Hazelnut Thumbprints

I turned on the television this morning expecting to tune into to a classic old Louisiana cooking show. Instead, I was treated to a woman making peanut butter chocolate mousse with tofu.

To get the horror out of my brain, I decided to use my new hazelnut flour and make cookies. Thumbprint cookies usually have jam – and you could still use some here. I think strawberry or blackberry would go really well. However, I’m not about to turn down an opportunity to use chocolate. I had planned to use Nutella but I was out so I sort of made my own spread with bittersweet chocolate and cookie butter.

The final result was nutty and chocolately and definitely what the doctor ordered to clear my thoughts of tofu surprise.


Hazelnut Thumbprints

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups hazelnut flour
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilia
1/2 teaspoon salt

¼ cup cookie butter
1 cup bittersweet morsels

Preheat oven to 350°. Separate eggs, reserving the whites.

In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar until combined. Stir in egg yolks. Add hazelnut flour, cinnamon, vanilla and salt and stir to combine.

Scoop tablespoons of dough. Roll the dough into balls and brush the balls with the eggs whites. Place about two inches apart onto baking sheets.

Make indentations in the center of each ball with a small measuring spoon. Cook for ten minutes.

Melt the bittersweet chocolate and cookie butter together. After 10 minutes of baking the cookies, add a ½ teaspoon of the chocolate mixture to each indentation. You may need to remake the divots first.

If you’d rather do fruity thumbprints, slightly warm 1/4 cup of your preferred jam in the microwave, just enough to loosen it up a little. As above, after ten minutes of baking the cookies, spoon jam into indentions.

Bake until cookies are set and golden around the edges, an additional 5 to 8 minutes more, rotating sheets when putting them back in the oven. Let cool on baking sheets on a wire rack for 5 minutes then transfer cookies to the rack to cool completely.

Oh, and these are gluten free, too!

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m going to an event and need to bring a dish. One of the participants asked me to please bring something gluten free for dessert. I did a web search, talked to people at my local food co-op and ran into the problem that a lot of the recipes that are gluten free are also vegan or have other dietary restrictions (low fat, low sugar, allergy conscious).

Based on my research, though, I have put together a pretty good gluten free chocolate chip cookie recipe using a combination of flours, including chickpea/garbanzo bean flour. Another plus side on the use of chickpea/garbanzo bean flour is that you’re increasing the amount of protein per cookie, so you can even eat enough to replace regular meals!

When using chickpea/garbanzo bean flour, you want to use about 75% of it and 25% of another flour (this recipe uses almond flour). Also, I recommend adding nuts (usually optional but here their presence explains the slight hint of nuttiness from the flours).

chocolate chip cookies

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond flour
1 1/2 cups plus 3 tablespoons chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups good quality semi-sweet morsels (I used Ghirardelli)
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Stir flours together with baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter with sugars on medium speed until creamy. Add eggs one at a time. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low and blend in the dry ingredients. Once combined, mix in chocolate chips and pecans.

Drop by tablespoon onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9-11 minutes, turning cookie sheets once around the middle of the cook time. Cookies will be a light golden brown and they will spread out, so reduce that by putting the mixer bowl in the fridge while one sheet cooks.

These won’t replace my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe but they are delicious with a glass of milk and quite good enough to take to a pot-luck when you want to be sensitive to the gluten free folks out there.

Double Chocolate Chip and Gluten Free Fudge Brownies

both pansThe board I serve on is having a Strategic Planning session on Saturday and I decided to make brownies for that mid-afternoon pick me up we will desperately need to keep us going to the end. As I know of at least one person on my board who is gluten intolerant, I am making two pans of brownies.

The first one is a one-bowl recipe that I found years ago. It is rich and chocolatey with chocolate in the batter and chips in the pan. It is my go-to brownie recipe.

The other is an adaption of a recipe I found on Bon Appetit. This one is quite chocolate, too, and I put whole pecans on top to help folks tell the difference.

With luck, these will both satisfy and keep engage everyone who snacks on them!

Double Chocolate Chip Brownies

2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
dash salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Melt 1 cup morsels and butter in large, heavy-duty saucepan over low heat; stir until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in eggs. Stir in flour, sugar, vanilla extract, salt and baking soda. Stir in remaining morsels and nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan before cutting into squares.


Gluten-Free Fudge Brownies

1 cup pecans, toasted and chopped (optional)
2 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1⁄2 cup gluten free flour – I use rice flour as it is light for baking
1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
11⁄3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter a 13×9″ baking pan.

Melt 1 1/2 cup chocolate with butter in a a double boiler, stirring, until butter and chocolate are entirely melted and mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly.

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat eggs, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl until mixture is pale and thick, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients, mixing just to combine. Mix in chocolate mixture.

Fold in remaining chocolate and two-thirds of pecans. Scrape batter into prepared baking pan and sprinkle with remaining pecans. Bake brownie until puffed and top is cracked and looks dry and shiny, 30–35 minutes. Let cool completely before cutting into 2″ squares.