to maintain level blood sugars, and keep insulin intake down.

    I will work out the carb content per serve with the coconut sugar as well, but just curious about a sugar free version.

    Thanks so much!

    • Lance says

      Hi Kristy, were you able to make a go of it with the powdered stevia or powdered erythritol? if yes, how did you do it and how did it taste?

    • Elana says

      Hi Kristy, unfortunately I don’t think that substitution will work. I haven’t tried it however so I’m not really sure. If you do experiment please let us know how it goes :-)

  13. Jennifer says

    I made these and they didn’t turn out crispy. Not sure if it was because I used red palm oil, which is all I could find in town or what. :(

  14. Amber says


    I made these just now and they were absolutely delicious! I wanted to try a healthier alternative to chocolate chip cookies, and found the recipe to be incredibly easy to folow and the ingredients were easy to find! My boyfriend loves them as well and was blown away with the ingredients made to make these cookies. It’s now influenced him to try other recipes on tour website! I will be definitely making these again. Thank you for sharing this recipe with everyone!

  15. Sharon B. says

    I made these for a diabetic friend, who wanted a crispy cookie in the worst way. For that matter, I want a crispy low-carb cookie, too! Recipes with almond flour are always soft (because of the fat in the nuts). I plan to eventually make cookies with “milked” flour (post-almond milk making, hoping that the lowered fat results in crispy baking), but for now, this works!

    I used coconut oil in place of the palm oil, and used 40 g of Domino Light Sugar & Stevia Blend. Instead of using chocolate chips, I added 1/8 cup of ground oatmeal, and 1/8 cup of ground unsweetened shredded coconut. I also decreased the sea salt to 1/8 tsp.

    This recipe — with my changes — made 23 cookies. Next time, I’ll probably add some cocoa powder.

    A real winner, Elana!

  16. says

    Just wanted to let you know that I’ve made these several times – they are excellent! I’ve taken to adding some pecans and BACON to mine, yum. Thanks for a winning recipe…and, actually, for all your recipes!

  17. Katharine says

    I just made these and the texture is amazing! I haven’t been able to create a crispy cookie with almond flour before… these definitely have that buttery crispy vibe (even without the butter). I really liked them, though they do not taste very sweet. I used 70% dark chocolate chips. These are perfect for me because I have blood sugar issues, but those used to a sweeter cookie might want to use more sugar or find a different recipe. My recipe made 17 cookies and I input that into myfitness pal and got the following: 177 cal, 10g carb, 2g fiber, 15g fat, 5g sugar.

  18. Marilyn says

    I have the crispy cookies in the oven this moment! I was wondering if after putting the little tablespoons of dough on the cookie sheet, the sheet could briefly be placed in the frig or freezer so flattening would be easier and less messy. Just tasted a couple! They are really delicious. Can’t wait to try your other recipes! Mine aren’t as rounded and nice looking as yours. The only change I made was using butter in place of the shortening.

  19. Christine says

    Hi Elana, just want to first say Thank You for creating these scrumptious recipes and cookbooks! I’m a huge fan of your Paleo breads! Absolutely delicious!
    One question if I may:
    A lot of your recipes call for blending ingredients with a food processor. Will a regular stand up Kitchenaide type mixer work as well?

  20. Diana says

    I made these cookies with butter instead of vegan shortening. They are delicious. I didn’t need to cut the sugar as I usually do with Elana’s recipes. These are not too sweet.

  21. LMB says

    I made these yesterday with coconut oil– awesome! My 7-year-old said they were the best cookies I’ve ever made for him!

  22. Patricia R. says

    I made these today after I got home from work. I made a double batch. I made them exactly as written. I did need to cook them longer but my stove is 35 years old and is not always accurate. These were as close to perfection as I have tasted since baking with alternate flours. My son (37) ate 8 of them and my grandson had 3 after dinner. I myself ate about six of them and I would eat more but I need to save them. They are crispy as she states, but not overly so. I feel I have found my go to recipe. I prefer using coconut flour because it is more economical (and healthier, but it’s a cookie, right?) but when you want to splurge and make a delicious cookie that will please anyone, this is it. I bet no one would know this is almond flour. I use palm shortening from Tropical Traditions. I buy a big pail. It tastes great and works for everything.

  23. NIcki Piaget says

    I often make the chocolate chip cookies on the Honeyville Blanched Almond flour bag. They are delicious. I’m curious – they use grapeseed oil, as does many of the recipes in Elana’s Almond Flour Cookbook. The Paleo Cookbook does not use grapeseed oil, but rather, vegetable oil. I’m wondering why you switched from grapeseed to vegetable shortening in your cookbook recipes. (I love both books!)


  24. Mary Fitzpatrick says

    Ryan, since I started tracking comments on crispy choc chip cookies today, I have received 11 replies from you that simply say “Read the FAQs”. Brevity has its place, but not in exchange for a solution. Unless you meant brevity in the sense of being “the soul of wit”.

  25. Mary Fitzpatrick says

    7 years diagnosed celiace and I had given up on a crispy cookie! Can I use butter instead of vegan shortening with the same crispy results?

  26. says

    How cute that your MIL makes you your recipes! That is so sweet. These cookies sound awesome, I haven’t used vegan shortening but am curious now!

  27. Sophie Hamilton says

    It’s just as well I don’t make everything I oodle over. I love your site, thanks for being so amazing. These cookies are fab, I’ve eaten most of them!

  28. says

    hello. first of all, thank you for your intrepid work in the kitchen. it is much appreciated. secondly, i am wondering if coconut oil could be substituted for the shortening here? or a coconut oil/butter combo? would that change the outcome of the cookie? what is the importance of the shortening? thank you so much!

