3-Ingredient Challenge: Gluten-Free Almond Cookies
For this month’s Let’s Lunch challenge, we were tasked with making three-ingredient recipes. Now I’ve seen and attempted five-ingredient recipes but three ingredients? That’s a tough one.
As often happens in life, things organically fell into place.
Last month, I wrote a story on building a gluten-free pantry and I was intrigued by all the alternative flours available for baking. Almond meal in particular caught my eye. I love almond flavored anything. I can still remember little-girl-me at weddings scraping off the marzipan frosting from the cake slices we were served (yes, I attacked my family’s share as well) and leaving the (yucky) fruitcake behind.
In adulthood, my almond obsession continues: I swoon for sweet frangipane tarts and I can devour a dozen delicate amaretti cookies at one sitting. And then there are Chinese almond cookies. I don’t remember having them in Singapore but as a college student in Seattle, I’d often buy them at the Chinese bakery in Chinatown in addition to the barbecued pork buns and egg tarts that offered a taste of home. When I was researching The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, I saw many recipes in old cookbooks but it never occurred to me to make them at home. Until now.
By chance, I came across this honey almond cookie recipe. Another coincidence occurred when fellow Let’s Luncher Grace of HapaMama.com resurfaced an old blog post about Chinese almond cookies in commemoration of Chinese Almond Cookie Day on April 9 (who knew?).
The almond cookie I came up with tastes similar to Chinese almond cookies but are softer and chewier, lacking the crunch of the true specimen (visit HapaMama.com for Grace’s version of a more traditional Chinese almond cookie). But I’m not complaining: This cookie is mighty tasty considering it’s gluten-free, has no refined sugars, and takes barely10 minutes of active time. Plus, it fulfilled the three-ingredient challenge!
Gluten-Free Almond Cookies
This is a basic, basic gluten-free cookie recipe made with almond meal. If I weren’t restricted to just three ingredients, I’d add vanilla, baking soda (1/4 teaspoon) to give it more rise, and some almond extract (1/4 teaspoon) for a more almondy flavor. Oh and crown each cookie with an almond sliver to pretty them up some more! Almond meal is basically ground blanched almonds. It’s a pricy package–$8.99 per pound but it’s very useful in gluten-free baking. Even if you’re not gluten-free, try replacing some of the wheat flour with almond meal in a favorite cake or muffin recipe–you’ll reduce total carbs and give yourself a good dose of Vitamin E and manganese.
Makes: 3 dozen cookies
Time: 10 minutes active, 30 minutes resting, 8 minutes baking
1/4 cup salted butter, softened
1/4 cup honey
2 -1/2 cups almond meal
Turbinado sugar for sprinkling (OK, so I cheated and added a 4th ingredient, but it’s only for decoration!)
In a medium bowl, mix the butter and honey until well blended. Add the almond meal and mix until a soft dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes or so until the dough firms up a little.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Take dough out of the fridge and roll into 1-inch balls with damp hands. Place them on the parchment and flatten with the back of a wet spoon. Sprinkle turbinado sugar with or without abandon!
Bake for 8 to 9 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. The cookies will be soft so handle with care.
Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container.
**Addendum: if you refrigerate the baked cookies, they’ll be firmer and in my opinion, taste even better!
Today’s post is part of our monthly Let’s Lunch Twitter blogger potluck and we’re featuring 3-ingredient recipes!
For more Let’s Lunch posts, follow #LetsLunch on Twitter or visit my fellow bloggers below:
Mac and Cheese and Peanut Butter Cookies at Tea and Scones.
Filipino Sticky Rice Logs at Asian in America.
Easier Chicken and Dumplings at A Cook and Her Books.
Turkish Sesame Sweet at Monday Morning Cooking Club.
Trinidadian Mango Chow at Spicebox Travels.
Mango Coconut Chia Pudding at HapaMama.
Peanut Butter Cookies at Hot Curries & Cold Beer.