Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Gluten Free Almond Caramel Cookies
Today, I have another recipe for you! These cookies are AMAZING. Very good with a cup of coffee. And gluten free! You all are going to LOVE them! I promise!
You're going to need some almonds for this. You will be grinding some and making your own almond butter. You will see how absolutely easy making your own nut butter can be. A lot of recipes will call for added oil, but I never add any. Just keep your food processor running until the almonds (or other nut) release their own oil. Not only is it healthier, but it tastes fantastic! Also, the oil doesn't separate from the butter, so no pesky and annoying stirring to get the oil back in like with the natural nut butters you can buy in the store.
Okay, I'll end the infomercial on homemade nut butters now! :)
You will also have a chance to make your own caramel for this recipe. It sounds intimidating, but it's really not hard. You will need a candy thermometer, though. I use one just like this one and I love it.
If you just don't want to make your own caramel sauce, though, don't worry. Melted store-bought caramels will work too! Just add a little heavy cream (also sometimes called "whipping cream") to the melted caramels to thin them out a bit if you need to. Drizzle leftover caramel sauce over ice cream, on top of hot chocolate, on a slice of cake, or on just about anything! It is also excellent by the spoonful. Or so I've been told...
These cookies are also very good without the caramel sauce on the top. Yum! Enjoy with a nice glass of milk.
Here is the recipe! Enjoy!
Almond Caramel Cookies
For the Cookies:
1-2/3 cup (4-1/2 ounces) almond meal/flour, lightly spooned and leveled
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
2-1/2 cups raw almonds
1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup packed (5-4/5 ounces) light brown sugar
1/2 cup (3-1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the Caramel:
3/4 cup (5-1/4 ounces) granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup (4 liquid ounces) heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
To make the cookies, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Whisk together the almond meal, baking powder and the salt; set aside. Place the raw almonds in a food processor and process until coarsely chopped. Remove approximately 3/4 of a cup and set aside. Continue to process the remaining almonds until the oil is released and it turns into almond butter. This may take 5 minutes or more.
Place almond butter, butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium speed with the paddle attachment until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the egg and the vanilla. On low speed, gradually mix in almond meal mixture and reserved chopped almonds.
Drop tablespoon-sized balls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. If the dough or dough balls are getting too warm, briefly chill in the refrigerator. They should not spread at all before baking. Bake in preheated oven for 6 minutes, then gently flatten the cookies with the bottom of a glass. Bake an additional 6 minutes or until bottoms are golden. Let cool on sheets for 2 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.
While the cookies are cooling, make the caramel sauce. Combine the sugar, water, lemon juice and salt in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture just barely begins to simmer. Stop stirring and boil undisturbed until the mixture turns a medium-dark copper brown color. While it is boiling, brush the sides of the pan with a damp pastry brush to get rid of any sugar crystals.
Remove the pan from the heat, immediately and carefully add the cream, which will cause the mixture to bubble vigorously. When the bubbling subsides, add the butter and stir until the butter and cream are fully combined with the sugar mixture. Clip on a candy thermometer and return the pan to the heat. Boil the caramel until the temperature reaches 240 degrees F. Pour immediately into a glass jar or other open container.
Using a spoon, drizzle the caramel over the cooled cookies. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for one week or freeze for one month. Store extra caramel in an airtight container in the refrigerator for one month.