Gwyneth’s Mother’s Cookies

I was at my friend Pam’s house for dinner last week and I started looking through her cook book collection. The books were all really clean - pristine clean in fact. I immediately felt self-conscious and incompetent because mine are always full of flour and sugar and oil splatters and greasy fingerprints and crumbs. I am just a mess of a cook and a cookbook wrecker. While I was looking through the pretty, clean cookbooks I noticed a few cook books by Gwyneth Paltrow which I thought was ridiculous and I expressed shock and disgust that she Pam, the amazing, smart, erudite Pam, would own a cook book by a movie star. Really Pam? I just thought: 'how dumb is that.' I mean Gwyneth Paltrow is an actress for goodness sakes - she is not a cook - and although I knew that she had written a cookbook, I just could never take it seriously. She couldn't possibly do it well - she already did something well and I mean really, how many things is one person allowed to do well, right? Pam didn't even look at me but I can imagine the look if she did. She very patiently suggested that the books were really quite good implying that my close-minded self might take one home and look at it which of course made me feel kind of small and superficial. I mean who am I to judge. So, not wanting to be rude or close-minded, I took the book home not really expecting very much and thinking that I probably wouldn't even look at it but I was not able to resist. I started reading it. I just could not resist a look at a cook book by Gwyneth Paltrow. I had to know what she liked to cook. I was pleasantly surprised. The book is actually a sweet book. It’s about Gwyneth’s relationship with her Father and how he instilled a love of food and cooking. Being one who holds my father so dear to my heart, the book touched me – for real. And then I read the recipes and there were quite a few interesting ones in the book – just like my friend Pam said. Surprise surprise or as my friend Theresa would say, ‘holy befold’ (Theresa! Are you reading this??).

Then when my dear niece Rebecca came into town last week with her boyfriend Mason, she and I wanted something healthy-ish to cook together - but not too healthy. We looked in the dessert section of Gwyneth's book and found an interesting cookie recipe – no sugar – no regular flour - and we could use my Batch-33 jam! We baked the cookies and they were delicious and so here it is – Gwyneth’s mother’s famous cookies.

Gwyneth’s Mother’s Cookies (- from My Father’s Daughter by Gwyneth Paltrow)



Preheat oven to 350°


4 cups barley flour

3 cup raw whole almonds crushed in a food processor (about 10 2-second pulses)

1 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1 cup canola or grape seed oil

1 cup real maple syrup Jam (I used Batch-33 jam, strawberry, and peach)


Combine all of the ingredients except for the jam together in a large bowl. Form into tablespoonful balls and space evenly on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Using your index finger, make an indent in each cookie and fill the indent with a bit of jam. Bake until the cookies are browned about 20 minutes. Cook before eating. These are delicious and not too sweet.

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