Sure they’re small but it just means you can have two without feeling even remotely guilty.
Always on the lookout for edible gluten-free snacks (trust me, I know that some gluten-free food – especially cookies – can be horrible, rather like choking down flavoured sand), I decided to try making gluten-free cookies to take for the coffee break at work so the two celiacs in the crowd could have a snack too.
Once again, when I made the decision to do the experiment, I had to use whatever we had on hand. I was too lazy to trek out to get rice flour to try some long bookmarked Persian Cardmamom Biscuits on Jasmine’s (Confessions of a Cardamom Addict) site. (They’re still bookmarked and one of these days, I will make them!). We did have chickpea flour though. So, armed with a decent looking recipe found on the internet, I got started.
I was really intrigued by Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Gluten-Free Almond-Cardamom Cookies that he had adapted from a recipe on Yummly.
1 cup almonds, finely ground
1 cup chickpea flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 stick butter
1 tsp cardamon [sic] (an optional substitute is cinnamon)
2. Soften the butter and combine with the sugar. Add the egg yolk and mix until smooth. […]
-Marcus Samuelsson, Gluten-Free Almond-Cardamom Cookies
Egg yolk?? What egg yolk??
I scanned down the comments and saw I wasn’t the only one asking this question. So I looked at the source recipe: Yummly: Almond Chickpea Flour Cookies and there in the ingredients list, just after “brown sugar” was “1 egg yolk”….
Well, as much as we love meringue, I wasn’t going to bother separating the egg. That just seems like too much work….
And when it came to shaping, I started following the Yummly instructions:
Roll balls a little smaller than walnuts but bigger than hazelnuts, place on cookie sheet and flatten.
-Yummly, Almond Chickpea Flour Cookies Recipe
I quickly realized that I wouldn’t make enough cookies for everyone. Oops! So I reshaped the balls to half the size to make 60 cookies instead of 30. And as I flattened the cookies, it suddenly occurred to me that it might be fun to put a date piece in the centres of some of the cookies.
Into the oven they went and when they were done, I summoned T to the kitchen to try the cookies. We took one date-free cookie and one non-date-free cookie, cut them in half and tasted.
Both versions were delicious! T immediately reached forward and said, “Can I have more?”
NO!! There might not even be enough as it is!
When they were cool, I packed them up in the tin and off I headed to work. At our coffee break, everyone gathered around and in no time flat, the cookies were gone with exclamations and arguments about whether the cookies were better with or without the dates and “is that cardamom? I LOVE cardamom” and “Did you try these cookies? You’re not going to believe they’re gluten-free! They’re not dry and grainy at all”.
Here’s exactly what I did to make these really excellent cookies:
Gluten-Free Cookies With and Without Dates
based on Yummly’s Almond Chickpea Flour Cookies
makes 60 small cookies
- 0.5 c salted butter
- 1 c ground almonds
- 1 c besan (aka gram flour, chickpea flour)
- 0.75 c demerara sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- dates, coarsely chopped (optional)
- Turn on oven to 350F.
- Cream butter and sugar together. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the egg.
- Add ground almonds, chickpea flour and cardamom and using your hands, mix until you have a soft dough.
- Roll into small balls and put them on a parchment papered cookie sheet (5 per row on the cookie sheet). Flatten the cookies with a fork dipped in water. Put a date piece in the centre of each cookie if you want.
- Bake on the top shelf of the oven (to prevent them from burning on the bottom) for approximately 10 minutes until they are just tinged with gold.
- Move the cookies (along with the parchment paper) onto a footed wire rack to cool completely before putting into a tin.
Dates Among my colleagues, the opinion was evenly divided about whether the dates belonged or not. I am leaning toward always adding dates (although, the cookies are delicious without dates too).