… Better Than PB&Js Any Day!
When I started out making this recipe I had no plan to turn this gluten-free, dairy-free nut butter cookie recipe into a sandwich cookie. I was just looking to make a cookie to replace the peanut butter cookies I used to love so much. But wonderful surprises can and do happen, so stick with me. And if you’re not into slathering additional sweet flavors onto your cookies, don’t be turned off by this recipe. Let me be the first to tell you that these cashew butter cookies stand alone just fine!
There’s something a bit unique to these cookies that I’ve not accomplished in my other wafer cookies in the past. These have a quality to them that is a bit difficult to describe in words, but you’ll know exactly what I’m trying to explain when you take your first bite of them. There’s a lacey-ness to them. (I don’t know if that’s a real word, but it seems appropriate so I’m going with it for now.) While I might describe the edges as slightly crispy and the center as more chewy, the lacey-ness makes the crunch and chew give way to a melt-in-your-mouth lightness, with still a slight crisp. A trait not typically associated with a nut butter cookie. They’re usually a heartier, flat cookie – or more of a chewy, but puffier cookie – than these. Really, I wish I could just pass one to you through the computer screen right now so you’d know what I’m talking about.
But alas, since the “sharing” thing isn’t going to happen at this moment, I’ll encourage you to make up a batch and taste them yourself.
So how did I end up writing a sandwich cookie recipe? Well, I had an extra sweet sweet-tooth craving and jelly called out to me, cuz everybody knows that nut butter and jelly go hand-in-hand, right? I actually did this combo in private the first time (being slightly embarrassed that I couldn’t get enough sugar that morning), not really expecting to take it much farther than the confines of my kitchen walls … but it was soooo good!
And the really interesting result of this (because one sandwich cookie was very satisfying – and I made four … shhh, stop snickering at me) was that these cookies turn into a tender, soft, chewy cookie goodness that rivals even your best PB&J sandwich when allowed to sit for an hour or so. Now, I’m not suggesting that you’d put these in your kid’s lunchbox instead of a healthy choice item, but … it’s a kick*** snack!
Honestly, the plain cookies fly off my cooling racks faster than I can usually embellish them with the strawberry, peach, or blackberry jelly. Those are my favorite flavors, but I can’t imagine a flavor that wouldn’t go – except maybe mint or jalapeno jelly. But if you’re game, let me know how they turn out!
So on to the recipe part of this post so you can get to baking before you’ve drooled all over your keyboard.
Oh, one more thing before I forget, once you’ve baked the cookies as written in the recipe, try using a heart-shaped cookie cutter and making cute, little heart cookies before slathering on the jam. It will be a perfect treat for Valentine’s Day, or when you simply want to tell your kiddos or sweetie that you love ‘em! “What do I do with the extra cookie edges?” I hear you ask? Crumble them up and store them in an airtight re-sealable bag in the freezer. They’ll be perfect for sprinkling over non-dairy ice cream, adding into a dairy-free shake, or dusting over brownies just before baking. Oh yeah, I can see your mind racing already. Happy gluten-free, dairy-free baking!
Gluten-free Dairy-free Cashew Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies
Prep time: 10 minutes
Baking and assembly time: 9-11 minutes per sheet, about 45 minutes
Cooling time: 5 minutes
Oven temp: 375ºF
Makes: 18 sandwich cookies or 36 individual cookies
1 ½ cups (180g) gluten-free, all-purpose flour – I use Authentic Foods Bette’s Gourmet Four Flour Blend
1/3 teaspoon guar gum or xanthan gum – omit if your flour already contains it
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup dairy-free margarine – I use Earth Balance Natural Buttery Spread – soy free
½ cup cashew butter
½ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ – ¾ cup jelly or jam
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Add flour to a small bowl. Sift in guar gum, baking soda, and baking powder. Add salt. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Beat together margarine, cashew butter, and sugars until well mixed. Add egg and vanilla and beat until mixture is well combined, begins to increase in volume very slightly, and becomes less granular.
Blend flour mixture into sugar mixture slowly, then beat until well mixed.
Scoop dough into walnut-size balls (or use a #40 scoop), and place 9 balls per baking sheet.
Bake on middle rack in a preheated 375ºF oven for 10-12 minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and let rest on parchment for about 2 minutes, then remove from paper and continue to cool.
Assemble cookies by placing one to two teaspoons of jelly on the bottom-side of a cookie, then top the jelly with the bottom-side of another cookie, so the pretty sides of the cookie create a sandwich with both sides “right-side-out”.
Serve immediately or store in an airtight container at room temperature. These are really tasty if kept in the fridge too. Enjoy!
*This recipe was first posted on DailyForage.com and has been shared on Gluten Free Fridays #129 at VegetarianMamma.com.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!
Other recipes you might enjoy: