… Or Christmas Kiss Cookies in Disguise!
The truth is, I can’t quite decide what to call these new creations. I grew up with a version of this recipe, using Hershey’s Kisses, that we called Christmas Kiss Cookies. When I looked online at recipes, those looked different from my original version. Now I’ve changed my recipe again, creating gluten-free, dairy-free, chocolate-filled cookies that liken themselves more to Pecan Sandies. Regardless of what name I attach to them, these cookies have always been, and can remain, my all-time favorite holiday cookies, even when eliminating the wheat- and milk-containing ingredients. This recipe creates a low-sugar dough that bakes into a delicate shortbread speckled with micro-chopped pecan pieces wrapped around a center of rich chocolate. Delicious (and low-sugar) as is, these little balls can also be rolled in powdered sugar to create a snowball effect, drifting them quite sweetly into the more decadent cookie category. Throughout the years of sharing these with family and friends, it is still inconclusive whether the naked or powdered cookies are most favored. I make some each way so everyone is happy (and me too).
Bake time: 18-20 minutes per cookie sheet
Makes: about 60 cookies, or 3 cookie sheets
Oven temp: 350ºF
Cool time: at least 10 minutes
2 3/4 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour – I use 330g Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend2
1/4 cup blanched almond flour – I use Honeyville
1/4 teaspoon guar gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
8 ounces (1 cup or 2 sticks) margarine or softened butter – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – red tub1
1 teaspoon vanilla – McCormick’s is gluten free
1 cup micro-chopped pecans – walnuts work great too
1 10 ounce bag Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mega Chunks3
about 1/3 cup powdered sugar, for rolling if desired
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a small mixing bowl, combine all-purpose flour, almond flour, guar gum, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar and margarine until sugar is dissolved. Scrape bowl, then beat in egg until well mixed. On low speed, gradually blend in the flour mixture until dough forms. Blend in pecans until speckled throughout dough.
Press dough together again to form a ball and hide the chocolate.
The bottoms will become golden when the cookies are done, but the rest of the cookie will not – that’s perfect! Transfer baked cookie balls onto cooling rack and let cool at least 10 minutes before tasting them. They’re filling is HOT! (Trust me on this one – be patient so you don’t blister the roof of your mouth.)
These cookies, whatever we decide to name them, will last on the countertop for 3-4 days, even without placing them in an airtight container, if they aren’t devoured before then. I think they’re so fun to look at that I put them on a plate, then set a clear glass bowl inverted over them, so I could see them. Of course they keep calling to me this way:-D
Do you have a great name for these yummy treats? I’m still pondering ideas:D
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™