Monday, July 14, 2008

Cocoa Almond Butter Cookies

On my way to the grocery store today I started brainstorming about gluten free snack foods to bring on a short road trip my husband and I are about to take. While thinking about different types of nuts I was struck by a desperate desire for peanut butter cookies! Unfortunately my doctor has recommended that I stay away from peanuts… which is actually okay, since even my very favorite peanut butter cookies tended to make me feel pretty ill after I ate them. (But oh, they tasted soooooooooo good going down...)

So there I was in my car thinking peanut butter cookies, peanut butter cookies when suddenly it hit me ~ ALMOND BUTTER COOKIES!!!

And here you have it. A little of this, a little of that and I was able to convert our favorite peanut butter cookie recipe to a brand spanking new gluten free cocoa almond butter cookie recipe. The best part? These cookies turned out to be light, sweet, and fulfilling with just the perfect amount of crumble. My husband says he likes them even better than the old-school peanut butter ones. Hurray!

Cocoa Almond Butter Cookies

What You’ll Need:

For Cookies…

3/4 cup almond butter
1 cup gluten free almond meal
1.5 to 2 cups Pamela's Baking and Pancake Mix
3/4 cup Z-sweet (erythritol, a natural sweetener)
2 tbsp finely ground maple sugar
2 to 2.5 tsp natural unsweetened cocoa, to taste (We use Ghirardelli)
1/2 tsp gluten free vanilla
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 cup butter
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg

Lightly dust with…
2 tbsp finely ground maple sugar
Cinnamon (approx 1/2 tsp, according to taste)

How It Works:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream egg, Z-sweet (or your sweetener of choice), butter and vanilla using hand mixer. Add almond butter and blend until very creamy.

In a separate bowl, combine almond meal, Pamela’s baking mix, baking powder, salt, xanthan gum, two tbsp of the finely ground maple sugar and all of your unsweetened cocoa. Stir well.

Slowly pour the dry ingredients into your egg-butter-sweetener mixture, using the hand mixer to combine very thoroughly. I mixed the dough for several minutes with our heavy duty Kitchen Aid mixer but any hand mixer will work.

If you feel the texture is too creamy after using 1 ½ cups of Pamela’s and 1 cup of almond meal, add a bit more Pamela’s mix (2 tbsp at a time) until your cookie dough is firm enough to drop by the tablespoon onto your baking sheet. The less flour you use, the more moist your cookies will be… but I ended up using an extra quarter cup of the baking mix to get the right texture for my dough and they still tasted great.

Grease baking sheet and cover with parchment paper. Use a large tablespoon to drop dough onto the paper, about 12 cookies per sheet. Shape them gently into rounds and use a fork to make cross hatching on the tops.

Bake for approx 10 -12 minutes (10 min in our oven which runs hot). While cookies are baking, prepare maple sugar/cinnamon mixture for sprinkling on top. Remember that a little cinnamon goes a long way, so use approx 2 tbsp maple sugar for 1/2 tsp of cinnamon.

Remove cookies from oven and allow to sit for a few minutes to cool. Dust tops of almond butter cookies with maple sugar/cinnamon mix. Makes approx 30 cookies.

As my elder son would say (with gusto) "Yum Yum!"

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