As I’ve mentioned previously, every month I have a new activity to focus on trying. I learned about my food allergies and my atypical celiac disease this summer in the midst of . . . well, a lot going on in my life. So when I was setting up my activities for each month, I picked December to devote time to developing the ability to bake allergen-free (soy-free, egg-free, casein-free), gluten-free foods.
I meant to bake my kick-off cookies tonight, and then I realized that I had forgotten to ask my husband to pick up almond meal for my cookies in his trip to the grocery store. After dinner, I settled down to listen to Christmas cds (awesome ones my friends Nikki and Terri made me) while reading some of your lovely blogs. But I felt restless. When I got to Meg Wolff’s vegan linzer cookies, I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to try my first recipe for my allergen-free baking month!
Pecans, I realized. Pecans might be my saving grace. I started out following my almond cookie recipe using pecan butter and pecan meal instead of almond meal and almond butter. But the pecans were more moist than the almonds would have been, and I soon abandoned the recipe and just let my intuition take over. Sometimes my kitchen intuition serves me well, and sometimes my intuition leads to a smoking mess in the oven and a pan that’s dastardly hard to clean.
Fortunately, in tonight’s case, the former was true.
Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free (Vegan, Even!) Thumbprint Cookies
1/2 cup pecan butter
2 T. oil
2 cups of ground pecans (~2.5 c. of pecan halves ground to a fine pulp in the blender)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. teff flour
1/3 c. maple syrup
1 Tbsp. pure maple sugar granules (may omit if you can’t find them)
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
jam and/or fruit preserves and/or marmalade
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together all the ingredients except for the last one. Taste dough to check salt level, adding more if desired.
Roll dough into balls, and put the balls on a cookie sheet ~2 in. apart from one another. (I made 15 balls.)
Press a dent into the center of each cookie. Fill each dent with preserves.
Bake 20-22 minutes. (Let the cookies cool at least five minutes before trying to remove them from the pan. The jelly will probably burn your mouth for the first 10 minutes or so after they come out of the oven.)
See how pleased I was? Each cookie is a bite of PB&J tasty goodness.
(It’s the bread baking that’s going to be the hardest, I know, by the way. So if you have any tips on gluten-free, egg-free (or vegan), soy-free bread baking, please let me know what they are! I have a list of recipes to try, but many of them involve me substituting egg replacer and hoping it works out.)