Anna Olson's Balance Cookies



2 dozen

* PLUS Baking Time: 15 minutes


  • 2 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds , lightly toasted
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fine salt
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • whole almonds , for garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Stir the rice flour, ground almonds, sesame seeds, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk the honey and vegetable oil, and add to the rice flour mixture and blend. Scoop tablespoonfuls (15 mL) of dough and using your hands shape each into a ball, placing 2 inches (5 cm) apart on the prepared baking sheets. Press each cookie to flatten and press a whole almond into the centre of each. Bake 1 sheet at a time for about 15 minutes, or until cookies start to brown a little on the bottom.

These cookies are gluten free, egg free and dairy free. At the same time, they are also tender and tasty. The recipe is from Anna Olson’s new book In the Kitchen with Anna. This recipe has not been tested by the Chatelaine Test Kitchen.


I started making these regularly for the owner of a fitness club, but they became so popular I had to make them for sale just outside the gym.


Because these cookies lack refined sugar, eggs and dairy, their texture may seem a little drier than a typical cookie dough (though the dough isn’t at all crumbly) and the cookies will spread only a little, but not too much. After shaping the dough into balls, press the cookie down to the flatness you prefer.


The nuttiness of the almonds in these cookies is enhanced by the toasted sesame seeds. Not a typical ingredient for sweets, I sneak sesame seeds into a lot of desserts such as in coffee cakes. Brown rice flour can be purchased at health food stores or often bulk stores.