Thursday, August 2, 2012

Orange-Almond Thumbprint Cookies

After testing out a few gluten-free cookie recipes, I developed one that had great flavor and texture, and is guilt-free as well! These are not crumbly or buttery like traditional thumbprint cookies, they're more soft and chewy. Either way, they are great if you are looking for something sweet and bite-sized and delicious! Feel free to change up the jam in the center or test out other ground nuts, extracts, juices, and zests.

Orange-Almond Thumbprint Cookies
Ingredients:
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
1 pinch salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
jam, for filling (I used orange marmalade and strawberry jam)

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients (almonds through orange zest).
3. Add the wet ingredients (juice through vanilla) and stir to combine.
4. Shape the dough into balls (mine were about 2 teaspoonfuls), then press an indent in the middle with your finger, dipping your finger in tapioca flour as you go.
5. Arrange the dough balls on the prepared baking sheet, then spoon about 1/4 teaspoon of jam into the indents.
6. Bake the cookies for about 16 minutes, until the dough is set and the bottoms of the cookies are browned.



Tips and notes:
  • If you want to make these non-gluten-free, you can try using all purpose or whole wheat flour in place of the tapioca starch, omitting the xanthan gum. I haven't tried this substitution, so I can't vouch for the results.
  • As I said in the beginning, try switching out the flavors. Here are a few I just came up with (and may need to try!):                                                                                                               
    • Apple Cinnamon: add cinnamon to the dough, use apple juice instead of the orange juice, use apple jelly
    • Chocolate Raspberry: add maybe a tablespoon of cocoa powder to the dough, fill the indents with a few chocolate chips and raspberry jam
    • Lemon: use lemon zest instead of orange zest, and replace 1 tablespoon of the orange juice with lemon juice. Add lemon extract if you have it, and fill the indents with lemon curd.

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