The Inclusive Cookie

– Submitted by Victoria Doyle

 As a person that has had challenges maintaining a healthy weight and at risk for T2 diabetes, I wanted to create an ‘inclusive’ recipe that can easily be adapted to have a low glycemic index and is also gluten free for food bank clients that are gluten intolerant ( not celiac impacted). Many times people with special dietary needs are overlooked, particularly when it comes to treats and special occasions. 

“Food insecurity has been associated with poor overall health and chronic diseases including hypertension, obesity, and type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).35 Type 2 DM is more prevalent in food insecure households, and food insecurity is a risk factor for developing type 2 DM.4,67

This simple Italian recipe has four variations; almond orange, chocolate almond orange, low-sugar almond orange and low-sugar chocolate almond orange. These variations create easily supported flavor and nutritional variety. 



2 large egg whites

½ teaspoon lemon juice

2 ¼ cups almond flour

1 ¼ cup powdered sugar

pinch of salt

Zest of 1 large orange

2 teaspoons almond extract

1 teaspoon orange extract

¼ cup powdered sugar for coating


Low sugar variation – substitute 1 1/4 cup King Arthur Baking Sugar Alternative for powdered sugar in recipe. Continue to cost cookies in regular powdered sugar. 

Chocolate variation – add 1/4 cup cocoa powder to the dry ingredients for both the main recipe and/or the sugar-free version.


Beat egg whites and lemon juice together until they reach stiff peaks, add orange zest, almond, and orange extract.

Sift almond flour, powdered sugar, baking powder, and salt together in a medium sized bowl. 

Add the flour mixture to the egg whites, 1/3 at a time. Fold gently until the egg whites are fully incorporated. 

Scoop dough into approx 20g blobs, dredge in powdered sugar, roll into a ball, and then place on parchment lined baking tray. Repeat with remaining dough. 

Set tray aside for 1-2 hours so the outside of the dough dries. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Just prior to putting cookies in the oven, gently squeeze each cookie to promote cracking. 

Bake at 325 for 20-25 minutes, edges should be set but slightly soft in the middle. Let cool on the tray for 5 minutes and then move to a rack. 

Julia Baker