I was in Vancouver over the summertime and while I was there, I saw a hilarious greeting card. It read ’A birthday cake without wheat is rarely a treat’. My mother avoids lactose while my sister can’t eat gluten. My father needs a chocolate free diet. One by one all these things are manageable, but when combined, it requires some baking research and planning. I am grateful they can all eat eggs and nuts.
Cookies are a pretty straight forward option for gluten free or dairy free baking. They don’t need to rise so the missing gluten isn’t that important. I really like the flavour and texture that coconut oil lends. Plus it is that bit healthier than butter! (I am trying to find a bright side of a family who reject my dairy and wheat filled baked goodness!). With the growing numbers of people who have dietary restrictions, every baker needs a few recipes like this under their belt!
I was inspired by the great food website www.epicurious.com
This really is a quick and easy recipe, the cookies can be made and baked in under half an hour. I often hear myself say this, but this is great fun to make with friends or children.
I actually made these cookies for the airing of the first episode of The Great Irish Bake Off so they have happy associations for me. I think that even without wheat…or lactose…they are still a treat! I hope you enjoy them!
Almond and Peanut Butter Cookies
325 grams gluten free flour
300 grams raw cane sugar
325 grams smooth unsalted peanut butter
225 grams coconut oil
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder *
50 grams chopped or flaked almonds *
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ teaspoon of almond extract
Flaked almonds * to decorate (optional)
*Make sure you choose gluten free products
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
Mix together the coconut oil and peanut butter until they are smooth. If they are both very cold this might be difficult but leaving the bowl in a warm place for a few minutes helps.
Beat in the eggs one by one until smooth.
Add the sugar, vanilla and almond extract and mix well.
Combine the dry ingredients and mix together well.
Stir the dry mix into the wet mix. It will form a thick paste or dough.
Using you hands, form generous teaspoons of the mixture into balls. Wet hands can help here. They don’t have to be too perfect, just vaguely spherical is fine!
Place them on the tray, a couple of inches apart, and use a fork to flatten them down. It will leave lines on the cookies. Use it as an opportunity to create a pattern if you will!
Sprinkle with almonds if you wish. I baked these two different ways. I squashed them thinner and baked for fifteen minutes for thinner crunchier cookies. I left them a bit thicker and baked for ten minutes for a chewier cookies.
Personally I liked the thinner cookies but my family was divided. They all agreed they were delicious though!
This recipe could be varied with different nut butters, spices and nuts. I reckon ginger and cashew could work quite nicely!