Grain Free Sugar Cookies Two Ways

Sunday, December 20, 2015 Alanna Figueira 18 Comments

I have 2 recipes for you today, just in time for Christmas!  Seriously, can I have another week?!  Does anyone else feel that way?  So much to do, so little time!  This month has probably been the best holiday season for my family yet.  With my son officially an elementary schooler, the holidays are that much more exciting.  All the parties, play dates, Santa visits... And a 2 year old that is obsessed with Santa... Exhausting but the most wonderful time of the year for sure!  

I love to make cookies with my kids the week before Christmas, or earlier, but not too much earlier because then people start eating them!  When I tell my kids we have to save them for Christmas and Santa they suddenly lose all temptation at the thought of Santa going without cookies!  We usually make a few kinds, this year we made 2 batches of cut-outs, 2 batches of sugar drop, 2 batches chocolate chip.  They are great to have in the freezer to pull out for a party or last minute play dates. These cookies freeze well.  I like to make the cut-outs, freeze them, then pull them out on Christmas Eve for the kids to decorate. Christmas Eve decorating has become a tradition for my kids.   If you choose to decorate then freeze, lay the decorated cookie sheet on a cookie sheet to freeze then bag them up once the icing is solid.  

I am a sugar cookie kinda girl.  I'll take vanilla cake with vanilla frosting over chocolate any day.  Same goes for my cookies.  I love a chewy pure butter and sugar cookie.  The "Drop Sugar Cookies" are super easy to whip up, roll balls and bake and they come out thin and chewy.  The "Cut-Out Sugar Cookies" are the rolled out kind with cookie cutters.  The dough is easy to work with once chilled but be sure to flour your parchment paper before rolling out.  The dough is  a little sticky.  They come out tender and a little chewy with slightly crisp edges.  The cut-out sugar cookies also make a great crispy/thick chocolate chip cookie, just roll balls and flatten the balls.

Cut-OutSugar Cookies

Prep time:  2 hrs 15 mins (includes chill time)
Cook time: 10-12 mins
Yield: 16-20 cookies 


1 tbsp coconut flour 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened to room temp
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 egg 
2 tsp vanilla extract


Mix the top 4 dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and cane sugar and mix with a hand mixer on low until creamed and combined.  

Add egg and vanilla.  Hand mix to combine.

Mix in the dry ingredients about 1/4 cup at a time, hand mixing to form a dough.  Form a ball.  Refrigerate ball for 2 hours, until dough is hardened.  

Preheat oven to 350F and take out cookie sheets or baking trays lined with parchment paper.

Take out 2 pieces of parchment paper to roll cookies between.  Lay one out and sprinkle cassava flour on it.  Work in batches.  Take about 1/4 of the dough out of the fridge, leaving the rest to stay cold.  Place the dough on the floured paper.  Place a piece of parchment on top and roll flat with a rolling pin.  Cut out shapes with cookie cutters.  Transfer shapes onto cookie sheet, leaving space in between.  Place cookies in preheated oven for 10-14 mins, until edges are slightly golden.  

Allow to cool on baking sheet 3 mins then transfer to a cooling rack to fully cool before decorating.  If they aren't properly cooled they crumble.

Once cookies are completely cooled, ice and decorate.

Drop Sugar Cookies

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 12-14 mins
Yield: about 16 cookies


1/2 cup + 2 tbsp Otto's cassava flour 
2 tbsp coconut flour 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, softened 
1 cup organic cane sugar
1 egg 
2 tsp vanilla extract 


Preheat oven to 350F and take out cookie sheets or baking trays lined with parchment paper.

Mix the top 4 dry ingredients together in a medium bowl and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and cane sugar and mix with a hand mixer on low until creamed and combined.  

Add egg and vanilla.  Hand mix to combine. 

Mix in the dry ingredients about 1/4 cup at a time, hand mixing to form a dough.  Form a wet ball. 

Scoop 1 tbsp sized balls, roll with hands to form balls and lay on cookie sheet, leaving space to spread.  

Place trays in preheated oven for 12-14 mins, until center is cooked and edges are slightly golden.  For a crispy cookie, leave in a little longer.  

Allow to cool on baking sheet 3 mins then transfer to a cooling rack to fully cool before serving.  If they aren't properly cooled they crumble.


