Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lip Smackin' Good Cookies

Most of you know that my littlest cookie cannot eat wheat products. This is a relatively new development in our household, and all in all, saying ciao to wheat products has not been a huge problem. Sure, we've had to get creative when it comes to meal planning, and yeah, our forks won't be twirling any whole wheat pasta, and our knives aren't carving up thick slices of multi grain sandwich bread. Adjustments? Yes, definitely. But if you could see the difference in her, how good she feels sans tummy aches, you'd totally get why I'll do whatever it takes for that little sass, I mean lass. It's fair to say, though, that I've got a huge learning curve going on.

One thing that I'd like to do with these little eaters of mine is bake some cookies. But what cookies are there that don't have wheat in them? Plus, I'm not a big baker at all. Cooker: Yes, Baker: Nope. Oh, I did have this husband pleasin', come hither chocolate cake that I crank out every once in a while, and I've got the Tollhouse thing down pat, but neither of those will work for my youngest gluten-free-er. And while we aren't huge sweet eaters, every kid should enjoy a homemade cookie once in a while.

Marjie from Modern Day Ozzie and Harriet came up with a solution for me. Thanks, Marjie! Marjie knows baking. Well, she's actually knows a great many things, one of which is a baking. She can whip up a batch of this and that, and then, you know, sew up a few outfits, and then prepare dinner. Anyway, Marjie suggested I try this amazing Greek almond cookie recipe that is flourless that she tried from Peter's blog, Kalofagas. Oh lordy, that was great advice, and lordy, lordy these were lip smackin' good. And Gluten Free. The recipe sounded familiar to me in that I've had something similar that had powdered sugar on it. I just can't remember where I've had them. Hmm ... It will come to me eventually. Anyway ... the unaltered form of these Greek beauties is called Amygdalota. The cultural diffusion alteration that I added was dusting them with powdered sugar, and it was a HUGE hit with my little g/f cookie. And husband. And those other children I gave life to. And me. The kids love them as a snack; I think these could pass for an adult breakfast pastry to pair up with a coffee.

2 cups of blanched almonds (I used the slivers)
3/4 cup of white sugar

2 tsp. of almond extract

2 egg whites, at room temp.
Powdered sugar

Reserved almond slivers

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and have a cooling rack set out.
  1. In a food processor, pulse the almonds into a fine grind.
  2. Add the 3/4 cup of white sugar, the almond extract, and the egg whites into the almond mixture. Pulse until the mixture is combined and starts pulling away from the sides of the food processor bowl.
  3. Drop 1 inch mounds (1 inch apart) onto the sheet. I used a 1" scoop. The mixture is very sticky, but holds together very firmly.
  4. Gently sprinkle powdered sugar over the cookie mounds. (I divided my batch in half. One batch I sprinkled with sugar, and the other I placed an almond sliver or two on top.)
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until firm at the edges but still soft in the center and golden.
  6. Remove from the oven and parchment to a wire rack to cool.
  7. When cool, peel off and store in a tightly covered container.
Note: I wasn't sure if the cookie would spread out when baked, especially because of the sugar content. LOTS of sugar in here, folks. I was surprised that the cookie didn't spread out at all; rather, it stayed in a nice little ball form. I will definitely make these again ... next time I might try adjusting the shape. You definitely want to keep them thick, though, because the insides are very moist and yummy.

See how the dough sets up in nice little balls? Sticky little things ... remember to either sprinkle with sugar or set in some almonds before baking. Hmm ... I wonder if chopped almonds on top would be good? Not traditional, certainly, but gooooood!

See how pretty they cook up? They are a two bite cookie, or one bite if you are my husband. I think the sugared ones are my favorite. Which would be your favorite?

Hey, back off cookie thief!!! Stop stealing the cookies! And get some sun, for goodness sake, those fingers are looking pretty pale.

