The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook has been feeding my latest curiosity, grain-free cooking and baking. The day I received this book I was so excited by the potential of all of the recipes … no special binders required, short ingredient lists, seriously whole foods oriented.
There was just one little snag … the author, Elana Amsterdam of Elana’s Pantry is adamant that you must use blanched almond flour to get desired results. And I was really hesitant to load up on 5 lbs of almond flour via the internet without knowing if we were even going to like almond flour baked goodies. So I cheated. Yes Elana, I ground my own unblanched “raw” almonds and sifted to get the best of it. But, I am not here to complain in the slightest. The results were awesome … so awesome in fact that I placed that order for the unblanched almond flour, and can’t wait to see how it elevates these baked treats even more. Trust me, you won’t miss the wheat, or the xanthan gum, or any other alternatives for that matter … these recipes are marvelous!
FYI, I ordered a 5 lb bag from Honeyville (the brand Elana recommends most), and I had a coupon code from the company’s newsletter. Use the coupon code: VETERANS from now through November 17th, and get 15% off your order. And whatever you do, order direct. Do not order this product from Amazon, as they mark it up another $10! With the coupon code, the price is pretty respectable from Honeyville.
I started with the Peach Blueberry Crumble recipe first, but made it into an Apple Raisin Crumble (I subbed 5 medium apples, diced and ½ cup of raisins for the fruit, and also sprinkled ½ teaspoon of cinnamon on the fruit). Perfect for a snowy morning …
What I liked about this recipe was that not only was it grain-free, but it was completely unsweetened. I had been trying to figure out how to make apple crisp breakfast-friendly, and it had never occurred to me to simply omit the sweetener and let the crumble and fruit shine on their own! However, because I was out of vanilla (I know, heaven forbid!), and the recipe called for a whole tablespoon, I subbed in maple syrup. So mine wasn’t totally unsweetened, but 1 tablespoon of maple syrup for an entire pan of apple crumble is pretty low on the sugar spectrum. There is a sweetened fruit crisp recipe in the book too, but I liked this one for a nice change of pace. The only thing I would change next time is to reduce the salt just a smidge.
Next up was the Chewy Chocolate Cookies. They were delicious! They were beautifully chewy cookies that were slightly sweet and gently chocolaty. Using a suggestion from the recipe, I decided to make the cookies smaller, and turn them into sandwich cookies with a layer of vanilla frosting between them. Absolute perfection! Once again, the instructions (aside from not mentioning that you need to pack the almond flour – pack your almond flour! This isn’t fluffy all-purpose stuff.) and the cooking times/temps were spot on.
Okay, are you ready for a recipe or do you want to jump right ahead to the giveaway? Let’s start with the giveaway, shall we?
- To enter to win this fabulous cookbook, leave a comment on this post telling me why you want to win The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.
- To receive a bonus entry, spread the word about this giveaway … tweet it, share it with your friends on facebook, mention it on your blog, or email some colleagues … whatever works for you. Just make sure you come back here and leave a second comment letting me know you did.
Entries will close at midnight TODAY, so get your entry in now! All of this week’s cookbook winners will be announced at the end of the week.
Update: Feel free to comment on this post and the recipe, but official entries for The Almond Flour Cookbook giveaway closed on Monday, November 16 at midnight, the winner will be announced on Saturday, November 21. Head back to the main page on One Frugal Foodie for current giveaways and posts.
Chewy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Recipe adapted from The Gluten-Free Almond Flour Cookbook.
Since I used homemade almond flour, and didn’t want to spend all day grinding and sifting, I reduced the batch size of the recipe, and adjusted some of the ingredients accordingly. Also, I didn’t have any agave nectar on hand (we aren’t big fans), but found that honey and maple syrup do sub nicely.
This recipe is Vegan, Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free, Soy-Free, Free from Refined Sugars, and far easier than it looks – boy I do ramble on, don’t I?
- 3/4 Cup Almond Flour, packed*
- 2 Tablespoons Arrowroot Powder
- 1 Tablespoon Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 1/4 Teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1/8 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Grapeseed Oil
- 3 Tablespoons Agave Nectar, Honey, or Maple Syrup – or combination (I used 2 tablespoons honey + 1 tablespoon maple syrup)
- 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Frosting (optional) (I was sampling the frosting from Sean’s Food, but you can use the Marshmallow Frosting Recipe in the Almond Flour Cookbook, Elana’s Coconut Cream Frosting, the Vanilla Frosting in Go Dairy Free, this Peanut Butter Fudge Frosting, or whatever creamy filling you choose)
Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
In a medium-sized bowl, combine the almond flour, arrowroot, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the sweetener(s), oil, and vanilla. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients in your medium bowl, until well combined.
Scoop the dough by the tablespoon onto your prepared baking sheet. I found the dough to be just a touch sticky but fairly pliable, allowing me to loosely roll them into balls.
Bake the cookies for 10 minutes. Do not overcook them. The tops of the cookies will start to look a little dry and crack a bit when done, but not as much as chocolate cookies that contain eggs. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet or a wire rack for 30 minutes.
If making sandwich cookies, spread frosting (however much you want!) on the bottom of one cookie and top it with the bottom of another cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Take a bite, smoosh and enjoy.
*Elana recommends blanched almond flour, which I am sure is superior. If you are like me and just have some raw almonds on hand and want to trial this recipe out, pulse them in your spice grinder until a mealy/floury consistency is reached. This happens very fast, do not overgrind lest you end up with almond butter. Using a mesh sieve, sift the almond flour to extract the finest bits to use for your flour. Repeat until you have the amount you need. Don’t fear waste either; you can turn any rejects into almond butter!
Yields a dozen soft and chewy cookies or six smooshable sandwich cookies