It’s the first of September, and that makes it officially cookie season. I know what you’re thinking: cookies don’t have a season. Cookies are for all year round. And that’s true – but isn’t there something slightly autumnal about cookies?

Maybe it’s because freshly baked cookies — so fresh that they crumble as you hold them and burn your fingers and tongue — always remind of the fall semester I spent at Princeton. The campus there had an underground cafe serving free tea and cookies during certain hours of the afternoon, and again late at night; there was nothing better on chilly autumn days — especially when it was -10 celsius outside and the icy wind cut like daggers against any exposed skin — than to come in out of the cold, stamp the snow of our boots, and warm our frozen hands with steaming mugs of tea and buttery cookies. We English girls may have balked at the way the Americans made their tea, using warm rather than just-boiled water and adding honey to English Breakfast, but they certainly know how to make chocolate chip cookies.

It’s still more summer than autumn here — and long may that continue — but waiting to publish a cookie recipe until the first day of September felt like the right thing to do somehow, if only so that those soon returning to work/school/uni after a summer break, can soften the blow with fresh cookies.

About the cookies themselves: unlike the all-butter, all-sugar variety I ate so much of at Princeton, these contain only a handful of wholesome ingredients, so you won’t get the stodge-and-sugar crash. But don’t worry, these have been extensively trialled and everyone likes them – they don’t taste ‘healthy’ in the slightest.

Makes 10-12 cookies


  • 2 cups ground almonds
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup good quality dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa solids), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp each ground cinnamon and vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (140 fan). Grease and line a large baking sheet.
  2. Combine the almonds, coconut oil and maple syrup in a bowl until well combined and dough-like. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Divide the dough into 10-12 small sections, rolling each into a ball and placing on the baking sheet. Flatten into a cookie-like shape with the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake for around 12 minutes until golden on top but soft in the middle. Leave to cool completely and enjoy (perhaps with a hot chocolate?)

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