Thursday, January 5, 2012

Gluten-Free Chocolate-Almond Cookies

I have to say that it's probably impossible for anything in my house to be truly gluten free. I bake so much that the air is probably one percent wheat flour. And that's on a day when I haven't had an unfortunate flour-spewing accident.

That said, these cookies were made without any intentional gluten. What fell out of the air, I can't control. But the ingredients were all gluten-free. The flour I used was lupin flour. Never heard of it? Neither did I, before I got it from Fooducopia. For info about my relationship with Fooducopia, see the tab at the top.

Lupin flour is made from lupini beans. You may have heard of them. You may even have eaten them if you've ever indulged in an Italian antipasto plate.

The problem with a lot of gluten-free baked goods is that they can have a weird texture, or the hint of a strange flavor. The background note in these is the almonds, and upfront is the chocolate. There's no odd flavor, and there's nothing about the texture that screams "gluten-free." And they look pretty.

For the chocolate, use your favorite - anything from unsweetened to milk chocolate will be fine, since it's such a small amount - even those mini chocolate bars you've got squirreled away from Halloween.

Gluten-Free Chocolate-Almond Cookies

1 1/2 cup lupin flour
1 cup almond meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 ounces chocolate, melted

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, combine the lupin flour, almond meal, baking powder, kosher salt, and cocoa. Whisk to combine and break up any large lumps.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or you can use a hand-held electric mixer, if you prefer) beat the butter until it is soft. Add the sugar and beat until it is light. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until they are incorporated. Add the chocolate, and beat until it is incorporated.

Add the flour mixture, and mix until it is thoroughly combined. This is the point where a regular cookie recipe would tell you to not overmix. There's no gluten here to worry about, but there's still no sense in mixing it to death, either. Just combine it well, and you're done.

Using a small scoop (I used a #40 scoop, which is less than 2 tablespoons) put rounds of cookie dough on your prepared cookie sheets, leaving room between them to spread during baking. If you don't have a scoop, just use a spoon to portion the dough and roll it into a ball with your hands.

Bake at 350 degrees until the cookies have spread, cracked on top, and are just barely browned, about 15 minutes. Move them to a rack to cool completely - they will crisp up as they cool.