Almond Cookies – Perks of Messing Up in the Kitchen
I REALLY LOVE raw almond butter. I smother it on my toast every single morning. I eat it with my banana. I smear some on my chocolate bars. I put a dollop on my pastries. I even put it in my Korean cooking sauces to make them taste richer. I put it on/in almost everything. So I try making it at home whenever I get a chance. Throw some almonds in the food processor. And voilà! Usually it turns out great. Usually.
Yesterday, I wanted to make my almond butter a bit sweeter. Instead of putting in honey or sugar, I had the brilliant(!?) idea of sweetening it with raisins. But alas. There is a natural order to things. I should have waited until the almonds were processed before putting in the raisins. But I threw everything in at the same time. (Note to self: Learn Patience.) The result? Consistency of brown sugar. Put in a bit of almond milk hoping it would fix it. Nope. Made it worse. Processed it more. Nope. Only got greasier.
I was NOT happy. Raw almonds are expensive. And that mixture was not going in the trash. So I decided to turn it into cookies – traditional almond cookies AND almond thumbprint cookies with fig jam. I wanted to make gluten-free cookies that are healthy and hearty enough to have for breakfast. Instead of sugar, I used raisins and agave nectar to sweeten the cookies. And I added flax meal to add a bit more substance/bulk. The taste was reminiscent of a classic Korean confectionery called yakgwa. And it was perfect with my morning cup of coffee. I can’t wait to have some tonight with a cold glass of almond milk!
Gluten-Free Almond Cookies
Makes 33 cookies using a 1 1/2 TB cookie scoop
3/4 TB brown rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour/starch
3 TB flax meal (finely ground)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup agave nectar
2 TB Earth Balance or other non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (softened)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup raisins
1 TB almond/soy/rice milk (+ more if necessary)
12oz. almonds (a bag of Trader Joe’s raw almonds were used for this recipe)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Add almonds, raisins, and 1 TB of almond milk into a processor and process until they form a “ball.”
- In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients: brown rice flour, tapioca flour/starch, flax meal, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- In another bowl, beat together the wet ingredients: egg, agave nectar, Earth Balance, canola oil, and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix. To the mixture, add the processed almonds and raisins.
- Using a rubber spatula or, preferably, gloved hands, blend/work well until a dough is formed. If the dough feels too dry, you can add some almond/soy milk 1 tsp at a time until you get the desired consistency (think soft play-doh).
- Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop or a measuring spoon, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Alternatively, you can measure out the dough and form a ball. Flatten the cookies with a fork, creating a crisscross pattern. (Note: wet the fork with water or oil before making the pattern on each cookie to prevent the fork from sticking to the dough.)
- Place the baking sheet on the middle and/or upper middle rack. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
- Let it cool for a couple of minutes on the pan. Transfer to a cooling rack and let the cookies cool completely. Serve with a cup of hot coffee or a glass of cold almond milk.
Gluten-Free Almond Thumbprint Cookies with Fig Jam
same as almond cookies above PLUS a jar of fig jam
- Follow the directions for Almond Cookies above – up to step 6
- Using a 1 1/2 tablespoon cookie scoop or a measuring spoon, drop the dough onto the prepared cookie sheet. Make a small indentation on each cookie using your thumb. Drop 1/4 tsp of fig jam into the indentation.
- Place the baking sheet on the middle or the upper middle rack. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool for a couple of minutes on the baking sheet. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let them cool completely. Serve with a cup of hot coffee or a glass of cold almond milk.