One of the best purchases I’ve made lately was the Westpoint Naturals Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour mix. I got a 2 kg bag of this stuff from a local health store for $13.99. It is basically a mix of white rice flour, potato starch and tapioca flour. If you have any recipes you’d like to make gluten free, just substitute one cup of this for each cup of regular all-purpose flour. I did learn, however, that to keep all the ingredients together, one must need some xanthan gum. I literally gasped out loud when I saw that a teeny tiny package of this stuff (like 1/2 cup worth) was about $10. I asked the clerk at the store if there was a smaller package or good alternative, and she recommended guar gum. It was much cheaper, and does the job pretty much the same.
So enough of fancy talk about gluten free things. Let’s get on to the goods!
I used this flour today to make some cute little thumbprint cookies. I always get nervous baking gluten free, because I know that many times, texture and taste are compromised. But! These turned out deliciously if I do say so myself. My taste buds were very pleased to experience a sweet crunch in the mouth, and they do not taste gluten free! This almost gets me nervous- did I accidentally have a brain malfunction and use regular flour? After doing a triple check on the ingredients sprawled out on the counter, I determined that nope, this was just a keeper recipe.
They not only tasted good, but they look great too, so I decided to have a little tea party outside in the beautiful spring sunshine. Sure it was all by myself, but common, wouldn’t you want to hoard all those cookies to yourself? I have friends, I promise. I’ll make another batch for them.
Gluten Free Thumbprint Cookies
¾ cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 ¼ cup ground almonds (I coarsely ground mine in the food processor- not too fine, it gives it nice crunch)
2 cups gluten free all purpose flour
1 tsp guar gum (or xanthan gum)
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
jam of your choice (I chose to do half blackberry and half apricot- yum!)
Preheat your oven to 350°.
Cream the butter and sugar together until nice and fluffy. In a bowl, crack 1 egg and 1 egg yolk, saving the other egg white for later. Into the egg, mix 1/3 cup of ground almonds, gluten free flour, cinnamon and salt.
Add this mixture to the butter mixture in two parts.
Beat the reserved egg white with 1 tbsp water in a small bowl.
Also, you’ll need the rest of the ground almonds in a small dish.
Create little balls from the dough, dip in the egg mixture, and follow with the ground almonds to coat.
Flatten the balls slightly on a cookie sheet and put a cute little thumbprint in the center. Follow up with some jam in that cute little thumbprint and get it all into the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes, or until you have some nicely golden cookies.