April 27, 2011

Gluten-free Almond Flower Cookies

I had planned to post a (very very good) brownie recipe but I am posting this recipe instead because I made these, brought it to park day and had other people tasted this (one boy, two other moms) and they wanted the recipe. I guess this means they are good! And yes, they are. They are very light, with a satisfying almond flavor to it, and if there is such a thing as a soft, comfy almond pillow, you are biting into one when you eat these. This recipe is low in sugar but big in flavor.

This recipe comes from a new gluten-free cookbook I recently found at the library: The Ultimate Gluten-Free Cookie Book, and I am very excited about it. I love that she has a section just for egg-free cookies, and for you people out there who drool for Girl Scout cookies and the like, she has a section dedicated to "the fakes." Also, I love that you need not round up a variety of gluten-free flours to make her cookies-- basically, she uses either brown rice flour or sorghum flour.  And she has a nifty section right at the front explaining the science of how she arrived at this simplified way of gluten-free baking. And I love that. Simple is good. Actually, it is rather awesome. Ryberg has done all the research, studies and experiments, we just need to bake and enjoy, what's not to love?

I do want to mention that this is the second recipe I have tried from her book, and because it turned out so wonderful and well-received I suspect there just may be a typo in the first recipe I tried, which is for the egg-free sugar cookies. I made those with the intention of gifting them to my friend K for her birthday, but they turned out rather salty, with a hint of bitterness to them. In fact, R asked if I had mistakenly used salt instead of sugar for those cookies (and I did not). I was rather disappointed, as the cookies looked so darn adorable and smelled mighty good while baking. If you attempt that particular recipe, you may want to reduce the baking powder to just 1 tsp instead of 1 Tbsp. I am really glad I decided to try another recipe in her book despite the first disappointment, can't wait to discover more yummy goods in this book!

Gluten-free almond flower cookie

Almond Flower Cookies (GF)
Recipe from The Ultimate Gluten-Free Cookie Book 
Makes about 25-28 cookies
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used expeller-pressed coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (optional, for decoration. I used slivered almonds instead)
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, combine the oil and sugar. Beat well. (I was able to do this in my stand-mixer. The trick is to not twist the paddle attachment to lock it in place. This way, when you raise the bowl up, the paddle drops down and reaches the bottom of the bowl.) Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl at least once during mixing. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Drop rounded spoonfuls of cookie dough onto the prepared pan. With moistened fingertips, press them to 1/4-inch thickness (I did this with a fork instead, moistening it with water each time). Arrange the almond slices (or slivers, if like me, you just want to use what you have on hand) on top into a flower or other nice pattern (or random pattern, like I did).
  4. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes, until there is the slightest hint of color; the tops will be dry. Let cool on wire racks before serving. 
Er, I never said I am good at decorating!

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