Thin Chewy Almond Cookies

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in Cookies, Valentine's Day | 0 comments

… Sugar Cookies, Re-defined!

Thin Chewy Almond Cookies GFDF

This Thin Chewy Almond Cookie recipe is really more of a crossover between traditional sweet sugar cookies and crunchy, dunk-able, biscotti. The cookies have a very solid crunch when you bite into them, even more than any other recipe I’ve described as “crunchy” to date. When you get to the center of the cookie, though, there’s this chew that makes them intriguing. It’s this texture profile that makes these cookies especially perfect for dunking.

When immersed, the crunch doesn’t become soggy like some biscotti, but holds together – just becomes a bit more tender. The chewiness seems to soak up some of the moisture and flavor of whatever you’ve chosen to dunk them into – I like lattes myself – then imparts that flavor into the chew. Again a really fabulous result, but not exactly sure how all the alchemy makes it happen.

The flavor of the cookie is a combination of a sweet sugar with an essence of almond. A delicious pairing!

This gluten-free, dairy-free sugar cookie dough also has an interesting “personality”. When the dough is finished being mixed in the bowl, it is stiff and holds its shape well, similar to the firmness of a cutout cookie dough. During the baking process, the dough becomes soft and expands to the full edges of the pan. It also puffs a bit during baking, but then settles again when cooling. For this reason, I bake the dough in a jelly roll pan (rimmed baking sheet) and spread the dough into an even layer. The baking occurs as a two-step baking process, as you’d do for biscotti. After the first bake, the cookie dough is cut into whatever shapes you prefer, using either a sharp knife or cookie cutters. Then the shapes are transferred to another baking sheet, with the extra trimmed dough removed and placed on a separate baking sheet. This is when the second bake happens, drying out the cookies more and bringing them to their unique crunch/chew symbiotic relationship. Both the shaped cookies and the trimmed pieces are great for dunking or just eating as a cookie. Since the trimmed pieces aren’t necessarily “show” material, but still delicious, I like to use these for crumbles on ice cream, as a cookie crumb in a pie crust, even in combination with some granola as a tasty breakfast oatmeal stir-in.

This recipe sounds a bit more involved but really still takes about the same amount of time required to bake three trays of a batch of cookies. I chose to cut these gluten-free, dairy-free thin chewy almond cookies into fun hearts for Valentine’s Day cookies, though I have serious doubts that they’ll stay around that long.

P.S. If you like lattes too, try adding a bit of cinnamon and unsweetened cocoa powder. These cookies drink these flavors up!

P.S.S. Read all the way to the end for the “unrestricted” recipe.

 

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Thin Chewy Almond Cookies

 

No Dairy Bug No Gluten BugPrep time: 10-15 minutes

Baking time: 20 minutes first bake, about 15 second bake

Oven temp: 350ºF first bake, 325ºF second bake

 

Ingredients:

2 cups (240g) gluten-free all-purpose flour – I use Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend1

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon guar gum

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided into (2) 2/3 cup portions

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 eggs, room temp if possible

6 Tablespoons dairy-free margarine – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – soy free2

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. This will be reduced to 350º when you place the pan in the oven.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, guar gum, and 2/3 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well.

Add almond extract to eggs and gently whisk to break yolks.

Cream together margarine and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer.

Add eggs and almond extract mixture. Beat to combine well. Mixture may stay a bit lumpy.

Pour slowly the flour mixture into the “butter” mixture, and blend until a well-combined dough forms, scraping down inside of bowl to make sure everything is well mixed.

Spread dough onto a 17 x 11 inch jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350ºF (remember to reduce the oven temp from 375ºF preheat) for about 20 minutes, or until becoming golden brown on the edges.

Remove pan from oven and let pan rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Line 2 other baking sheets (these don’t need to be rimmed) with parchment paper.

Cut with a knife, or using shaped cookie cutters, shapes out of the baked dough, utilizing as much of the dough as possible. Using a spatula, separate and transfer cutout pieces to one of the baking sheet, placing the pieces upside down to further dry them during the second bake cycle. Transfer the trimmed leftover pieces to the second baking sheet, or use the original one, and invert those pieces as well.

Move oven racks to upper and lower positions and place cookies and trimmed edges back in the oven.

Reduce oven temp to 325ºF and bake for another 15 minutes, or until cookies begin to color slightly or feel crispy to the touch.

Rest baking sheets on cooling racks for five minutes, then transfer cookies and trimmed edges to cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

Serve as suggested above, or create your own way to enjoy these Thin Chewy Almond Cookies.  

1Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend Product Review

2Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread Product Review

 

 

Thin Chewy Almond Cookies 

(unrestricted recipe)

 

Prep time: 10-15 minutes

Baking time: 20 minutes first bake, about 15 second bake

Oven temp: 350ºF first bake, 325ºF second bake

 

Ingredients:

2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour 

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/3 cups granulated sugar, divided into (2) 2/3 cup portions

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

2 eggs, room temp if possible

6 Tablespoons margarine (butter will make these more like biscotti than crispy sugar cookies)

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375ºF. This will be reduced to 350º when you place the pan in the oven.

Combine flour, salt, baking powder, and 2/3 cup sugar in a medium bowl. Stir well.

Add almond extract to eggs and gently whisk to break yolks.

Cream together margarine and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer.

Add eggs and almond extract mixture. Beat to combine well. Mixture may stay a bit lumpy.

Pour slowly the flour mixture into the “butter” mixture, and blend until a well-combined dough forms, scraping down inside of bowl to make sure everything is well mixed.

Spread dough onto a 17 x 11 inch jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper.

Bake at 350ºF (remember to reduce the oven temp from 375ºF preheat) for about 20 minutes, or until becoming golden brown on the edges.

Remove pan from oven and let pan rest on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Line 2 other baking sheets (these don’t need to be rimmed) with parchment paper.

Cut with a knife, or using shaped cookie cutters, shapes out of the baked dough, utilizing as much of the dough as possible. Using a spatula, separate and transfer cutout pieces to one of the baking sheet, placing the pieces upside down to further dry them during the second bake cycle. Transfer the trimmed leftover pieces to the second baking sheet, or use the original one, and invert those pieces as well.

Move oven racks to upper and lower positions and place cookies and trimmed edges back in the oven.

Reduce oven temp to 325ºF and bake for another 15 minutes, or until cookies begin to color slightly or feel crispy to the touch.

Rest baking sheets on cooling racks for five minutes, then transfer cookies and trimmed edges to cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

Serve as suggested above, or create your own way to enjoy these Thin Chewy Almond Cookies.

Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™

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