Thursday, February 14, 2013

Almond Butter and Jelly Cookies! Gluten-Free!

Happy Valentine's Day lovers! In true Valentine's Day fashion I have a sweet treat for you! And let me tell ya, this was a much needed sweet treat for me!

gluten-free cookies

I talked briefly about the Whole30 challenge I was doing in the month of January, well, I made it! 30 whole days with no grains, no soy, no processed foods, minimal dairy (I cheated a little bit), and almost no added sugar! I have to say almost because technically bacon has added sugar in it and I couldn't give that up, annnndddd there may have been this one little time  when I scarfed a piece of peanut butter pie at a work birthday party and then followed it up with a healthy helping of banana cream pudding and a massive headache. So, there's that. But I still think I did pretty good! And I feel good! Which was what it was all about... well, that and maybe trying to lose 5 pounds for bikini season.... which I might have started a bit early for, but hey it's SoCal, you never know when beach weather is going to present itself. So, back to these much needed cookies. After 30 days of no sweets, I was surprisingly craving something sweet. I say surprisingly because I've always stuck to my guns that I'm not a lover of sweets. I'll chose salt over sugar any day. But there is something slightly embarrassing about being a food blogger and admitting that you aren't that into desserts, so it was much to my relief that after my thirty days of strictness the first thing I wanted to do was get in the kitchen and play with my Kitchen Aid and sugar.

gluten-free almond butter cookies

But old habits (of 30 days) die hard and my first attempt at making something "sweet" for you - a flourless AND sugarless chocolate cake - was a complete fail. Not surprisingly, the problem was the lack of sugar. It tasted like a slightly chocolate flavored pile of dry mud. Yuck. So, I rolled up my sleeves and dipped my measuring cup deep into a bag of brown sugar and came up with these Almond Butter and Jelly Cookies. And they are SO good! I seriously could eat a dozen in one sitting. Not kidding. I love them because they taste like a cookie but they have no flour. They are sweet, but not too sweet. And I love the little jelly center. You could make them peanut butter and jelly cookies by subbing the almond butter with peanut butter! I chose almond butter, because it felt healthier... not entirely sure why... but after 30 days of eating super strict I had to take baby steps back into the world of desserts and decadence. But let me tell you, I'm very happy I've returned.

Almond Butter and Jelly Cookies
makes one dozen cookies

1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon creamy almond butter (or peanut butter)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg white + a smidgen of yolk - I know this is tricky, but just break the yolk and allow about a teaspoon or less to run in with the egg whites. Discard the rest of the yolk.
a pinch of salt (only if your almond butter is unsalted)
About 12 teaspoons strawberry jelly

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicon baking sheet.

Stir almond butter to make sure the oil is well incorporated. Measure out almond butter, brown sugar, egg white, vanilla, and salt (if needed) into your Kitchen Aid mixing bowl. Using the paddle attachement mix for 1 to 2 minutes scrapping down the sides occasionally until everything is well incorporated and the mixture looks more doughy and less sticky. (You could mix by hand if you want, but I find that almond butter needs a good mix to make sure the oil isn't separating.)

Wet your hands to keep the dough from sticking and roll the mixture into 12 even balls. Place on the baking sheet. 

Using the back of a measuring teaspoon indent the center of each ball. Fill the center with a scant teaspoon of jelly.

Bake for 11-13 minutes until edges are just slightly darker and bottoms start to crisp up. Cool on a cooling rack and enjoy!

gluten-free cookies

P.S. If you haven't already, check out my Valentine's Dinner for Two Series! There is still time to make your honey a home cooked meal on this glorious day of love! Or just get him to take you to a fancy dinner and then make him a home cooked meal over the weekend! ;)

Love, Luck, and Happiness!



7 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness. Good for you for rocking that 30 day challenge! That's awesome! I don't know if I could survive, but I've been wondering recently if I need to try something like that to jump start eating a little healthier. Could be interesting. :)

    These cookies look DIVINE, and I definitely need to make some, especially when I find some almond butter around these parts. I could go for a cookie like this most ANY day...

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  2. Thanks for posting this recipe. Wish I had some of your cookies.

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  3. I love that this recipe is gluten free. Right up my alley! I hope you and Adam have a wonderful Valentines Day!

    xo

    Ashley

    Southern (California) Belle

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  4. I'm happy too! These are delectable! Love almond butter almost as much as peanut.

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  5. That recipe sounds and look delicious.I love Almond.

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  6. Is there any way to remove the sugar from this recipe? Maybe by adding 1-2 tbls of stevia and then ground coconut or almond flour to thicken it?

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    Replies
    1. possibly... but I honestly can't vouch for the results! have fun experimenting!

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