These cookies are perfect for a holiday party .. if you are like me, you want to bring something gluten free and not bad for you... but... not everyone enjoys a cookie that's really low on sweetness. Here is a compromise. These two cookies are gluten free, of course.. and they contain agave nectar which is low G.I., with some fruit juice sweetened preserves and low carb chocolate they are sweet enough to pass with the usual high sugar-carb-gluten goodies at a party and you'll have something to snack on with minimal guilt. That will keep you from cheating on high sugar treats (or wanting to anyway)! So these are the kind of cookies that are almost a cheat- not that low carb, so go easy!
This recipe is adapted from Elana Pantry's Butter Cookies. I just made it a little easier.. and sweeter. You can, of course, substitute a different kind of preserves (like raspberry), I just happen to love cherries!
A TIP: If you are making the sandwich cookies, warning that they will get soft with the preserves... so you can cook these cookies longer to get them a little harder and assemble them right before leaving for the party, or before serving. They are still good when soft, very good! So, however you want them...
Gluten Free Chocolate Cherry Thumbprints / Cherry-Vanilla Sandwich Cookies
2 ½ cups blanched almond flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup organic high quality butter, cut into pieces
¼ cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Organic cherry preserves sweetened only with fruit juice
a few squares of chocolate - about 1.5 ounces worth
In a food processor, place almond flour and salt and pulse briefly. Add butter, agave nectar, and vanilla and pulse until ingredients are well blended. Separate dough in 2 balls. Place each ball on a sheet of parchment paper and roll into a log. Wrap the parchment paper around each one and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut a sheet of parchment paper to fit on your cookie sheet. Take one log of dough out to work with at a time, as it will get to room temperature quickly. Make a thin slice of cookie dough, roll into a ball and then flatten into a circle with the palm of your hand (for sandwich cookies) or press your thumb into the ball to make an indention (for thumbprint) onto parchment paper/cookie sheet.
Use your own judgement, but you will want these cookies on the small side.. and try to make the sandwich cookies all roughly about the same size. For soft cookies, bake for 5-7 minutes until edges turn golden brown (just a little, or just in spots is okay too). Or bake a little longer until golden brown all over to make them a little harder.
When done, you can lift the edges of the parchment paper carefully and place paper and cookies directly on a cooling rack, or onto a surface away from warm oven to cool.
For Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies:
Melt chocolate in a double boiler (read here if you don't have one) or in microwave. Mix with equal amount of cherry preserves in a small bowl. With a small spoon, scoop mixture into the hollow part of the thumbprint cookies.
For Cherry-Vanilla Sandwich Cookies
Spread cherry preserves on the flat bottom part of one cookie and place the flat bottom part of another on top to make a sandwich cookie. Yes, it's that easy. Just wait until they are cooled. If you are now realizing you make them too big, you can do what I did. Just slice them in half with a sharp knife. These tend to get soft so assemble last minute.
Make both and enjoy your holiday! Happy Holidays!!!