Cocoa Almond Cookies

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A few years ago I sat on a panel for incoming graduate students and told them, “the hardest part of getting a PhD is not the classwork, the research, or the teaching. The hardest part of getting a PhD is that you have to do the classwork, the research, and the teaching…AND ‘life’ doesn’t stop because you have a full plate.” That’s how I’ve felt the past couple of weeks. The hardest part of working is not the actual work. The hardest part is that you have to work AND life doesn’t stop because of it. What does stop unfortunately is the frequency of my posts, but I just try to be gentle with myself and to tell myself that blogging is supposed to be fun, not another stressor! 🙂 Although I still do not have a frozen treat for you (soon, I promise), I do have cookies, made in honor of one of my favorite treats–Nutella.

Trader Joe’s has a knock off Nutella made with almonds, rather than hazelnuts. While I love me some Trader Joe’s knock offs, this doesn’t even come close to the real thing. And I wasn’t in love with it as is. But when life gives you lackluster knock off Nutella, you make cocoa almond cookies! 😉 Tender, super chocolatey, and packed with lovely crunch from the additional almonds, these cookies were a hit. Just ask the folks in my office! 😀

Cocoa Almond Cookies

(Printable Recipe)


1/2 cup Earth Balance (or butter)–softened

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/2 cup cocoa almond spread (or Nutella)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups flour

3/4 cups chocolate chips

1/3 cup sliced almonds

1/3 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut


*Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. With an electric mixer, beat Earth Balance and sugar until fluffy (~2 minutes). Add cocoa almond spread, egg, and extracts. Beat until smooth.

*Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into wet ingredients. Add chocolate chips, coconut, and almonds. Mix all ingredients just until completely incorporated. Drop cookies approximately 2 inches apart. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Nom!

Written by

Tiffany M. Griffin is the woman behind Como Water, Washington DC’s premiere veg-centric cuisine consulting company. Through cooking classes, demonstrations, catering, and consultations, Como Water gives people the opportunity to learn how to prepare veg-centric cuisine that boasts maximum flavor, with minimal effort. Tiffany is quickly becoming a go-to expert on the future of veg-centric cuisine, and is a regular contributor to Como Water, the blog, as well as to vegetarian and vegan sites across the Internet. For over a decade, this self-taught, entrepreneurial expert has developed a set of tried and true techniques for making simple, delicious, and sometimes decadent veg-centric dishes. Featured on the Steve Harvey Show and other leading media outlets, Tiffany was born and raised in Springfield, MA. She then earned Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a PhD in Social Psychology from the University of Michigan. She now resides in Washington DC, where she has worked in the US Senate and at a federal agency on issues around health, food, nutrition, and international food aid/development, and of course, as the owner of Como Water. Tiffany gets culinary inspiration from the food she grew up eating, and from her travels throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. She is dedicated to sharing her wealth of knowledge on veg-centric cuisine with others and to help others live by her mantra—love life, live long, and eat veg-centric cuisine!


  1. These cookies are heaven – almonds and chocolate are made for each other 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  2. You are speaking to me…. I hate to waste money or food. I love how you turned this around to make a real winner!! Well done! These cookies look like they would melt in my mouth. Mmmmm! Have a wonderful weekend! ~ Ramona

  3. Yum! My daughter got us hooked on Nutella after she lived in Germany for a year. I may have to try these with Nutella because I just bought a jar.

  4. Glad you found a good use for the knockoff brand. I love saving money but sometimes the knockoffs just don’t cut it. Glad you found a way to use it up. Can’t let it go to waste! I’ll give these a try with some Nutella!

  5. Sorry that “life” has been so hectic…I understand! Great cookies.

  6. I totally understand, my job has been crazy lately, so I try to stay afloat with my site! Your cookies look so moist, and delicious! I need to still try nutella, I know, I know….don’t judge me:-) Sending hugs your way, Terra

  7. Go easy on yourself! Take care of YOU. Let the blog add fun to your life and if it doesn’t feel like fun that day, step away and do it another day. Now give me some cookies, please.

  8. Don’t worry about the lack of postings coz i think you are doing a great job balancing your research with this blog!
    And i need to fill up my cookie jar with these cookies ASAP…lol

  9. These look wonderful… and just imagine how much better they’d be if they were made with proper Nutella, instead of that low-rent TJ knock-off spread? 🙂 Good job of making over that not-so-great purchase into a more-than-acceptable treat!

  10. i’m in love with these cookies – they look AMAZING!

  11. I remember that part of grad school vividly… don’t you wish everything would just halt until you finish?! You can do it though… and the reward is awesome.

    So are these cookies. YUM!

  12. Never heard of that spread before but got to find one soon. The cookies sounds lovely!

  13. This cookies look incredible! Sounds delicious with the extra almonds in there. Hope life slows down for you soon!

  14. These sound wonderful! I love that you have used the almond chocolate spread in them. I have a feeling if I bought a jar of that I would find myself eating it straight out of the jar and unable to stop ;)! Hope you have a wonderful weekend Tiffany :)!

  15. Sounds wonderful. Lucky folks in the office! Good save of the Nutella knock-off.

  16. I have to agree with that blogging is suppose to be fun and not the other way around. I do get carried away at times but have learn to cut down the time spend on blogging. The cookies looks good though the spread is new to me.

  17. Take your time, do your work, woo-sa, and then keep sharing yummy treats like these cookies. We’ll be here.

  18. I have to find that cocoa almond spread,sound YummY, I love nutella as well and these cocoa Almond cookies deserved on top 9 today,Congrats 🙂

  19. The cookies look so good with the almonds and cocoa, but especially the coconut. i totally understand about life getting in the way of blogging:)

    Congrats on the Top 9 today!

  20. Here’s to some free time, and congratulations on making the foodbuzz Top 9!

  21. Congrats on Top9. These cookies loook wonderful and the cocoa almond spread is a new thing for me.

  22. I love Nutella so these are totally my type of cookie!!

  23. Oh, I know the feeling when you get so busy (and I’m not even doing a PhD), but if it’s any consolation things do fall in their place sooner or later. Hang on in there, these are stunning cookies! 🙂

  24. Tiffany, these look absolutely delicious! I know exactly what you’re saying about the hardest part of studies being balancing them with life–they told us something similar at the beginning of law school, along with telling us that one of the people off to the left or right of us would be gone by the end of first year. Cheerful.

  25. These look like some mighty fine cookies. I haven’t tried the Trader Joe’s stuff yet but I was wondering if it was anything close to Nutella. Good luck with the work and life.

  26. You are amazing girlie. Everytime i see a new post from you i am in awe of how ypu you are balancing it all. So yes please be gentle with yourself. I can’t wait to try this recipe!

  27. These cookies look crazy yummy!!!

  28. Thanks for the comments everyone!