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All of this working from home can take a toll on the waistline — especially for those of us with a sweet tooth. We asked Certified Holistic Chef Laura Lea, of LL Balanced, to share one of her favorite low-sugar recipes that satisfies the craving without the post-consumption sugar crash.

Laura Lea says her cookie recipe, which she refers to as “the easiest peanut butter macadamia nut cookies,” comes together quickly and has a fairly simple ingredient list. She also explains that the cookies are super versatile — you can substitute a different nut butter, add white chocolate chips or dried cranberries, omit the nuts, or get even more creative with your ingredients if you’re feeling ambitious.

Laura Lea's dessert — Peanut butter macadamia nut cookie

They may look super indulgent, but Chef Laura Lea’s peanut butter macadamia drop cookies offer all the flavor without the sugar overload. Image: Laura Lea Balanced

Peanut Butter Macadamia Drop Cookies

Of her own recent cravings, Laura tells us, “Honestly, I cannot get enough of the dark chocolate-covered caramels from Trader Joe’s! That said, they’re definitely ​not​ low-sugar, so sometimes I just go for a scoop of coconut butter with a few dark chocolate chips on top … or I make one of my desserts, like these cookies.” Image: Laura Lea Balanced

Though thoughts of gaining the “COVID-15” may be looming, Laura cautions us to go easy on ourselves. “We’re out of our routines. We have new and increased stresses, and we don’t have access to healthy food as much as usual,” she says. “There’s nothing wrong with you, and you’re not stuck. If you want to just relax and enjoy a few more indulgences until life is a little more ‘normal,’ that’s totally cool.”

To that, we say bring on those delicious (and less sugar-filled) cookies! Here’s the recipe:

Peanut Butter Macadamia Drop Cookies

Laura Lea of LL Balanced
This scrumptious low-sugar cookie recipe is both simple and versatile. It offers all the flavor without the sugar overload.
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Servings 20 cookies


  • 1 large room temperature egg
  • 3 ⁄4 cup runny peanut butter pourable consistency; can use chunky or creamy
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ⁄4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ⁄2 cup coconut sugar sub 6 Tbsp monk fruit
  • 1 ⁄3 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 ⁄3 cup roasted salted macadamia nuts* roughly chopped
  • Optional: Maldon/large flake sea salt for garnish

*You can use raw macadamia nuts, in which case I suggest adding 1⁄4 teaspoon salt to the batter


    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with nonstick parchment paper.
    • Crack an egg into a large mixing bowl and check for shells, then add all remaining ingredients EXCEPT macadamia nuts.
    • Whisk until evenly incorporated, then fold in chopped macadamia nuts.
    • Dollop approximately 2 tablespoons batter per cookie onto your baking sheet, leaving at least 1" between each.
    • Sprinkle with a tiny bit of Maldon/large flake salt, if using. (You should be able to get about 10 cookies in the first batch.)
    • Bake for 8-10 minutes (8 for a more gooey cookie and 10 for a more firm cookie.)
    • Cool for 2-3 minutes before putting on a cooling rack.
    • Repeat with remaining dough.

    *Cookies will keep tightly sealed at room temperature for two days, in the refrigerator for six days, or frozen four to six months.

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      Thank you to Chef Laura Lea of LL Balanced, for the delicious recipe contribution.


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