  29. Teresa Fischer says

    Hi Elana,
    I have made several of your chocolate chip cookie recipes and all were delicious and LOVED when I took them to church for snacks, BUT these are the MOST DELICIOUS yet!!!! I also added a few cocoa nibs to round out my 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, and they added even more wonderful flavor. Thank you for another great recipe!!!!

  30. rosa robin says

    I made this recipe today; didn’t have coconut sugar so used cane sugar and followed the recipe otherwise. My cookies were thicker than pictured, because I needed to fit all the dough on the cookie sheet, 12 total. So, I baked them a few minutes longer. They came out DELICIOUS, perfect in every way. I need to control myself from eating them all.

  31. Naomi Hatkin says

    Hi Elana,

    I’d really appreciate some comments about your chocolate chips. Are they sugar free? I’ve gone to the website several time to try to learn this from them and I just don’t see it. I need something that is totally refined sugar-free. If these chips aren’t refined sugar-free, maybe you can offer up a recipe for making them ourselves? Thanks so much! I love your recipes!!

  32. Cindy says

    I needed these now, but had no vegan shortening nor coconut sugar, so I used coconut oil and xylitol instead and they turned out great! I did use a little less than 1/4 cup xylitol because it tastes sweeter. The key to getting them crispy is making sure they are very thin and cook long enough. Thanks for another delicious recipe, Elana!

    • Susan says

      Awesome that you have tried using coconut oil and it worked! I much prefer healthy virgin coconut oil to any shortening!

  33. deanna meyer says

    Ever since I had to go Paleo last year, I’ve been making your chocolate chip cookie recipes. Not having a food processor, I’ve had to make them in my trusty Kitchen Aid. The only issue I’ve had is that all of my cookies seem to turn out soft for whatever reason. Maybe I’m not cooking them long enough…I don’t know. But, I’m anxious to try this recipe and see if I get the same results, or better. I’m not afraid of cooking at all…and used to make THE best chocolate chip cookies out there (pre-Paleo)…so not having a good go-to cookie recipe has been interesting, to say the least. I’m still trying though!

    Thank you for all you do Elana….I have 2 of your cookbooks and use them often. You’ve helped my Paleo journey immensely!

  34. says

    I am so excited to try both the crispy and the Primal versions. I’m celiac and anaphylactic to dairy, allergic to soy and oats. I’ve been learning that I feel better when I am 90 % grain and sugar free. I love using coconut sugar, raw or local honey, stevia, and Truvia. I will use Enjoy Life chocolate chips in these cookies until I make my own dugsr free chips.

    • Dawn Halstead says

      I can buy stevia sweetened choc chips at my local Whole Foods–Lily’s is the brand name. They are very good. Not as sweet as sugar, of course :-) but, I got used to that after a few weeks off sugar.

  35. Carolyn says

    My salivary glands took control as soon as I saw the photo. Like your Grandmother I cringe at the description “soft cookie.” Thanks!

  36. says

    I am glad I happened on this site while I was looking for some paleo recipe info. Having just given up sugar for the last 3 months, I am now embarking on a wheat free three months to set the habit. Sugar is a permanent exile and my chocolate chips will be sugar free although I do use xylitol at times, and now that I am following paleo I am about to add honey back on my list of allowed foods. I am looking forward to trying out this recipe when I get back from my holiday, thank you.


  37. Di says

    Hi!! Love the recipe cannot wait to try it out! But just got one question I live in Chile and here we don’t have vegan shortening so can I use ghee instead? Or what other option I have for substitute this??

  38. Marylyn says

    WOW! So how lucky am I to have Elana
    in our family -sure shows what great taste
    and good judgement my son has—I have the riches
    of Elanas brilliant easy tasty healthy recipes
    and joyful visits with multiple varieties lined up during
    testing time – so glad she shares with all of us, Yum!

  39. MamaCassi says

    BRILLIANT! as a dedicated crispy cookie lover, this makes my heart sing and i’ll be making them soon!

    my husband is of the dedicated chewy club, and i’ve catered to him for years, but my crispy loving tastebuds rejoice at this next adventure!

    • SaharaViolet says

      I’m always game for risk taking in the kitchen so I used a stick of cold butter cut into about 8 pieces and swapped Rapadura in for the coconut sugar. Worked perfectly! Crispy, thin, not overly sweet, a perfect cookie for with tea. I would say I was concerned my dough was too wet but trusted it would be okay and had no issues with the baking. (I also should have taken them out closer to the 10 min mark instead of 12.

  40. Corrie says

    So excited to try these after my Whole30! I love crispy cookies and haven’t had much luck with getting them using Paleo ingredients.

    • kelly says

      Do you have an alternate suggestion to Honeyville? I LOVE Honeyville, but their price HIKE, will not for me with 6 kids. It used to be $25 for 5 lbs, now its $40! I know you probably get amazing deals on it, but trying to fed 8 with it being that expensive, is not an option!
      Kelly Wright

      • Mary Fitzpatrick says

        Honeyville usually has a sale on their website in August on their 5 lb blanched almond flour. However their shipping charge (per order/shipment) is $4.59. Amazon is free shipping for orders of $35 and
        over. Have tried 3 less expensive brands of blanched almond flour, with significantly less quality results than when I use Honeyville.

      • Suzanne M says

        I’m not sure where you live but I use Trader Joe’s almond flour and it works perfectly. It’s $4.99 for about a one pound bag

      • Molly says

        It seems that in general, there’s been a price hike on almond flour. I always bought mine from and it used to be right around $25 for the 5lb bag but now it’s over $8 a pound.

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