Let me begin with an admission: this recipe was actually the result of serendipity, after many failed attempts at grinding my own almond flour for making French macarons. As you know, macarons are made with almond flour (almonds in powder form) and because of their delicate nature, anything that’s too coarse would dramatically affect their texture and turn your macarons into deflated cookies. Keeping this in mind and after some research, I used my new food processor (thanks, Fiona!) to grind up some slivered almonds to make almond flour. Before the almonds were able to turn into powder, too much oil from these nuts had been released and what I was left with was moist and almost paste-like. Since I knew I could definitely not use this for macarons, I looked into other uses – and one of which was for gluten-free almond cookies!
Gluten is a certain type of protein generally found in wheat and grain products, such as all-purpose flour for cookies. Hence, these cookies are gluten-free because they contain no such flour. In fact, if you’re calorie-conscious, these cookies contain no butter, shortening or vegetable oil either! For this recipe, you can either use store-bought almond meal, which is more grainy in texture but still works for this type of cookie or you can grind your own with roasted almonds (preferably without skin). You don’t have to use almond flour, which is finer in texture and is also five times the price of almond meal. Then, mix in dry ingredients and finally a beaten egg white. Scoop batter onto a baking sheet and you’re good to go.
Chewy, Chocolate Almond Cookies (Gluten-Free) (makes 12 cookies)
3/4 cup almond meal (ground almond)
3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz semisweet or dark chocolate pieces, chopped
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg white, preferably cold
Preheat oven to 320 degrees F.
Using a spatula, transfer half of the egg white mixture into the dry ingredients and fold until they are incorporated. Repeat this with the remaining half of the egg white mixture. Spoon 1 tablespoon of batter onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper (leaving 2 inches of space between each) and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until small cracks start to form on top of the cookies.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely before serving.
- A cold egg white is easier to beat than one at room temperature.
- I tried using a silicone mat to line one of the batches and the cookies stuck to the mat when cooled. I would advise using parchment paper instead.