Otto's NY Style Pizza

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 Alanna Figueira 19 Comments

Short and sweet post today before I head out of town for he holiday.  I joined forces with Otto's Cassava Flour and with a little tweaking of this recipe, we have together developed this amazing NY Style pizza crust.  THANK YOU Otto's for these amazing tweaks, you rock!  And yes, we are both from NY so we know!  This crust is yeasty, chewy, and delicious.  It also happens to be nutfree.  Use this crust for traditional grain free, gluten free cheese pizza or flatbread.  It will hold all the toppings and is excellent with or without cheese.  

Otto's Cassava NY Style Pizza

Serves: 4 (or 2 big eaters)

Prep time (includes rise time): 1 hr 15 mins
Cook time: 8-12 mins (11 is perfect)



1 tbsp coconut flour
5 tbsp arrowroot flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic (optional) 


1 egg
1/4 cup light olive oil

Yeast mix:

1/2 cup warm water (approx 105-110F)
1 packet active dry yeast, OR 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey


Prepare yeast mix.  In a small bowl, add 
warm water and honey.  Mix to dissolve.  Sprinkle yeast in.  Mix to dissolve.  Set aside for 5-10 minutes to activate.  It will get foamy on top, if it doesn't yeast may be bad. 

Mix dry ingredients in large mixing bowl to combine. 

Lightly whisk eggs and olive oil together in a small bowl. 

Add egg mixture and activated yeast to the dry ingredients. 

Mix to form a dough ball.   Transfer ball to an oiled bowl, cover with dish towel and set aside in a warm place (70-80F is ideal) to rise for 1 hour. It will not double in size, but it will rise a little.

Once dough has risen, preheat oven to 550F.  Preheat pizza stone, baking sheet or metal pan to bake pizza on. *also bakes in a Hamikton Beech pizza oven for 15 mins

Place the dough on parchment paper.  Place a piece of parchment paper over the dough (if necessary) and shape dough with your hands by pushing down (on top of parchment, so it doesn't stick) and roll with rolling pin.  Flatten your pizza about 1/8-1/4 inch thin.  Roll the crust thick or thin (to your liking) by shaping with your fingers and rolling the edges. Use extra cassava flour if dough is sticking.  

Place your toppings on the dough.  Lift the whole piece of parchment paper with pizza on top and transfer to the preheated baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 8-12 minutes (11 is best in our opinion) until dough is firm and slightly golden, pulling out halfway and removing parchment paper.  For a crispier golden crust, allow a few more minutes.  Allow more time if cooking at lower temperature.  


Brown Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies

Wednesday, November 18, 2015 Alanna Figueira 13 Comments

These cookies are so legit.  They're all the things a chocolate chip cookie should be.  They're also another one of those that require the disclaimer "this is not health food"!  They have sugar in them, no refined sugar, but still sugar and 6 cookies will send you into a sugar coma (trust me).   I wanted to create a perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe in time for the holidays that tastes just like the real thing and  They are the perfect soft baked, chewy chocolate chip cookie with crispy edges.  No cakey-ness, no gritty-ness, no crumbly-ness. 

As far as substitutions.... Don't make them if you want them to be exactly like this.  I made these cookies approximately 900xs and this is the perfect ratio of ingredients.  Traditionally, most recipes use both white and brown sugar for the perfect combo of crispy and chewy.  Here I am using coconut sugar in place of brown sugar and organic unrefined cane sugar.  I usually entirely avoid cane sugar, but this is for sure a special occasion recipe and since I can't have gluten at all I would rather splurge on the sugar a little and still avoid a reaction.  I haven't tried any fat other than butter.  The very first main photo is darker because it uses browned butter and the rest of the photos are made with just melted butter.  Browning the butter gives it a nutty, caramel taste but is not necessary at all.  You can just melt the butter without browning and follow instructions otherwise.  Browning butter sounds fancy but is as simple as cutting it up and heating it until it becomes brown and aromatic, so don't be scared!   You need eggs.  Otto's has an egg free recipe on Instagram, check that out for an egg-free chocolate chip cookie.  I first tried with one egg and they were too crumbly, the extra yolk binds it perfectly. These cookies must be chilled.  If you don't chill them they will spread out like crazy and the texture won't be the same.  Don't press the cookies down, they will do their own thing in the oven.  When they're done they puff up a little then deflate to chewy crispy perfection once cooling.  If you try to eat them when they're still piping hot, they will fall apart. 