Yuuuummm, look at how good that cookie looks on the inside! Isn't it cute? Just a tiny, perfect two bite, lip smackin' good cookie. Ignore the thumb nail in desperate need of a manicure. Just look at that yummy, chewy, cookie instead. Want one?


Peter M said...

Paula...that's how they should turn out! I think Marjie strayed when she whipped the egg whites! lol

Thank you for trying the recipe and linking back but most of all...enjoy the cookies!

Katherine Aucoin said...

Paula the cookies look fantastic and simple to make too. I'm not much of a baker, but I think I can make these cookies. I've also noticed in the grocery stores that they are starting to carry a lot of glutten free products. I hope your wheat adjustment gets easier!

Marjie said...

I'm so glad you tried these! I'm going to make them again, the next time I have almonds, which I forgot to order Tuesday (sob). Maybe I'll try using the food processor to mix instead of the mixer next time...stray from my comfort zone (gasp!)

Lisa said...

Those cookies look so delicious. I really like the shape and the powdered sugar on top! The inside looks incredibly moist and yummy too. All that, so few ingredients to collect and wrestle with, and even gluten free? I think this recipe is a real winner! I plan to try it soon.

Btw - I'm tagging you with the "Six Random Things About Me" meme. :-)

Deborah said...

Not only do they look delicious, but they are so cute as well!!

Cheryl said...

Good for you mommy! great recipe and what a way to take care of your cookie!

Bridgett said...

Those look so yummy and I am glad to hear your little one is feeling much better.

Jan said...

Yes, I want one! Could you send me one in the mail?

Erika said...

How cute are these cookies!

Paula said...

Hi Peter: We enjoyed the cookies, and my daughter just asked if we could make them again.

Katherine: There is a brand new Whole Foods near me and they have the best selection around here. Now if only they would lower their prices a bit! :-)

Marjie: The food processor did a great job, and although I processed a smaller batch, there was plenty of room in the bowl! Thanks for recommending them.

Lisa: They were super easy to make with very little clean up involved. Thanks for the tag! I'll answer it when we get back!

Deborah: These were great, and if you get any cravings in your second trimester, they are really bite sized!

Cheryl: These were great! They'd be so tasty side by side with your pecans!

Bridgett: Thanks! It's amazing the difference in her. She's a real sweetheart, too!

Jan: I fear the mail carrier would take a sample before the package reached you! One of those lost in the mail things!

Erika: They taste as good as they look!

Thanks, everyone for stopping by! I'm off to go camping for the weekend! Looks like the weather will cooperate as well. Too bad there are no cookies left to bring along! See you in a couple days!

Pam said...

How did I miss these when Marjie and Peter posted them?? They sound fabulous!

Dee said...

They're gorgeous, and they puffed up so beautifully. You'll need the same ingredients for macarons, so you could give them a try. David Lebovitz has an amazing chocolate version too :)

Grace said...

it's no surprise that everyone loved these--good stuff! and kudos to your entire family for cutting out wheat just for your littlest. :)

PG said...

Hi Paula, it's my first time here and have already bookmarked your lovely blog. :)
You know, I also want to start making and blogging about gluten free (wheat free), but also milk or casein free recipes. As my 6 year old nephew cannot eat either of the products and I want to try out recipes which he could eat.
This recipe is just the right thing. The cookies look so delicious and tempting!

Anonymous said...

I'm meaning to try these too some day when the NY weather stops feeling like a sauna :) YOu did real good, kiddo! :)

Dawn said...

Those would not last long in my house. Bite sized so you can eat more, faster. ha ha

MyUtopia said...

Okay now I am starving!

Kevin said...

Those sookies look and sound really good!

Bronwyn said...

Mmm. These sure do look tasty as well! I love nut-flavors, and I love substituting almond extract for vanilla in a variety of recipes. Thanks for checking out my blog. I think my first recipe will lent well to a gluten-free version just by replacing the flour with more almond. I'm definitely going to try out your version!