July 5, 2013

Gluten Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

When my doctor told me that I needed to stay away from gluten, my first thought was "OK, but what about my blog??"  I have been determined from that day to not make this blog about gluten free recipes, mostly because there are already wonderful blogs out there devoted to gluten free cooking.  I also still need to cook for my family and I don't want to deprive them of gluten just because I can't have it.  However, I have recently decided that as I experiment, find and/or create gluten free recipes that I feel are worth sharing I am going to do so.  This past weekend was one of my first social gatherings where food was involved since being gluten free, and I realized that even though there are so many people these days who can't eat gluten, most party hosts don't want to deal with making alternative dishes for their food allergy guests.  I don't blame them, and I don't expect them to.  I either eat beforehand or wait until later.  However, I was feeling a little deprived after the party, so it made me want to go home and experiment more with gluten free baking.

That's how these cookies were born.  I am so new to experimenting with gluten free flours, and combining them to find the perfect all purpose blend.  My personal goal is to find a combination that is less starchy and higher in protein (like almond & coconut flour), but where the outcome is close to the gluten filled originals.  I thought these cookies turned out really good!  Delicious flavor, and texture was pretty darn close to the original.  My husband liked them and said he couldn't tell they were gluten free.  He also said they reminded him of pecan sandies.  I'd say two thumbs up for these babies!  I don't typically eat a lot of sweets, especially lately, but every now and then I crave a cookie.  It will be nice to expand my gluten free options in the future and share them with you all.  You never know, you may find yourself cooking for someone you know who is gluten free, so maybe some of my recipes will come in handy for you as well!

Gluten Free Mexican Wedding Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
½ tsp xanthan gum
1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped
½ cup pecans, finely chopped (I ground both nuts together in my food processor)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powdered sugar

Mix butter, 1/2 cup powdered sugar and the vanilla in large bowl. Stir in flour, nuts and salt until dough holds together. Chill dough in refrigerator for at least one hour.  

Heat oven to 400ºF and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Shape dough into large 1 & 1/2" balls and place about 1" apart on the cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes or just until set, but not brown. Remove from oven and cool for 2 minutes.  Roll warm cookies in powdered sugar then place on wire rack to cool.  Then roll in powdered sugar again.  Makes 12-14 cookies.