gluten-free spumoni cookies

More adventures in gluten-free baking!  This time, I’m trying some cookies.  I honestly don’t think I’ve made any cookies since the glutenous butterscotch walnut cookies of twenty-ten.  I’ve been focused mainly on cakes and cupcakes.

A week ago, while on a shopping excursion at the Grocery Outlet, affectionately known in these parts as the “Gross Out”, I came across Sof’ella Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix.  On their website, it’s listed for $6 per box, but I got it for $3 a pop.  About the mix, the first four ingredients are: white rice flour, navy bean flour, cornstarch, and tapioca starch.  My main sensitivities are gluten (wheat), casein (milk protein), garbanzo beans (chickpeas), and soy.  [This means that the ubiquitous—and inexpensive!—Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour, which contains garbanzo beans and fava beans, is not an option for me.]  Beans are notorious for the flatulence that they cause, but I find that smaller beans are not too, um, inflammatory, so I was willing to chance the navy bean flour.

Seeing as it was Spring Break, I had the opportunity to make a “big breakfast”, as per my son’s request, and tried out the box’s pancake recipe.  Now, despite having attended culinary school, worked in restaurants, and made nightly family meals for seven odd years, I still struggle with two basic food preparations: boiled rice and pancakes.  Nonetheless, these pancakes came out surprisingly fluffy and not too burnt, especially considering their lack of gluten!  (The navy beans in Sof’ella’s mix made me a little gassy, but nothing uncomfortable or offensive.)  Needless to say, I went and bought two more boxes!

Over the last couple months, the desire to make gluten-free cookies had been percolating.  I specifically wanted to make ones with cherries and pistachios, like the Italian dessert classic, spumoni.  I planned to adapt a recipe to the newly acquired baking mix, and had the perfect occasion for my women’s group last night.  Here’s the recipe I devised:

gluten-free spumoni cookies

1 c sugar, granulated
½ c (1 stick) butter, soft (room temp)
1 egg (2 might be better)
½ c water
1 T almond extract
2⅓ c baking mix*
1 T salt, pref. large grain**
1 c pistachio nuts, shelled, chopped
1 c dried cherries, pitted – add more if you like!
1 c white (chocolate) chips***

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Cream together butter and sugar thoroughly.  Add egg(s), ¼ c of water, and the almond extract, stirring until smooth.  Add salt, nuts, cherries, baking chips, and baking mix, adding additional water as necessary.  Using an ice cream server, scoop approx. 3T of dough into rough patties.  Place about 2 inches apart on greased or parchment-lined cookie sheets.  Bake for 10-15 minutes until edges are golden.  Let cool on rack or eat hot!

Makes 1-2 dozen cookies.

* I used the aforementioned Sof’ella Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix.  Feel free to substitute your favorite gluten-free or wheat-based mix.  If you’re making your own from scratch, don’t forget leavening!

** I used Redmond’s Kosher Real Salt, which you can find at many fine grocers, including Central Co-Op’s Madison Market.

*** I used Ghirardelli Classic White Chips, which are technically not true chocolate.  I chose these because a) the company sticks to fairly healthy ingredients and b) I don’t care a whole lot for chocolate when it’s not by itself.  If you do care for chocolate, I recommend doing a 50/50 mix of white baking chips with dark or bittersweet chocolate chips.  You could even use broken up bits of your favorite chocolate bar!  (I really like the versatility of Cadbury Royal Dark, which is more of a bittersweet.)

How did they come out?  While they were a little crumbly, they were a hit!  There were other women in the group with gluten sensitivities who appreciated having something yummy and safe for their tummies.  Others were impressed that the cookies tasted so good despite being gluten free.  I think that’s always the highest complement of any gluten-free comestible!

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One Response to gluten-free spumoni cookies

  1. Ahh this will be great for my poor seliac sister, Thanks!

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