These cookie cups are like an almond butter cup and a cowboy cookie had a baby. Chewy gluten free oats*, coconut and crunchy pecans are coated in smooth chocolate for a no-bake, no refined sugar, no gluten, no dairy dessert!
I run on the belief that a few gluten free oats aren’t the end of the world and are okay for a paleo diet, but if you’re a strict paleo-diet follower you likely disagree. If so, try substituting them with quinoa flakes!
This recipe was born from a craving and the refusal to get out of bed on a Saturday morning. I, along with probably most everyone on Pinterest, has drooled over this picture of almond butter cups (from Pinch of Yum), and/or this picture of salted caramel chocolate cups (from Creme de la Crumb).
They’re perfectly portioned dessert perfection. They’re like Reeses peanut butter cups, but without all the ingredients you can’t pronounce, but even better because they’re homemade and tailored to the flavors that you want.
So, one Saturday morning I was in my bed, engulfed by blankets and pillow, and refusing to get out of said bed because it was winter and effing freezing. I grabbed my phone and started scrolling through Pinterest to find a breakfast recipe idea that would be motivating enough to make me want to leave my blanket cocoon and walk down three flights of stairs to the kitchen.
I didn’t find one.
But what I did find was those two damn pictures, over and over again in my feed. They called to me. They were just begging me to go downstairs, melt some stuff and stir it together. But for whatever reason, neither of them felt quite right. I didn’t want salted caramel, and straight almond butter filling didn’t feel like enough.
I decided what I actually wanted was cookies. I wanted cookies that were loaded with all kinds of stuff – none of this basic chocolate chip cookie nonsense for me that day. We’re talking oats, nuts, coconut, cinnamon – hearty cookies. Cowboy cookies.
But then I also wanted them to be covered in chocolate – not just filled with chocolate chips.
It kinda seemed like maybe chocolate covered cowboy cookies might be pushing it as a breakfast option, even if I tried to use the YOLO justification. So I figured… why not combine cowboy cookies with almond butter cups, and try to make them paleo?
That’s a challenge for which I can get out of bed.
Easy to make
I’m going to be honest – it really wasn’t that hard to whip up. I started with the almond butter base, and just added the rest of the ingredients in increments until I had the texture I wanted.
I wanted them to be hearty, not runny. I didn’t want to bite into something that would drip out, I wanted it to stay in tact so that the messiness factor was minimal.
Mind you, you’ll always end up with chocolatey fingers, but that’s just a badge of honor IMHO.
Feel free to adjust to your personal preference, though – use more almond butter and less of the rest if you like the danger of not knowing if you might end up wearing your food. You wild child, you.
Also, add a sprinkle of sea salt and shredded coconut on top. It makes them pretty, and the salt enhances the flavor of the chocolate (it’s a thing).
How many cowboy cookie cups does this recipe make?
This makes 12 cupcake-sized cups (diameter-wise, not height – that would be INTENSE), so keep that in mind if you decide to share. I’d hate for you to shortchange yourself because you were being a good person! ;)
After you’ve made this recipe, please consider coming back to share your experience with others by leaving a comment below with a star rating!
Paleo No-Bake Cowboy Cookie Cups
- ½ cup creamy, smooth almond butter
- ⅓ cup gluten free rolled oats*, see notes
- ⅓ cup pecans, chopped
- ¼ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- ¼ cup mini chocolate chips, I recommend Enjoy Life brand
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of cinnamon
- ¼ cup maple syrup, to taste (or honey if not vegan)
- ¾ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2-4 Tablespoons maple syrup, to taste (or honey, if not vegan)
- Pinch of salt
- Prep a muffin tin with liners and set aside.
- In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt coconut oil. Add cocoa powder, sweetener (to taste) and salt and whisk to combine. Set aside to cool slightly while you prepare the filling.
- In a medium bowl, combine almond butter, oats, pecans, coconut, mini chips, vanilla and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
- Add sweetener and stir to combine. Add more (or less) to taste.
- Roll about a tablespoons of filling in your palms and flatten until it's slightly smaller than the width of the liner.
- Pour a thin layer of chocolate into the bottom of each liner, place a disc of filling on top, and top with enough chocolate to cover the filling.
- Top with coconut, chopped pecans, or sea salt, if desired. Place in freezer for at least an hour to chill and set. Enjoy!