Browned Butter and Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies 

Servings: 22 cookies 
Prep time: 15 mins
Chill time: overnight or at least 4-6 hours
Cook time: 10-12 mins



1/2 cup butter (1 stick butter), browned and cooled to room temp *instructions are in directions


1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt


1 large egg 
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Fold in:

Flakey sea salt for sprinkling on top (optional)


Brown butter.  Cut up the stick of butter and place pieces in a medium pan on med-low heat.  Butter will melt then begin to bubble and turn brown and aromatic.  Once this happens remove from heat so it doesn't burn and set aside to cool to room temperature. 

While butter is cooling, mix all dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. 

Whisk eggs and vanilla in a small bowl.

Add cooled butter and egg mixture to the large bowl and mix to combine into a dough.  

Fold in chocolate chips last.  Mix to combine well.  Place the bowl in refrigerator overnight or at least 4-6 hours.

Once chilled, preheat oven to 350F and line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper.  

Scoop cookies and roll into small balls.  Place on parchment paper leaving room to spread out, I do 6-8 cookies per sheet. Sprinkle with flakey sea salt.  

Bake for 10-12 mins, longer for crispier cookies and closer to 10 for gooey cookies.  Check oven starting at 10 mins, cooking times will vary based on oven.  

Remove from oven and allow 2 mins to cool before transferring to a cooling rack to fully cool.  Like most grainfree baked goods, these will not become fully structured until cooled.


Pumpkin Crumb Muffins

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 Alanna Figueira 7 Comments


1/4 cup pumpkin purée
3 large eggs
1/2 cup almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
2 tbsp Otto's cassava flour
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup butter or coconut oil, melted
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

For the crumb

5 tbsp Otto's cassava flour
2 tbsp butter, melted
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp baking soda
*Just mix it all up in a small bowl, let it thicken, the crumble on top


1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray 7 muffin tins or line with papers.

2.  Mix all ingredients up in a large mixing bowl until smooth and well combined.

3. Fill the muffin tins 3/4 of the way.

4.  Add the crumble, optional.

5. Bake at 350F for about 25 mins, or until cooked through. *to make this into a bread, bake 45-55 mins in a loaf pan.

6.  Allow to cool before removing from pan.


Pumpkin Pie (My favorite Grainfree Pie Crust)

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 Alanna Figueira 2 Comments

Pumpkin pie is hands down my favorite pie.  You guys will love this crust dough, it is very easy to work with and comes out flaky, buttery and delicious.  I wrote the filling recipe last year and made it all the time without the crust.  You can make it and just bake in a pie dish or ramekins (spray or butter the ramekins or dish) for an awesome pumpkin custard without having to worry about the crust. Bake ramekins in a water bath. The truth is I hate pastry making because I have very little patience for making things beautiful...and crust crimping of any sort cramps my style big time.  But you don't have to crimp your crust or make it perfect...rustic is very in.  You can just plop it in and then do the fork thing around the edges.  Or, crimp it by just using your fingers to shape pretty little humps.  I did that once... For these photos, but never again, no way, rustic baby, rustic!  And here it is, the secret to the perfect Paleo pie crust-  a crust guard!  Yes, that's a thing!  You can buy it real cheap or make one yourself in 3 minutes!  Here is how.  Pull out a piece of aluminum foil.  Place pie dish on top. Trace around the bottom of the pie dish (the smaller bottom side, not the big top).  Cut where you traced.  Discard the circle. Place the foil with a hole in it on your pie, fold over the edges and viola!  See the pic below.  Your pie crust will come out flaky and perfect and most importably never overdone or burnt,  Check it 10 mins before completion and if you desire a more golden crust, take off the shield and then put it back in the oven.

You can make the crust without the egg, it still tastes amazing but the dough will be slightly more crumbly to work with.  Remember, rustic!  You can use any squash or sweet potato in place of pumpkin.  I used fresh roasted butternut squash and it was probably the best pie I've ever made.  If I used sweet potato I would swap straight cinnamon for the pumpkin pie spice for a sweet potato pie.  YUM.  

