Friday Flowers: A Special Kind of Lily and an Almond Joy Cookie Recipe {Gluten-Free}

 Almond Joy Cookie RecipeThe common name for the lily flowers I’m sharing with you today is actually Naked Ladies. Naked Ladies don’t usually bring my mind to food — rather, to an amazing trip to Big Sur, California I took with my husband — then suitor ;-).

These pretty pink flowers were popping up here, there, and everywhere!  They were on the cliffs overlooking the ocean, on the hillsides off the highway, and along the hiking paths.  It was the first time I’d ever noticed them, and now every August I spot them making their annual appearance.  (They’re called Naked Ladies because the stem doesn’t have any leaves.)

Pink Naked Ladies FlowersEven though I don’t connect these lilies to a particular food, you know that I love to share flowers on Fridays, and, well, Naked Ladies are in full bloom at the moment.  Look around, and I suggest, if possible (i.e., without stealing from your neighbor!), you grab a bunch and add them to the center of your table this weekend!

 Almond-Joy-Gluten-Free-Cookie-RecipeAs for the cookies, well they’re another take-away from our trip to New York. There wasn’t a cake at the wedding we went to in Woodstock.  Instead, there was this super cool candy table and a delicious assortment of cookies and chocolates.  Brilliant, right!?

My favorite cookie tasted like an Almond Joy candy bar. It was fantastic, and I had to recreate it!

All I could find out about the baker is that she is a local Woodstock woman who sells them to a tiny, tiny market “up the road.”  So thank you, local Woodstock woman, for the inspiration! Almond Joy Gluten-Free Cookie RecipeIt’s late summer and a great time to connect with family and friends — before the business of Fall kicks in.  Invite a few people over and gather some Naked Ladies (you heard me right)!

And I’m hoping you have a free Saturday or Sunday afternoon to make Paella on the grill! It would be great with Grapefruit-Avocado Salad, and of course, with a final course of these Almond Joy Cookies!

Cheers to cooking on the weekends!

Almond Joy Cookie Recipe {Gluten-Free}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Makes 4 dozen
  • 1 cup sweetened, condensed milk
  • 1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup golden brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cups roughly chopped milk chocolate (my preference for this recipe is Lindt)
  • 1 cup roasted almond slivers (roast at 350 F for about 7 minutes)
  • 4 (1.6-ounce) Almond Joy packages (each package contains 2 small bars), each bar chopped into 6 small slices
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and cover a couple baking sheets with parchment paper
  2. In a small bowl, combine the condensed milk with the shredded coconut, and set aside.
  3. In a larger mixing bowl, mix the butter with the sugars, vanilla, salt and the condensed milk-coconut combination. Then add the egg and blend to combine evenly. Stir in the coconut flour with the baking soda and baking powder. Fold in the chocolate and roasted almonds.
  4. Use a 1-1/4-inch ice-cream scoop (or your hands), to form balls of dough, adding them to a parchment covered baking sheet as you go. About 1 dozen per sheet is perfect, with ample space between them. Now gently press 1 Almond Joy slice on top of each ball of dough.
  5. Bake in the preheated 350 degree F oven until they are just beginning to show golden brown area, 8 to 10 minutes. Let them sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.

Have you noticed these cookies are 100% gluten-free? I love coconut flour!  It’s perfect here and, if anything, it enhances that Almond Joy yumminess!

 Almond Joy Gluten-Free Cookie RecipeThis is my favorite new way to give cookies as gifts:

For more of my Friday Flowers:
Nastursiums and Grapefruit-Avocado Salad Recipe
Bougeanvilla and Mediterranean Marinated Flank Steak Recipe
Orange Roses and Grilled Cheese With Gruyère and Bacon-Onion Compote
Matilija Poppies and Buckwheat Banana Pancake Recipe {Gluten-Free}
Jacaranda Flowers and My Mom’s Meyer Lemonade Recipe
Hibiscus Flowers and Pineapple-Quinoa Salad With Shrimp
Pink Roses and Brownies




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  1. says

    These look amazing and I love Almond Joy candy bars. But where do you get coconut flour? I’ve never heard of it. Or did you make your own by grinding up the shredded coconut in the food processor?

    • valentina says

      Hey Jennifer, you can get coconut flour at Whole Foods and most health food stores. Now Gelson’s Martket carries it, too. (It’s less expensive at Whole Foods, though). 🙂 It’s great because it’s super finely ground. If you ever want to replace AP flour with coconut flour, for most recipes, use about 1/2 the amount b/c it absorbs much more liquid than AP would. Cheers!

  2. Susan Wein says

    Your photography is wonderful! The Naked Ladies almost seem to ‘glow,’ and last week’s enchilada photo was worthy of a painting.

    Your blog ALWAYS makes me hungry!

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