Stay tuned because next up is my apple pie filling and my rustic brown butter apple galette with salted caramel sauce!  Hooray for fall... And pie!

Pumpkin Pie (My favorite Grainfree Pie Crust)


For the crust:

1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup cassava flour
1/4 cup coconut flour 
1/4 tsp salt 
6 tbsp cold butter
1 large egg
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla

Pumpkin Pie Filling:

15 oz can pumpkin purée 
1/2 cup coconut cream (the fat on top of the can of full fat coconut milk)
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 large eggs
1 tbsp cassava flour 
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt 
For chocolate pumpkin pie:
1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted


Preheat oven to 350F.  Take out 2 pieces of parchment paper to roll dough with.  

Make a crust guard if you don't own one.  To do this, place pie dish on top of a piece of tin foil.  Trace around pie dish bottom.  Cut out the circle.  Set the rest aside until crust is in the pie dish.

Make crust.  Pulse flours and salt a few times in food processor.  Add butter and pulse until gritty texture is formed.  Add egg, honey and vanilla and pulse into a dough.  Knead the dough a little. 

Sprinkle cassava flour on a piece of parchment paper.  Place dough ball on top.  Place another piece of parchment paper on top to roll dough out.  Use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 12 inch round.  Flip rolled out dough into pie dish, seal any cracks and crimp the edges as desired.  Set aside and make filling.

Mix all "pumpkin pie filling" ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until combined into a smooth batter.

Pour filling into the pie crust and spread even with a spoon. 

*if you are making chocolate pumpkin pie- melt the chocolate on low.  Take 1 cup filling out before pouring in the crust and mix with chocolate.  Pour the rest of the filling in.  Pour chocolate/filling mix on top and spread out on top.

Bake pie in preheated oven for 50 minutes, until slightly browned and set.

Remove pie from oven and cool in the fridge for minimum of 2 hours-overnight, until completely set and cooled. 


30k Giveaway

Thursday, October 08, 2015 Alanna Figueira 1 Comments

30k!? I started this blog as a place to compile the recipes I created for my very food sensitive family and it has sparked a passion for recipe development and food that I didn't know I even had! Today I feel part of a community of people and am so grateful for all of the very supportive people out there that have helped me build on this passion of mine. I wouldn't have the motivation to continue without all of the positive comments, emails, messages from people I don't even know! To celebrate all 30k of you following little old me, I am hosting the biggest instagram giveaway I have ever done! One lucky winner will win ALL of this! In this giveaway you'll find high quality paleo food products from amazing companies, awesome paleo cook books (trust me I cooked from them!), essential oils and more! Below I've listed all the contributors and what you will win. You'll also get a copy of each of my ebooks.  This is over a $500 value! I may just enter... Juuuuust kidding but I wish I could!

To enter:

Follow all contributors on instagram.
Tag a friend in the comments.

You may enter as many times as you want, increasing the likelihood of random selection.  Extra entry for reposting.  US only.  Must be 13 to enter.  Winner will be selected and contacted Saturday Oct 10, 9:00pm EST.


meat bundle


a bottle, a vinegar and a spice

Pure Indian Foods
One 7.5 oz Turmeric Superghee
One 7.8 oz Grassfed Organic Ghee
One 14 oz Grassfed Organic Cultured Ghee

Ottos Naturals
2 lb bag

one bag of each

Blissful Eats
2 bags of granola,
1 maple nut, 1 apple cinnamon

Barefoot Provisions
$25 Gift Card

box of your choice

9oz original and 9oz cultured

Primal Kitchen Foods
Jar of Mayo

Lovebean Fudge
Squeeze Packs

The Granilla Bar
8oz pack of crumble and a mixed dozen

Sir Kensingtons
3 pack of mayo, mustard, ketchup

Safe Catch
3 cans of tuna

Vital Farms
tshirt and free dozen

Jilz Crackers
3 boxes of crackers, one of each flavor

Bad Wolf Bakery
$25 assortment

Kids Love Oils
3 pack of clinical grade essential oils

Signed Copy of Down South Paleo


Modern Paleo Cuisine E-books